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.
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.
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.
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
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.