Having an aquarium in the classroom provides a wealth of discussion and lesson opportunities. With such rich and incredible benefits, consider adding an aquarium to your classroom this year.
No matter what subject matter you’re teaching, your classroom aquarium can provide oodles of lesson plans. The relevance of science and biology are obvious in the life cycles and anatomy of your aquarium inhabitants. Also consider creative writing assignments that involve making up a story about your creatures, aquarium-inspired art through drawing techniques (watercolors anyone?), math by counting or including story problems about the fish, and even mechanics in the operation of the filtration and other parts that make up the maintenance of the aquarium.
Depending on the kind of fish you have in your aquarium, you can also use them to teach important life lessons. Each fish has a different role in the upkeep of the healthy environment. “Is this fish a cleaner,” “does it get along with others,” and other questions can prompt interesting discussions with the children. Additionally, an aquarium gives them a common bonding experience to develop their own relationships.
Many children learn the responsibility of caring for their environment when it directly affects a living creature. This can extend beyond simply feeding the fish, depending on the age level of the classroom. Cleaning, water changes, and more can be incorporated into a routine for children.
Aquariums have a calming effect on children, especially those with a hyperactivity disorder as well as those on the autism spectrum. Children connect with animals and while it doesn’t make sense to have a dog or cat loose in the classroom, an aquarium provides that connection as well.
Do you have an aquarium in your or your children’s classroom? What has been your experience with an aquarium in the classroom?