“Fish” – A Game to Help Learn About Whales, Dolphins, Sharks and More

We are just beginning a unit study on the above animals, but we are attempting to broaden the scope of the study to include more than just the mammals and fish.  We started out today getting a sense of the ocean, how much of the Earth’s surface it covers, how much fresh water is available, checking out the water cycle, and learning about the ocean floor (the Marianas Trench is 35,000 feet deep!)  Max was impressed that Mt. Everest could be completely submerged in the Marianas Trench.  We are using a book that I picked up at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago called The Ocean Book:  Aquarium and Seaside Activities and Ideas for All Ages written by the Center for Marine Conservation; by all means, look this one up!  It is very thorough and engaging with many different activities to entice your child.  Sorry that the picture is so small – you can click on it to see the Amazon link. 

We played a game suggested in this book this afternoon called “Fish – A Card Game”.  It’s fun!  Give Max a game and he gets all competitive……… 

In a nutshell, you are playing ‘Go Fish’, but with pictures and words that you choose based on what you are studying.  I took a stack of index cards and cut each card in half.  On one half of the card I drew a picture of say, diatoms or a tail fluke.  On the other half of the card I wrote the corresponding word or term.  Yes, I had to look up what diatoms look like.  I’ll list the words/pictures we used below as these could be easily incorporated into a unit study about the ocean, marine life, marine mammals – whatever!  This is an easy game to apply to any subject and you can make it as easy or difficult as you wish.  I threw in some more difficult terms along with some very simple ones just to get us going.

To play:  deal each player four cards and well, play with the object of matching up pictures to words.  Go Fish!  Winner has the most pairs.

These are the terms we used:

algae, Nansen bottle, nautilus, trilobite, diatoms, shrimp, baleen plates, Humpback whale, Marianas Trench, jellyfish, Cetacea, sea urchin, Indian, Pacific, Atlantic Ocean, manta ray, sea anemone, lateral line, kelp, mermaid, coral reef, flippers, oil platform, octopus, dorsal fin, caudal fin, tail fluke, echolocation, harbor, wet suit, sea monster, eel, waves, Moby Dick, supertanker, oyster, starfish, submarine, oceanographer, pectoral fins, squid – etc, etc, etc – use your imagination and your research resources to pull terms.

Wins –  Mom (1), Max (0)


2 Responses

  1. I like your website and I applaud your support for saving the whales and dolphins. You might be interested in my blog http://whaleanddolphintalk.blogspot.com/

    • Dear Mr. Clouston,
      Max and I just spent some time perusing your blog; thank you very much for making us aware of your writings. Max, of course, is horrified by the scene in Taiji, Japan and does not understand why humans act as they do. This will provide much in the way of discussion and perhaps some avenues of action as we continue our whale and dolphin study. He is interested in marine biology and is already toying with the idea as a future career, even at the age of ten. He has a deep love for animals and is fascinated by sea mammals. Hooray for Apollo’s words! I hope more people listen to them. I would like to post a link to your blog if you don’t mind. Also, Max would like you to know that he has a yellow belt in Kenpo Karate – we saw that you study Tae Kwon Do!

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