Love Letters to the Trout

Designed for the NYC and NYC Watersheds Trout in the Classroom program

Made possible with funds from the Catskill Watershed Corporation in partnership with New York City Department of Environmental Protection

Conceived and written by Lilli Ayvazian


Objective:

To help students forge a deeper connection with nature and their trout.


Background:
 
Raising trout in an aquarium requires patience, dedication and care.  It can be a difficult task due to their sensitivity to changes in water chemistry, temperature and availability of dissolved oxygen.  In their natural habitats in the streams of New York City's drinking water watersheds], trout have access to cold and clean streams, rich in dissolved oxygen and covered by forest vegetation.  Their food consists of the aquatic macroinvertebrates which also thrive in these watershed streams.  Although an aquarium can not contain all of the elements which create the natural habitats for trout, students and teachers that nurture and care for the young trout can help them grow healthy and strong in preparation for their coming release into the watershed streams.


Materials:

colorful recycled papers, glitter, paint or markers, stickers, glue, scissors.


Procedure:

1. Take a moment to talk to students about the experience of raising trout.  Ask students to express what they like about having an aquarium in their classroom.
2. Have students make Valentines Day cards or write love letters to one of the trout in the tank.  Students can name the trout, write about watching them grow or about their upcoming trout release.
3. Decorate the cards or notes and display them near the trout tank so that the trout can see.


Wrap-up:
 
After the trout release, have students make love letters to the watershed or to the Earth.  Do they say anything similar to the watershed or Earth that they say to their trout?

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