Biology – Cartilaginous and Bony Fish

It has taken me quite some time to put these two units together…and not because it takes a long time, but because I have been doing our taxes.  Ugh!  Anyhow, I kept thinking that I would just whip something together on the fly, but that method does not work out so well for me.  Things must be planned and put into the appropriate boxes the day before or else it just doesn’t get done.

We did the usual perusal of the DK Animal book for each class and I made sure to point out that sharks, skates, and rays are related every chance that I got.  For the cartilaginous fishes we focused on sharks (of course) and we compared sharks’ teeth to their diets, found out that some sharks lay eggs while others give birth to live young, and we saw that some sharks prefer to stay on the seabed while others stay close to the surface.  I wanted to do part of the shark lapbook that I found on Homeschool Share, but we never found the time (I am including it in my plans though in case anyone else would like to do it).  During the bony fish week we mainly marveled at the diversity of fish and my dd decided that the Blue Marlin is her favorite fish.

For fun activities I found a great book at Amazon on sharks and we dissected a perch fish during the week that we talked about bony fish.  During the dissection we counted all of the fins and located the following structures: gills, eyes, tongue, heart, brain, backbone, stomach, swim bladder, intestines, and muscles.  We also looked at a few fish scales with our Zorb and took some pictures.

Note: If you also have the DK Ocean book I have included the page numbers for it as well.  This book is certainly not necessary, but the pictures are gorgeous and the images are different between the two DK books.

Cartilaginous fish schedule

perch fish dissectionmagnified fish scale


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