My students are really enjoying this unit on life cycles. When we finished the lesson on the chicken and the egg they started wondering about other life cycles. They asked about fish, and it got me thinking, why not? I purposely focused on the Atlantic Salmon because I came across a wonderful pamphlet put out by NOAA and quickly printed and copied it for my students to refer to during this lesson.
I created a PowerPoint for this lesson, Life Cycle Of A Fish to help reach different diverse learning styles. The PowerPoint also helped guide the students through this investigation where they learned new academic vocabulary. To help them better understand these new concepts, they complete a modified Frayer Vocabulary Model. Using both of these for the lesson helped my students grapple the new content with ease.
Instead of just naming the different stages of the life cycle of the Atlantic Salmon, I wanted my students to delve deeper into each stage and look at the "why" and the "how" the cycle works. I created Examining The Life Cycle Of A Fish Focus Page. using this, along with the PowerPoint helped my students achieve a better understanding through pictures and videos of the amazing life cycle of these creatures. This is an example of one of the atlantic salmon life cycle focus pages. it shows how students used their notes and illustrations to explore the concept.
Though this is the shortest part of the lesson, to me, this is the most important segment. We need this time to just re-group and discuss what we have learned, and want to share. Science is about making connections, by comparing and contrasting what we have just learned, to our prior knowledge ensured that they were focusing on the life cycle patterns. I wanted to emphasize that fact, so I created, Compare and Contrast Atlantic Salmon Life Cycle to another animal Giving 3 examples. My students were able to reflect and evaluate what had be learned. For homework, I wanted them to revisit the concepts with Homework: Life cycle of the Atlantic Salmon