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Episode 2209 Lesson Plans: Fascinating Freshwater Fish

Episode 2209 Lesson Plans: Fascinating Freshwater Fish
September 27, 2022 Gary Abud Jr.

This lesson will explore the phenomenon of biodiversity in the Great Lakes and the efforts one museum in Ontario, Canada has taken to catalog it. Students will learn about the history of fish indexing in the Great Lakes, the type collection at the Royal Ontario Museum, and discover why this kind of organism library is helpful to preserving the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Lesson Objectives:

  • Know the history of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) fish type collection
  • Understand how organisms are classified and named
  • Be able to model and calculate the biodiversity index for a sample area

View the entire lesson plan including teacher background information, worksheets and more below or download for free here.

Activity 1:

This activity is a video discussion of a Great Lakes Now episode segment featuring the collection and cataloging of freshwater fish species in Great Lakes. During the video students need to jot down four things they took away from it. 

Watch a Great Lakes Now Segment

Activity 2

Libraries are places where you can pull a book off the shelf and read it. But what if there were a place where you could pull an organism off the shelf to study it like a book? That’s what a type collection does. In this activity, students will use a Think Pair Square Protocol for discussing what they will read about this very topic.

Read About the Library of Life

Activity 3

In this activity, students will conduct an experiment to estimate the diversity of organisms in a given sample for a certain ecosystem area.

Indexing Biodiversity

Activity 4

In this activity, students will develop their vocabulary with respect to the topic of this lesson using the CODE approach.

Vocabulary’s Code

Activity 5

One of the most-often asked questions of students is: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Consider this example: what can you do with knowledge of biology, an interest in fish, and a scuba diving passion? Write a column for Great Lakes Now! In this activity, students will use a Think Pair Square Protocol for discussing what they will read about this very topic.

Explore Fish Scientist Careers

Check out Great Lakes Now’s segment on Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum and other segments featured in Episode 2209: Finders, Keepers on this month’s landing page.


If you use this lesson or any of its activities with your learners, we’d love to hear about it! Contact us with any feedback or questions at: GreatLakesNow@DPTV.org

Find all the Great Lakes Now educational materials HERE.

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