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Teaching Ideas
“Exploring Sawfish” - Ideas for Health and Physical Education

Activities linked to grade levels P - 10

As a class establish:

• What students want to find out and discover about sawfish and how best to achieve this

Brainstorm the activities that can be undertaken while in the waters of the sea. (4 - 6)

Discuss water safety. Consider precautions students might take when they are in, on or near water. List rules. Introduce scenarios such as fishing, reef walking, swimming. Draw pictures, make stickers or posters communicating water safety messages. Discuss the role of people who contribute to beach safety. (3 - 6)

Read the following titles within the ‘Kids and Water’ series to find information about water safety.

• ‘Be Safe at the Beach’
• ‘Fun by the Sea’
• ‘Working at Sea’
• ‘Our Day on a Research Boat’

Promote safety messages by writing a song or poem, by designing a sticker or badge, or by producing a play. (P - 5)

Talk about sun safety. Ask students what they need to protect themselves from the sun and ways to do this while outdoors at the sea. Include hats, sunscreen, protective clothing, etc. Discuss protection against dangerous creatures, broken glass, and sharp objects. Role-play beach safety situations. Demonstrate awareness of potential dangers, how to avoid them, or what to do if an accident occurs. (4 - 7)

Explore health and safety issues related to other activities such as diving, snorkeling, swimming, sailing, boating or fishing. (4 - 7)

Read additional titles in the series for primary years, such as ‘Let’s Go Sailing’ and ‘Better Boating Behaviour’ for further information on health and safety issues. Use knowledge circles and exchange information learnt. Transfer information onto cards, and sort using categories of the students’ choice. (5 - 7)

Fishing is one of the most popular activities in marine and coastal environments. Talk about the increased pressures placed upon fish stocks each year as fishing becomes more popular. Discuss solutions. (5 - 8)

Develop a code of conduct addressing the importance of ‘Fishing with a Friend’ e.g. always fish with a responsible friend, carry identification and an emergency phone number, and avoid dangerous fishing conditions. (3 – 7)

Create a pamphlet describing how to handle and treat fish that are caught e.g. removing hooks, size and catch limits. (5 - 8)

Talk about the importance of catching enough fish for immediate needs only. Ask the question “How many fish is enough?” e.g. enough fish for yourself and your immediate needs. (3 - 7)

Introduce the notion of a ‘bag limit’ for fish and taking beneath the bag limit so there will be plenty of fish for the future. Use a consequence wheel to examine the impacts of taking excessive numbers of fish over several days, seasons, and years. Investigate how this can impact on a species ability to reproduce, and how this will affect fish stocks for the future. (4 - 10)

Discuss the bait species that are protected. Talk about how protection will ensure that the species can continue to breed and interact with other animals within the habitat. (4 - 10)

Research species that are completely protected. (6 - 10)

Develop plans and a checklist for successful fishing activities. Consider the following:

• Location: Where is the best and safest site to fish?
• Weather: What is the ideal wind, weather, and tide forecast?
• Fishing Friends: Who are my fishing friends? Do they know what to do in an emergency?
• Time Plan: How long will the fishing trip take?
• Fishing Needs: What is needed to fish? E.g. rubbish bag, correct bait, licence, copy of State Fishing Regulations, fish length ruler.
• Target Fish: Which fish can be caught? How many is enough? What are the legal restrictions regarding that fish? E.g. size limits, bag limits, closed seasons. (4 - 10)

Discuss how plastic tackle, bait bags, nets, drink bottles, six-pack rings and cigarette butts might impact on fish species (and other animals). Use the following examples to stimulate discussion:

• Discarded fishing lines are hard for many animals to see, and they may get tangled in them, causing inability to swim, hunt, or feed.
• Many species of fish, turtles, and marine mammals feed on jellyfish. Plastic bags floating in the water resemble jellyfish, and they may be eaten by mistake. This may make the animal sick from choking, or even kill it. (6 - 10)

Devise a code of Do’s and Don’ts to help others avoid polluting the reef and to help save all fish species (and other animals). (5 - 10)

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Teaching Ideas
Phys Ed & Health
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