Fish make a fun classroom theme for summer school or any time of year.
There are lots of ready-made bulletin boards with fish:
- Trend’s Fish Bowl bulletin board is designed to use for math, and I love it for that, but it’s extremely versatile.
- Trend also has an Under the Sea bulletin board with goofy fish, including a charming pink octopus.
- Scholastic’s Ocean Adventure! Bulletin Board has plenty of cartoon fish.
- Teacher’s Friend makes a more realistic Ocean Plants & Animals Mini Bulletin Board which could be a good choice for older classrooms.
- TCR has lots of classroom gear with undersea photos, like the Dolphin Celebration File Folders. If you like this look you’ll find that they have just about everything to set up your fishy classroom.
- Carson-Dellosa has a Sea Life bulletin board with fish bearing its characteristic grins. Their Early Learning Sea Life bulletin board hasa different look — a little chunkier with softer colors, and still very cute.
- Pacon’s Under Sea bulletin board paper gives you a very realistic ocean background to put your fish on.
Fish really lend themselves to writing students’ names on the individual pieces.
Bulletin board sayings for a fish theme can always use “school,” or choose one of these:
- It’s Going Swimmingly!
- Taking the Plunge!
- We’re Hooked on Books
- A Great Catch!
- Fishing for Compliments
A favorite fish-themed art project of mine uses triangular pencil grips to stamp out fish shapes. They look like scales, make interesting patterns, and let you teach about tessellation. For an art lesson, have students observe fish or pictures of fish and plan a basic shape for the fish. Dip one end of the pencil grip in paint and stamp it on the paper. Rotate the pencil grip slightly for the next stamp to fit the traingles together. Students can control the effect by controlling the amount of paint, and of course multiple colors of paint can be layered and combined.
If you’re using this as a math lesson, don’t draw the fish shape, but use math to build the fish from stamps of the pencil grip. Either way, students can cut out the fish (maybe make it double-sided, too) and use them for classroom decorations or bulletin boards.
It’s fun to hang fish from the ceiling, too, to make your room seem like a giant fish tank (or a really small ocean). This is a nice use for student art projects, but we also like Carson-Dellosa’s Pop-Its Fish.
Online resources for a fish theme:
- Japanese Fish Art
- National Geographic’s lesson on bioluminescence.
- A fish-themed lesson on adaptation. Follow up with this fish adaptation art project.
- Enjoy the story of “The Fisherman and His Wife.”
- Make a fish and release it into the Virtual Fishtank. Educational fun!
While you’re online, talk with students about “phishing.” An astonishing 5% of people who get a request for credit card information, social security number, and other sensitive data respond with the requested information. 5% may not sound like a lot, but that’s hundreds of thousands of people. Make sure students understand that they should never give their passwords or any other private info to someone who asks them to do so in an email or on Facebook.
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