Trout Guts Collage

Objective: To have students experience the internal anatomy of a trout, without doing a dissection.  To have students build and label a model of trout anatomy.

Background: Trout are much like humans, and have some distinct differences, as well.  I can be interesting to really explore the external and internal anatomy of a trout, and compare it to human anatomy. 

You and your students can review external trout anatomy and internal trout anatomy at our Stream Explorers interactive web fish.

You can also virtually dissect a salmon through this ThinkQuest feature.

Materials:  colored paperboard or construction paper, glue, scissors, crayons or colored pencils, regular pencil, tissue paper, small balloons (optional), trout external anatomy diagram, trout internal anatomy diagram, blank trout.


1. Review the external anatomy of a trout, and have the students label the external anatomy diagram.

2. Review the internal anatomy of a trout, and have the students label the internal anatomy diagram.

3. Using the photos above as a guide, have the students glue the labeled external anatomy diagram to the outside of the folded construction paper/paperboard and the labeled internal anatomy diagram to the inside left.

4. Have the students glue the blank trout to the inside right of the construction paper/paperboard.  This is their collage workspace.  (For younger students, it can be useful to glue another copy of the internal diagram here, so that they have guidelines for their work.)

5. Have the students create the various internal organs out of colored tissue paper.  Use a variety of colors. 

6. If using balloons, have the students glue the balloon into the swim bladder space.

7. Have the students color their labeled diagram (on left) to match the colors of their 3-D collage (on right).

8. Have students color the external diagram, as well.

Wrap-up: How are trout and humans similar?  How are they different?  What was it like, trying to fit all the organs inside the body of the fish?

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