The interesting lesson introduces students to an ancient form of farming that is recently becoming more prevalent, aquaponics. The lesson opens with a brief introduction about the importance of water to various ecosystems all over the world. Then, a brief history of aquaponics is provided. Modern uses of aquaponics are covered, as well as advantages and disadvantages to using the system. A step-by-step description the how aquaponics works, also called nitrification, is also part of the lesson. Commercial aquaponics systems are available for purchase and use in the classroom if the teacher desires. Links to where to buy these systems are included in the resources.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction:
- Ask students: What would you do if you had to grow your own food, and lived near water, but had no land to raise the plants?
- Allow for responses and discussion. Some students may respond, “eat fish only”, but remind students they must also think of ways to grow food plants. Ask students if they think the water could be used in some way.
- Allow for responses and discussion. Students may brainstorm ideas using the lake’s surface or underwater planting. Tell them to think outside the box. After a discussion, introduce Aquaponics.
- Distribute Aquaponics content pages. Read and review the information with the students. (Either use an aquaponics system set up in the classroom, or present one of the resource videos to students as a demonstration with the content.) Save the final question for the lesson closing. Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
- Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions. Distribute supplies. Students will cut apart the pieces for an aquaponics system, draw in missing pieces (such as return pipes, etc). They are to draw in the arrows and use text to describe the steps of aquaponics.
- Once completed, allow students to share with a partner. Circulate through the room, checking for understanding.
- Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses. Students correct false statements.
- Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
- In closing, ask students: Imagine yourself growing foods for your family using an aquaponics system. What would be most enjoyable about the work? What would be least enjoyable?
- Allow for responses and discussion for both parts of the question. Ask students to think about a larger use of the system, not from a small tank.
Common Core State Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.3, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.4, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.3
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.4, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6.2, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6.4
Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions
Want more science resources? Check out our other Science Lesson Plans!