December 7, 2010

Fish: Day One

Like most of my school days, this one started with some books. Books about fish. We liked them both.

Fish: A Practical Guide to Caring for Your Fish by Mark Evans.

Weird and Wonderful Fish by Colin S. Milkins. (No pic available.)

After reading the books, we added to the fish section of our chart. The children still love this and the chart has really filled up.

After that, we made a fish. It seemed only fitting. I wanted to make the water bottle fish craft but couldn't get our water bottles to cooperate. I substituted by making this craft.

It was ridiculously easy and we all loved it. Even me. Because it wasn't too hard for the kids and I could make something that turned out looking decent.

First, I printed off the template for each child. Then I cut up a bunch of tinfoil and tissue paper in a variety of colors. Then I grabbed crayons, colored pencils, scissors and glue sticks. That was it. All the prep required.

Our fishes evolved as we figured out how different things would look. For example, I started out by coloring so the color would show through the tissue paper. Then I realized how awesome and shiny tissue paper looks over foil and ended up covering my fish with foil--completely covering up the original coloring. The children's fish evolved also as they discovered the properties of tissue paper.

When the fish were done, I was going to paste them onto blue paper to create a swimming in the ocean effect, but most of my children were opposed to this. They wanted their fish free to swim wherever.

I gave Eli my fish because he was sad he didn't have one. We did the project while he was napping . . . for obvious reasons.

Miriam felt that her fish needed a lot more space--so she found every blue paper in her collection and created an ocean. Hands down, her ocean was my favorite part of the day. Miriam dreams large. Even for her fish.
The children loved the project so much that a few days later when our Christmas advent chain said, "Put together a Christmas package for Great-Grandma Ruth and mail it," they all opted to make Grandma a fish. So, we did the craft again and had just as much fun the second time.

I'll tell you a little secret. I wasn't looking forward to fish. They seem so . . . uninteresting. I was wrong. So wrong. Fish are fascinating. And strange. More like aliens than any other creatures we've studied. We're having a grand and fishy time. I hope you are too!

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