When choosing a pet for the classroom, many teachers opt for fish. Fish aquariums are soothing and tranquil. Fish don’t require as much daily care as some animals and are a safe choice for teachers who do not desire to have a pet that students may want to hold and handle. Fish allow students to have a part in observing and caring for a living creature.
There are various ways to help children learn from and bond with their fish:
- Discuss what is involved with taking care of fish. Discuss the pet’s basic needs and the necessary supplies you will need to care for the fish.
- Allow the children to name the fish.
- Have the kids observe the fish for a while and talk about what they see. Discuss why the fish behave in certain ways, what they like, and what they do not like.
- Suggest that the kids use the fish as the subject of their art, writing, or other creative projects.
- Give the children different responsibilities in the caring of the fish.
As an organization that works with teachers who have fish in the classroom, Pets in the Classroom has heard of numerous examples of how fish have positively influenced the classroom environment as well as the attitude of students. For a personal account of how classroom fish impacted the one learning environment for one grant recipient, please visit http://www.petsintheclassroom.org/2012/03/green-chimneys-experience-with-pets-in-the-classroom/.
If you are interested in getting fish for your classroom, learn more about applying for the Pets in the Classroom grant by visiting www.PetsintheClassroom.org/teachers.