Welcome to Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden  
 
 
   
 

BEFORE YOU VISIT THE GARDEN…

Lesson Ideas for Kindergarten

Activity #1: Like fish, or like me?

Lesson Objectives:
Students will be able to describe similarities and differences between fish and human beings

Materials:

  • various pictures of different kinds of fish and people [You can use images provided, or obtain your own magazine clippings of different kinds of fish and people (app. 10-20 depending on group size).]
  • chart paper/chalk board

Exploration:

  1. Have students sit on the rug in a circle (or at tables in smaller groups). Place a pile of magazine clippings of different kinds of fish and people in the center of the circle. Allow students to examine the pictures.
  2. After students have all had an opportunity to explore the pictures, ask them to describe what they notice about the subjects in the pictures (probable response: “they are all pictures of fish and people”).
  3. On a chart or on the board, write the words “fish” and “people” in large print. Have students repeat the words with you.

Activity:
Have students to separate the clippings into two piles, one for fish and one for people (start the piles for them with one picture in each spot).

Discussion:

  1. Ask students to describe what is similar about fish and people. Begin with, “for example, fish and people both have heads,” and then draw a person’s head next to the word “people” on the chart, and a fish-shaped head next to the word “fish.” As students volunteer other similarities, draw those additions to the pictures on the chart.
  2. Now ask students to identify what is different about fish and people, again drawing the body parts onto the pictures as students dictate (example, “fish have fins” or “people have legs”).
  3. If students have not already suggested it, ask them to describe the difference between where fish live and where people live. Draw water above the fish, and a sun or ground with the person.

Kinesthetic learners:
Allow students to stand up. Explain to them that we are going to pretend that we are a fish under water, and will move around the room “like a fish.” Have a pre-designated signal (a clap or bell) that indicates the students will “freeze” in place. Practice the signal a few times before beginning the activity. After a minute or two of being fish, have students freeze and explain that now they will walk back to the rug “like people.”

Discussion:
Have students describe what it felt like to be a fish, and the difference between how fish and people move around.