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Classroom Aquariums and Their Benefits to Young Students

Aquariums are more frequently becoming the focal point of living rooms, offices and restaurants. They are also gaining popularity as a hands-on teaching tool for the classroom, and can also have the same educational benefits in a home setting. Establishing an aquarium provides students the opportunity to learn directly through experience, rather than through textbooks. Maintaining an aquarium instills a sense of responsibility and achievement, while furthering a child's desire to learn. This interactive activity is also great for children of all ages.

The benefits of having a "teaching aquarium" surpasses responsibility alone; they also include development of interest in reading, writing, critical thinking and science. [pic]

Reading

Reading is an essential part of our lives, and a daily occurrence. Students can brush up on reading by researching topics such as fish species, plants, reefs, and tips or instructions on maintaining the aquarium. Children are oftentimes "selective readers" and are prone to read information on topics that are interesting to them. Keeping an aquarium can help foster good reading habits at a young age.

Writing

Students can engage their writing skills in relation to keeping an aquarium by writing daily journal entries. It serves as a great way to help sharpen grammar and writing skills.

Critical Thinking

By collecting and recording data on such aspects as water temperature, pH, ammonia and nitrate levels, students can compare trends that occur based upon certain variables. Even the death of a fish is an opportunity to address and discuss possible causes, preventions and ways to improve current conditions.

Science

Biology, chemistry, ecology, and physics are just a few of the sciences involved in aquarium keeping. A classroom aquarium can be used to teach students about specific topics such as anatomy or more complex topics such as the food chain, the water cycle, or the nitrogen cycle.

Setting up a teaching aquarium is a great way for students of all ages to learn about a variety of topics and gain valuable life lessons. Preparation and planning should be taken into careful consideration before a venture of this nature is undergone. Evaluate the amount of time, effort, and finances you will be able to commit to the aquarium and its inhabitants.

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