Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Nature Study: Lesson 36: A Study of the Fish

"A fish lives in the water where it must breathe, move and find its food. The water world is quite different from the air world and the fish have... form, senses and habits which fit them for life in the water." -Handbook of Nature Study, p.147
The Handbook of Nature Study suggests to show a diagram of a fish with all the parts labeled to the children so that they "will be able to learn the parts of the fish by consulting it and not be compelled to commit them to memory arbitrarily." We decided that they could include a diagram in their notebooks that they could consult, but I did not require them to memorize them. I did, however, immediately began using the terms in my questions to them about the fish.

We talked about how the fish moved and how they used their different fins. We also talked about their scales and about how the mouth is always moving, making swallowing motions.
We talked about how the fish takes in water like we do air and as the water runs over their gills, the oxygen is removed just as the oxygen is removed from air in our lungs.

sources and inspiration:
  • The Handbook of Nature Study, Anna Comstock


  1. When ever I think of studying fish, I always remember ALL the fish I had to clean when my dad took me fishing.

  2. I want to tell you that I love your blog! I especially like your header and the quote from Charlotte Mason! And I love this post! I've been trying to find The Handbook Of Nature Study in every local bookstore. I wanted to look at it before I bought it. Along with "Nature for the Very Young" by Marcia Bowden. But it's impossible to find any book I want actually in a store. So then I fret over whether or not I should buy it, or which one to buy, without being able to look at them. But I think you and your post has convinced me that I *need* this book! Thank you for helping me make up my mind!

  3. Re. Joyce. You can download a free copy of "The Handbook of Nature Study" here. http://www.archive.org/details/handbookofnature002506mbp I used this one for years and then lucked upon one in a used book store.
    Phyllis I love your Nature Studies. I love all the things you do, but this is one of my favs. Where are those fish? Around you? You are surrounded by such beautiful places.


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