Featured Lesson

Lesson 2:9 - Fish Bowl

by Scott Moeller

May 2010


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Fish Bowl

Chapter 2 of the MinnAqua Leader’s Guide - Fishing: Get in the Habitat! contains nine lessons that focus on learning about the fishes of Minnesota. From identifying the different kinds of fishes, to exploring their senses, habits, adaptations and anatomy, Chapter 2 covers a lot of information that students are excited about learning. It's fitting that the final lesson of the chapter serves as an effective way of bringing this information together in a fun way.

We all know that students love to play games, and Lesson 2:9 - Fish Bowl is a simple quiz game that helps students review many concepts about Minnesota fish in a fun way. What is a newly hatched fish called? In what zone of the lake do aquatic plants grow? What does a fish's lateral line sense?

Maybe it's time for you and your students to play... Fish Bowl!

Lesson Summary

In this activity, small groups of students work as teams to participate in a simple quiz bowl type of game. Using content covered in any or all previous lessons, the students and teacher prepare the questions to be used in the game. You may choose to use the questions and answers provided and pre-printed in the lesson, or choose to use note cards and write your own questions suited to the topics and content you wish to reinforce.

By taping the cards or note cards to a whiteboard, you can make a simple game board at the front of the classroom with questions in several different categories, with differing point values corresponding to the ease or difficulty of each question. Teams take turns selecting a question and attempting to give an appropriate answer.

Tips & Tricks

This lesson is highly adaptable to your personal tastes, as well as the abilities or interests of your students:

Fish Facts Symbol
  • You can use the preprinted questions in the lesson to speed things up, or let students make up their own questions. Allowing students to make their own questions can teach them valuable lessons about how to form good, clear questions.
  • There are a number of "performance" elements that you may choose to add to make Fish Bowl even more exciting. Use a noisemaker or buzzer for teams to buzz in. Turn it into a TV-style game show. Invite parents or another class to be in the ?audience.? Choose a student to be the "host," another student to be the official card handler and scorekeeper, and other students to be a panel of judges. Ask students to produce creative fishing-themed commercials for station breaks throughout the course of the game.
  • Using points and keeping score can add a level of excitement to the game, but should be done thoughtfully. Assess the competitive maturity of your class as a whole, when deciding whether or not to keep score. If you do keep score, be sure to have a tiebreaker question ready in case of a tie.
  • Outgoing students may want to answer questions by themselves, while reserved students may prefer to confer with a group. One option is to ask each team to assign a number to each team member, and alternate which team member gets asked the question in each round. When a question is asked, an individual student has the option to answer the question by themselves for the full amount of points for their team, or choose to confer with the rest of the team for half of the points. This is a good way to allow for personal triumph while also promoting team spirit and avoiding student embarrassment.

MinnAqua Lesson Connections

Because of its nature as a review game, Lesson 2:9 - Fish Bowl has the potential to be connected to any or all of the lessons in the MinnAqua Leader's Guide - Fishing: Get in the Habitat! The preprinted questions in the lesson are taken from all of the preceding lessons in Chapter 2 on Minnesota Fish. However, educators who make their own questions, or involve students in making their own questions can use the format of this lesson and extend it to any of the 39 lessons in the MinnAqua Leader's Guide - Fishing: Get in the Habitat!