Saturday, February 23, 2013

oOo Fishy Business oOo

Mutilated fish
*Viewer discretion is advised!

Right now in 5th grade science, we have been studying the respiration system. One of the science labs includes a teacher demonstration using fish gills to study breathing in comparison to that of lungs in humans (and other animals). Now, my kids are cool. They love Magic School Bus and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Their fascination with the world around them is absolutely inspiring. We have such a wonderful time in science that I just KNEW they had to be the ones handling the fish gills, not me.

fish gills! NICE WORK kids!
The day started off like no other.

"Please open your diaries [agendas/planners] and write down tonight's homework."

I quickly scribbled some assignment page from their grammar book and then proceeded to write, "Bring a fishhead" in the science subject. And what a commotion that caused!

Before I knew it, I was greeted the following morning with 12 fish heads. Well, 11 actually since one child decided to bring in a whole fish (dead of course).

I was so excited! I had several students help me bring our new friends to the staff fridge, wrote a note in both Bahasa and English stating not to eat or throw away the fish.

Our lab took place an hour before lunch. With the help of the admin staff, I had successfully laid out 12 fish heads in bags with Styrofoam and a box of disposable gloves. The students quickly filed in and grabbed their friends! <*)))><

The kids were so intrigued! They handled the lab quite well. I applauded the boys for not chasing the girls around with their fish heads and thanked the girls for not throwing up.

A few memorable moments:

Student: Miss, umm.. I think my fish is still breathing.. (*note, this is the child with a whole fish)
Me: (heart drops) Are you SERIOUS?

I briskly walked to the student's lab table, only to discover him with one hand on each gill opening and closing them manually. -______-



So naturally, when this student told me his finger was stuck in its mouth a few moments later, I didn't believe him. Until another student said, "No, really Miss! His finger won't come out!"

Sigh. Sure enough, I suddenly find myself looking at a little finger lodged in the fish's mouth. Turns out it had gotten caught on the fish's teeth.

"Teacher fired after student's finger consumed by fish"
After calming the group down (and removing a finger), I was bombarded with other various comments from students.

"I found its heart!" (holds it in palm and shows girls who then shriek)
"Is this its brain?!" (How did they manage to pull that out?)

And my favorite, "ARGHHH! Miiiiss Amberrrrr! (insert student name here) just took his pencil and stabbed the fish's eye! Now there's black stuff all over!"

Despite what appeared to be organized chaos, the kiddos finished their lab, cleaned up their mess, answered the questions (correctly!) and eagerly watched the last few minutes of Bill Nye's segment on fish gills before the bell rang for lunch.

Oh the perks of being a science teacher! If I could strictly be a science teacher, I'd be the happiest girl in the world. When I move back to the States, I am definitely looking for a 6th grade science teacher opening!

xoxo amber


  1. Science is my favorite too! We will have to share long as they don't include fish heads lol

  2. Ruthie, YES! I had the BEST 5th grade science teacher. He is why I love it so much. We might have to exchange ideas.. :)