Friday, June 22, 2012

Introduction to Fish

The Minnesota State Parks have programs throughout the year that are free of charge to participants. There is a series at a nearby state park that is running once per week for the entire summer.

Last week, the first session was about fish. Two naturalists led the program, and started by having the children match the parts of a fish with an illustration of a fish.

We all learned something new about a fish's body parts. For example, we had no idea that a fish had a nose and could smell. If a person is fishing, they should be careful about what scent(s) are on their hands. If there's  insect repellent on their hands and it gets on the bait, then the fish can smell it and may not be interested in it.

Another thing we learned is that fish have horrible eyesight. They can see best within 10-15 feet...beyond that, they can't see that well.

The naturalists talked about different fish shapes - torpedo, pan-shaped, and flat-bottomed. Each body shape helps the fish do particular things (e.g., swim fast to capture prey, eat food off the bottom of the lake/river).

After the activities, the participants had an opportunity to do fish printing. They each chose a rubber fish shape.

Then, the girls painted the side of the fish that had details on it. After the fish were painted, they turned them upside down and pressed them onto watercolor paper.

They were encouraged to add details to the fish printing (e.g., seaweed, water, bubbles).

After the program about fish, we took a walk around the park. We climbed on the rocks that overlook the St. Croix River (on the other side of the river is Wisconsin...we are on the Minnesota side).

The park has a lot of potholes that were left by the glaciers that moved through this area. Many of the potholes have water and life - like tadpoles, frogs, chipmunks, and many more insects and invertebrates.

We were happy to see quite a few chipmunks at the park. We were able to get very close to the one in the photograph below without it running away. Needless to say, Sophia and Olivia were excited about seeing the chipmunk, and having it be an entertaining thing to see after an educational morning learning about fish.


Rita said...

Oh, what fun! And they got to do fish stamps and painting, too. I love chipmunks.
St. Croix is a beautiful park--both sides. Glad you all got to make it over there to enjoy it all. :)

Unknown said...

What a beautiful place to learn some more about fish! Thanks for sharing your link.

Sheryl said...

And I thought potholes were a modern city- dweller problem. Who knew.

Your fish study looks like fun. Enjoy!

Unknown said...

What a beautiful park! We recently did some Gyotaku ourselves. On a side note, the cute little critter you posted is a Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel ... technically not a chipmunk. :)