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Here is a Flatfish Movement activity (K-2)

Subjects:

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

Grades:

K, 1, 2  

Title – Flatfish in Motion: A Movement 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 first lesson in a K-2 Flatfish unit.

The second lesson is a K-2 Flatfish Data Collection lesson.

There is also a 3rd-5th Grade Flatfish “Each One Teach One” stations activity lesson available on this site.

Concept / Topic To Teach:

Not all fish in the water look the same. Some fish have adapted to life on the bottom. These fish are called flatfish. Movement activity will relate to facts introduced.

Standards Addressed: National Standards:

NS.K-4.1 (Science as Inquiry)
As a result of the activity, all students should develop an understanding about scientific inquiry.

NS.K-4.3 (Life Science)
As a result of the activity, all students should develop an understanding of the characteristics of organisms.

Georgia Performance Standards (GPS):

SKP2a – Things move in many different ways, such as straight, zigzag, round and round, back and forth, fast and slow.

SKL1b,c,d; S2L1a,b,c,d – Some animals and plants are alike in the way they look and the things they do, and others are very different from one another.

S2L1, a,b,c – Plants and animals have features that help them live in different environments.

S1L1a,b,c – Animals eat plants or other animals for food and may also use plants (or even other animals) for shelter and nesting.

General Goal(s):

To introduce students to flatfish, how they look and how they move. To use large motor skills to participate in movement activity that relates to flatfish. To expand students’ vocabulary.

Specific Objectives:

Students will learn about the life cycle of flatfish. Students will discover how flatfish develop differently from other fish. Students will use vocabulary terms related to fish biology. Students will be able to convey what they have learned through a follow-up art/writing activity.

Required Materials:

  • Flatfish Information Sheet (below)
  • Chart Paper
  • Markers or crayons
  • Drawing Paper
  • Small plastic fish (crumpled up paper will also work.)

Anticipatory Set (Lead-In):

(Teacher will read and become familiar with flatfish information sheet.) Make a chart of what the children know about fish. (Children can either write on the chart or dictate to the teacher depending on level of proficiency.)

Introduce the term flatfish. Explain that flatfish hatch from eggs looking like every other fish – with one eye on each side of their head, but as they grow, their eyes migrate (move) to one side of their head. Some flatfish have both eyes on the left side (left-eyed) and some have both eyes on the right side (right-eyed)!

Discuss why they might be flat and where they might live in the water. Discuss what they eat.

Step-By-Step Procedures:

(Make sure there is enough floor space for children to lie down during the activity.)

Step 1. “Now, we are going to pretend to be flatfish. Let’s start out as eggs.” Children curl into a little ball.

Step 2. “We are growing into larvae now -that means we are becoming flatfish children. Swim around the ocean.” Children stand up and swim like fish around the room.

Step 3. “Now we are growing up more. Put your eyes on one side of your head! No, you can’t really do that, can you? But you can pretend by turning your head to one side. Now make yourself flat on the bottom of the ocean.” Children slowly turn their heads and then lay down flat on the floor.

Step 4. “Now try to swim like a flatfish. Do this by just moving your body.” Let them do this for a little while.

Step 5. “Flatfish lie on the bottom and their color changes to match the background. Can anyone tell me how this helps them hide? Why do they want to hide?” Discuss predator/prey relationship and camouflage. “Who in our class is the most hidden right now? Can you tell me why?”

Step 6. Throw the plastic fish (or pieces of crumpled up paper) onto the floor and let the fish “feed.” “I am putting some crabs, shrimp and smaller fish into the ocean. Now you have to swim around and collect your food.”

Plan for Independent Practice:

Students can use what they learned to extend the activity to playtime (outside or inside).

Closure:

As a group, look at the chart that was made before the activity. Is there anything that the students can add that they learned during the activity?

Assessment Based on Objectives:

Teacher writes in sentence form some of what the children discussed. Have students draw a picture of a flatfish and include some of the information the teacher wrote (copy sentences).

Adaptations:

For the assessment, have the student dictate the language that is to go on the flatfish drawing. Non-ambulatory students could use their hand as the flatfish during the movement part of the activity.

Extensions:

Students can write their own information on the flatfish drawing using inventive spelling. Teacher could go more into depth about camouflage and adaptation for survival among animals.

Possible Connections to Other Subjects:

PE – more movement activities,

Art – extend the drawing activity to include paint or other media,

Language – compare and contrast what they learned about flatfish to what they know about other fish.


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.

E-Mail Heidi Schaffner and Mary Carla Curran !

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