Lesson 1:3 - Run For Your Life Cycle
by Nadine Meyer
Chapter 1 of the MinnAqua Leader’s Guide - Fishing: Get in the Habitat! contains six lessons, all of which focus on aquatic habitats. Exploring and learning about the habitats where fish live is an important step in increasing future angling success and helps students see how they, too, are connected to aquatic habitats.
For this issue of MinnAqua Moments the Featured Lesson includes a new adaptation of Run For Your Life Cycle that focuses on the Lake Sturgeon. This adaptation includes supplemental Instructor Background Information found in our Species Profile – Focus on the Lake Sturgeon, new Life Cycle Cards, and a new Lesson Plan.
Lesson Summary ("Original Version")
The northern pike is an example of a Minnesota fish species that migrates to complete its life cycle. In this role-playing activity, students become northern pike traveling a migration route through a course depicting a wetland, a stream, and a deepwater lake. Dangers accompany migration—the northern pike encounter both natural and human-induced obstacles as they grow to adulthood and return to the wetland to spawn.
Lesson Summary (NEW "Sturgeon Version")
The lake sturgeon is an example of a Minnesota fish species that migrates to complete its life cycle. In this role-playing activity, students become lake sturgeon traveling a migration route through a course depicting a gravelly or rocky bottomed shallow stream, a river, and a deepwater lake. Dangers accompany migration—the lake sturgeon encounter both natural and human-induced obstacles as they grow to adulthood and return to the shallow stream to spawn.
Tips & Tricks
- For both the original version and the sturgeon version of Run For Your Life Cycle you may want to have photographs/magazine images available of each of the main habitats that the fish use for their life cycle.
- The images of the low head dam and fish passage found in the original version of the lesson plan are available on your MinnAqua Fishing: Get in the Habitat! CD and can be easily printed on 8.5 x 11 paper to use during the game for both versions.
- This game can easily be adapted for a 20-minute up to a 50-minute class period by reducing the number of rounds or adding more obstacles that the students suggest.
- While this game is best used outdoors, it can be set up indoors in a large hallway, gym, or in your classroom if you are able to move your student desks allowing for a large open space.
- Find out more about fishing for Lake Sturgeon in our Piers & Places and Fishing Equipment & Tips articles for the August 2011 issue of MinnAqua Moments.
- Look up Minnesota Fishing Regulations for Lake Sturgeon and Northern Pike.
- Contact your local DNR Fisheries Office to find out if it is possible to view Northern Pike or Lake Sturgeon migration in your area.
MinnAqua Lesson Connections
Lesson 1:3 – Run For Your Life Cycle (25 pages | 3.7 MB) links directly to 4:1 – Fishing Regulations and Sportsmanship (24pages | 1.6 MB) when you add the angler into the mix of limiting factors for pike survival. Discussions about limits, seasons, and special regulations may come up while you play the game and you can refer to the Minnesota Fishing Regulations as your students come up with solutions using fisheries management techniques. Following up this activity with 4:5 – Fisheries Management and You (36pages | 4.5 MB) or 4:2 – Fish Surveys (35pages | 4.3 MB) will add to the depth of understanding how humans impact our natural environments and what we can do to have a positive impact on our aquatic habitats.
NEW: Suggested Online Student Resources
Have your students access these online resources to engage in these concepts further.