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Native vs Exotic Fish

Time Frame:
1 class period that runs 60 minutes.

Group Size:
Small Groups


Students will engage in a simulation game where they model feeding styles of fish and how fish compete for food.

Main Curriculum Tie:
Science - Biology
Standard 1 Objective 3

Describe how interactions among organisms and their environment help shape ecosystems.


  • student page (attached)
  • a cup or more of small food items (cereal, mini-marshmellows, jelly beans, candy fish, macaroni etc) per group of 6 students
  • plastic forks, knives, spoons
  • masking tape
  • straws
  • toothpicks
  • paper cups
  • butcher paper for each table


Background For Teachers:
Teachers should not expect students to eat the food. Some students will eagerly eat it but after it has been handled, most students would rather not. A variety of soft and hard food provides the most interest.

Instructional Procedures:

  1. Read the purpose and background with students.
  2. Have students spread butcher paper across table.
  3. Have students each pick up their “mouth part” and read the procedures to illustrate their use.
  4. Distribute food items.
  5. When all groups are ready, time the first round of food gathering.
  6. Have students record data and repeat timing until all rounds are done. They will do two rounds with only native fish and then introduce the exotics. You may wish to introduce the exotic fish one round at a time.
  7. Discuss student results before allowing students time to work on analysis questions.

Lesson Design by Jordan School District Teachers and Staff.

Utah LessonPlans

Created Date :
Nov 14 2014 10:05 AM