These five lessons are intended for use in classrooms, grade 4 and above. It is helpful although not necessary if the classroom also participated in the Trout in the Classroom program. In the lessons, students learn about the uses of telemetry, particularly in the study of fish behavior and ecology, and then gives them the opportunity to apply their knowledge to our telemetry study of the movements of brook trout in Shu Swamp. While teachers are encouraged to use all five lessons, you are welcome to pick and choose depending on class level and time constraints. Special thanks to Jessica Best, who developed the lessons as her capstone project for an M.A. in Secondary Science at Hofstra University (Advisor: Dr. Jacqueline Grennon Brooks).
Lesson I: How do you follow a fish?
Fish can be tagged in various ways. In this lesson, students engage in a fish tagging simulation that requires the recapture of tagged fish and then engage in a brain storming of ways to measure fish movement without recapture. This lesson points students to the important advantages of telemetry fish tagging.
Lesson II: How do scientists follow fish?
This lesson begins with a hypothesis probe, described in Page Keeley’s, Science Formative Assessment, to focus the students on hypothesis generation. Students are then introduced to the field of telemetry through two current telemetry studies: 1) the movement of salmon in the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest and 2) the movement of brook trout in Red Brook in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Each of the studies has different hypotheses as well as different directions.
Lesson III: What do I think my fish will do?
In this lesson, students begin work on their original research using present day data from the tagged trout in this study. They will develop their own hypotheses on trout movement and write a research proposal to the teacher that includes the purpose of the study, data collection methods and time table, and possible implications that can emerge from the study. The lesson includes a number of options for students of various backgrounds with data collection, use of latitude and longitude to locate places on maps, and statistical representations. This lesson is an ongoing activity to the extent and for the duration determined by the teacher.
Lesson IV: What did my fish do and what do my findings mean?
In this lesson, students first engage in a collection and interpretation activity in order to reinforce data collection and interpretation skills. With this as a background, the teacher charges the students with the task of making interpretations from their own data generated in their fish tagging study created in Lesson 3.
Lesson V: How can I be a steward of my environment?
In this lesson, students will develop a plan for community action and, where appropriate, implement their plan.