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This is a Flatfish Data Collection activity (K-2)

Subjects:

Art, Language Arts, P.E. & Health, Science  

Grades:

K, 1, 2  

Title – Don’t Eat Your Flatfish Before they are Counted –
A Flatfish Data Collection Activity

By – Heidi Schaffner and Mary Carla Curran
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Art, Language Arts, Health / Physical Education
Grade Level – K-2
Other Lessons in Unit: This is the second activity in the K-2nd Grade Flatfish Unit.

The first activity was a flatfish movement activity (www.lessonplanspage.com/SciencePEArtLAMDFlatfishDataMovementActivityK2.htm).

This is a data collection activity.

There is also a 3rd-5th Grade Flatfish “Each One Teach One” stations activity lesson (www.lessonplanspage.com/SciencePEArtLAMDFlatfishEachOneTeachOneActivityK35.htm) available on this site. Specific Objective:

    Students will learn about marine scientists and one way they collect data. Students will learn how to collect data using tools. Students will learn how to use tally marks. Students will learn how to interpret their data and write a lab report.

Required Materials:

      Flatfish information sheet (below – also in Unit Lesson 1)

      Uncooked white rice for sand

      Large plastic container as the ocean

      Multi-colored goldfish crackers

      Oyster Crackers for oyster shells

      Gummi Worms for polychaetes

      Lemon Drops for crabs

      1 paper or plastic bowl for each student

      Paper Towels

      Plastic Tweezers

      Classification Chart (below)

    Chart paper for graph

Before the Activity:

    Explain that to catch flatfish in the marsh creeks or the oceans, marine scientists use trawl nets to drag the bottom. After the net is emptied, the scientists must then sort through the items to find the fish for which they are looking. Have the group hypothesize about how many of each of the animals they will find. Show the children the items they can expect to find in their trawl net. Explain how to record the data with tally marks on the classification sheet. Divide the class into small groups no more than 5 students per group. Students should each have their own bowl and data sheet to mark what they collect.

Activity:

    “Each of you is now part of a team of marine scientists. You will use your trawl net (bowl) to catch fish in the marsh. Empty your net onto a paper towel and sort out the animals you found in your net. Remember, I showed you how to mark what you find on your paper. Put the “specimens” you find in your bowl. Don’t eat them!” Circulate around the room as you monitor each group working independently. Once you see that most groups are finished, have the class come together to discuss the results.

After the Activity

      (Assessment): Using a data collection sheet as a guideline for the headings, construct a class graph of the data. Have the students state their results and add data to the graph. Compare the finished graph to your hypothesis at the beginning. Discuss the procedure and the results. Was it easy or difficult to find what you were looking for in your sample? What problems did you encounter? How could the trawling have been made easier?
    (Writing): Children can copy the teacher’s summary of the experiment, write from dictation, or write up their own laboratory report, depending on the skill level of the group.


“Don’t Eat Your Flatfish Before they are Counted”

Fish Data Collection Sheet

What did you find?
How many did you find?
Gold fish
(Summer Flounder)

 

 
Red fish
(Blackcheek Tonguefish)
 
 
Purple Fish
(Bay Whiff)
 
 
Green fish
(Fringed Flounder)
 
 
Lemon Drops
(Crabs)

 

 
Gummi worms
(Polychaetes)
 
 
Crackers
(Oyster Shells)
 
 


Flatfish – General Information

Flatfishes are easy to identify. In an adult flatfish, both eyes are on the dark (pigmented) side of the body, while the other side is eyeless and white. Flatfishes lie on the bottom with the dark side up and the pale side down. Flatfishes can change color to camouflage themselves to match the bottom. Their shape and color makes it easy for them to lie on the bottom and hide from both predators and prey. Most flatfishes swim close to the bottom by undulating their bodies. They have long dorsal and anal fins to help them move along the bottom.

Flatfishes do not start out life flat. The larvae look like most other fish. They are the same color on both sides, and have one eye on each side of the head. As the flatfishes grow, their color and pigmentation patterns change and one eye migrates across the top of their heads to end up on the same side as the other eye.

Some flatfishes are left-eyed and some are right-eyed. This means, some flatfishes have both eyes on the left side (left-eyed) and some have both eyes on the right side (right-eyed)! Left-eyed flatfish rest on their right side and right-eyed flatfish rest on their left side.

Many flatfishes are found on muddy bottoms in shallow waters. Some flatfishes migrate in the winter to deeper waters. Most feed on worms, crustaceans and other small bottom invertebrates.

There are more that 500 species of flatfishes, in 6 or 7 families. Flatfishes include flounder, sole, turbot, halibut, sand dab, plaice and tonguefish. The flatfishes included in this unit are from the families Bothidae and Cynoglossidae. Both of these families are left-eyed flatfishes.

 

Moyle, P.B. and J.J. Cech. 1988. Fishes: An Introduction to Ichthyology , Second

Edition. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, pp. 311-313.


Glossary of Terms
anal fin:

      Fin located on the posterior of the fish near the anus.

annelid

      (AN-eh-lid)

:

      A segmented worm belonging to the phylum Annelida.

arthropod

      (AR-thruh-pahd)

:

      An animal belonging to the phylum Arthropoda. Arthropods are characterized by jointed appendages and a hard exterior covering (exoskeleton).

barbel

      (BAHR-behl)

:

      A fleshy projection on the head of some fishes that may fulfill a sensory role or function as a lure.

copepod:

      Order of crustaceans found often in the plankton.

crustacean:

      An animal belonging to the arthropod class, Crustacea, which includes crabs, lobsters, shrimp and barnacles.

decapod

      (DEK-uh-pahd): An animal with five pairs of walking legs that belongs to the arthropod order Decopoda, which includes crabs, lobsters, and shrimp.

dorsal fin:

      A fin found on the dorsal (top) surface of a fish.

hypothesis:

      An explanation for observed events that can be tested by experiments.

invertebrate:

      An animal that lacks a vertebral column (backbone).

plankton:

      Organisms that drift in the ocean currents with little swimming ability.

polychaete

      (PAHL-eh-keet)

:

      A type of annelid worm belonging to the class Polychaeta.

phytoplankton:

      Photosynthesizing organisms that drift in the ocean currents.

undulate:

      To move in waves or with a smooth wavelike motion.

zooplankton:

      Animal-like members of the plankton.

Definitions from:

Karleskint, G., Jr. 2001. Marine Biology . Saunders College Publishing, Philadelphia, pp.G.1-G.12.

Levinton, J.S. 2001. Marine Biology: Function, Biodiversity, Ecology , Second Edition. Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 495-503.

www.dictionary.com


References

Dahlberg, M.D. 1975. Guide to Coastal Fishes of Georgia and Nearby States . University of Georgia Press, Athens, pp. 92-98.

Douglas, J., C.G. Ray, and R. C. Robins. 1986. Atlantic Coast Fishes . Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, pp. 288-297.

Hoese, H.D. and R.H. Moore. 1977. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico: Texas, Louisiana and Adjacent Waters . Texas A&M University Press, College Station, pp. 255-263.

Karleskint, G., Jr. 2001. Marine Biology . Saunders College Publishing, Philadelphia, pp.G.1-G.12.

Levinton, J.S. 2001. Marine Biology: Function, Biodiversity, Ecology , Second Edition. Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 495-503.

Moyle, P.B. and J.J. Cech. 1988. Fishes: An Introduction to Ichthyology , Second

Edition. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, pp. 12-15. pp.311-313.

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