Trout Across America

Designed for the Oriskany Central School TIC Program

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

Conceived and written by Clarice Horan

Objectives:

  • Children will become aware of the many varieties of trout and salmon.
  • Children will become aware of the vast area in the United States where trout live.
  • Children will complete the research process and publish their report.

Background:
Many children have a very limited knowledge of the kinds of trout or salmonidae living in the United States.

Since our Parents As Reading Partners (PARP) theme, school wide, was "Grab a Book Today, Read Across the U.S.A.", I came up with the idea of researching "Trout Across the America".

Twenty-three second graders and nineteen sixth graders paired up and were assigned a trout or salmon to research. They used books, magazines, web sites, etc. for their information. Definitely take a look at TU's Conservation Success Index maps. Each student gathered the data on a graphic organizer and kept track of their resources on a work cited page.  They then wrote drafts and did their final copy on the computer.  

We then mapped their findings by gluing miniatures of each fish where they lived.  The map and reports were displayed in a main hallway before the PARP awards so all (including parents) could see.  Teachers used a rubric to grade each report.  

Materials:
list of trout and salmon, graphic organizer, works cited page, research resources (including the CSI site), a United States map, fish miniatures from the internet, glue

Procedure:

  1. Gather needed research materials from the internet, school library, public library, and interlibrary loan.
  2. Partner students and assign a trout or salmon to each grouping.
  3. Explain that the students will work together to complete research on their assigned fish. Pass out and explain the graphic organizer. (This was enlarged for the younger students.)  Topics include appearance, habitat, food, and interesting facts.
  4. Model the proper notations to be made on the works cited page.  Enlist the help of the school librarian.
  5. Pass out and explain the grading rubric.  Emphasize that although working together, each student will write their own report.
  6. Students complete their research in the classroom, library, or computer lab. Teachers help as needed with the research process.  Be sure to visit TU's CSI site.
  7. Teachers model how to organize the notes into paragraphs.
  8. Students write a first draft on paper or computer.
  9. Student/teacher conferences are held to revise and edit first drafts of the report. 
  10. Students write a final copy of the report in handwriting or on the computer and add a picture found on the internet.
  11. Sharing their reports, the classes map their trout or salmon by gluing miniature picture(s) of their fish onto a United States map to show where that variety of fish lives.

This project is a long term project that will take several class sessions to complete.

Wrap Up:
Reports and the map are displayed as a means to share with the school and community.

Resources:
List of trout and salmon
Graphic organizer
Works cited page
Grading rubric

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