Sunday, May 22, 2011


By Melissa Stewart
Publisher: Peachtree
ISBN: 978-1-56145-562-1

FROM THE FLAP: Fish make our world a better place. But sometimes people do things that make it hard for them to live and grow.

In simple yet informative language, A Place For Fish introduces young readers to ways human action or inaction can affect fish populations and open kids’ minds to a wide range of environmental issues. Describing various examples—from Florida’s spotted trunkfish to the Atlantic salmon—the text provides an intriguing look at fish, at the ecosystems that support their survival, and at the efforts of some of the people to save them.

In the back of the book, the author offers readers a list of things they can do to help protect these special creatures in their own communities.

Artist Higgins Bond’s glorious full-color illustrations vividly and accurately depict their fish and their surroundings.

KATE’S TAKE: Splash into summer with Melissa Stewart’s, A Place for Fish. Stewart’s dual-level text is perfect for book buddy programs or classrooms with a large spread in ability levels.

CATCH BASIN LABELING PROGRAMS Naturalist and Interpersonal
Are you looking for a low cost field trip for the end of the year? Participate in your town’s catch basin label program or have your class start one in your community. Storm drains do not flow into a city’s water treatment plant, they flow directly into the surrounding bodies of water. So help your city spray paint, “No dumping. Drains to lake/creek/river,” signs on your town’s catch basins. Check out Santa Rosa’s city site for more details:

FISH LIFE CYCLE DIAGRAMS Naturalist, Visual/Spatial, and Linguistic
Have students diagram a fish’s life cycle. The University of Michigan has an excellent link for intermediate teachers that includes worksheets:

MAP IT OUT Visual/Spatial and Interpersonal
Divide your class into partners. Give each group a photocopied map of North America. Assign each pair of partners a fish that is in Ms. Stewart’s book. Next, have each group shade in the area on their map where their assigned fish lives. If a group finishes early, have them research some basic facts about their fish.

ORIGAMI FISH Visual/Spatial
Check out this step-by-step engaging video to show your students how to fold origami fish:
Be sure and use origami paper. Regular paper is too thick.

SHARK BAR GRAPHS Logical/Mathematical and Visual/Spatial
Give students a sheet of graph paper. Have them title their graph Shark Population Decline in the Atlantic Ocean since the 1990’s. Then have them label the side with numbers from 0 to 100%. I find that using 5% increments works well. On the bottom of the graph, ask them to make a column for each of the following sharks: blues, great whites, hammerheads, threshers, and tigers. Ask them to record the following information:

Blue Sharks: 60% population decline
Great White Sharks: 79% population decline
Hammerhead Sharks: 89% population decline
Thresher Sharks: 80% population decline
Tiger Sharks: 65% population decline

-A Place for Birds by Melissa Stewart
-A Place for Frogs by Melissa Stewart
-Project Seahorse by Pamela S. Turner
-Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion by Loree Griffin Burns
-Trout, Trout, Trout: A Fish Chant by April Pulley Sayre