Translate this page

Lesson Ideas

Teaching Activities About Fishing and Agriculture

This collection highlights teaching activities, hands-on lessons, and online simulations we found on the web that can help students learn about fishing and agriculture. They are created by science educators and partner education organizations. Just as all our original content is free, we only recommend external resources that are free for teachers. If you find any issues with these resources, please let us know by emailing: editor @ sciencejournalforkids.org

1. Food Production and Food Chain Lessons

This collection of lessons is offered by FoodSpan, associated with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future; it furthers the university’s 2011 project to create a food system curriculum for high school students. This unit (Unit 2) includes nine lessons on food production, each with a lesson plan, student handouts, and most also with a presentation deck. In these lessons, students will learn how food is grown, harvested, and distributed – and also how these processes impact human health and the environment.

Image from FoodSpan

  • Collection: web page
  • Topic: agriculture, sustainability, food production
  • Level: high school

2. Sustainable Fishing Lesson

This lesson plan is offered by the California Academy of Sciences, a biodiversity nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California. In this activity, students participate in a sustainable fishing simulation and learn how fishing impacts different species of marine organisms. The lesson plan is offered in English and Tagalog, and student resources are offered in English, Tagalog, and Spanish.

Image by Dennis Jarvis, featured on CAS

  • Activity: web page
  • Topic: human-wildlife conflict, fishing, marine life
  • Level: all grade levels

3. Oysters in the Watershed Lessons

This collection is offered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), developed by a group of educators from the Chesapeake Bay region. Seven lessons are grouped in two modules: the first examines historical changes to the oyster region, the second explores oyster harvesting practices. In these lessons, using a variety of scientific methods, students will learn about the role of oysters in maintaining water quality and providing habitat for other organisms in the Chesapeake Bay.

Image from NOAA

  • Collection: web page
  • Topic: biodiversity, human-wildlife conflict, ecosystems, resource management
  • Level: middle school

4. Mariculture Lessons

This collection is offered by the North Carolina Sea Grant. Its ten lessons each come with an online and PDF plan plus supplemental resources such as handouts, datasets, and videos. In these lessons, students will learn about aquaculture, how it arose, how it relates to sustainability, and some specifics about common organisms we grow using aquaculture techniques.

Image from NC Sea Grant

  • Collection: web page
  • Topic: aquaculture, marine biology, human-wildlife conflict, ecosystems, resource management
  • Level: high school

5. Composting Lab

This lesson plan is offered by Population Connection, a Washington, D.C.,-based advocacy organization focused on sustainability through their Population Education division. In this activity, students will conduct an experiment to observe the decomposition rate of various waste materials.

Image from Population Connection

  • Activity: PDF
  • Topic: consumption, waste
  • Level: middle school

6. Land Use Lesson

This activity is offered by the Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing (CSTARS) at the University of California, Davis. The lesson plan PDF provides detailed, step-by-step instructions as well as teaching prompts. In this activity, students will use GoogleEarth to assess land use and land cover in the world.

Image from CSTARS

  • Activity: PDF
  • Topic: land use, mapping, technology
  • Level: middle school, high school

7. Carbon Footprint Calculator

This activity is offered by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), an independent news and media organization based in the United Kingdom. Its content is based on research from Joseph Poore at the University of Oxford. In this activity, students will select what they eat from a list of common foods and drinks to learn about the carbon footprint of each item.

Image from BBC

  • Activity: website
  • Topic: consumption, carbon footprint
  • Level: all grade levels

8. Carbon Footprint Demonstration

This activity is offered by the California Academy of Sciences, a biodiversity nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California. It uses weighted boxes representing a variety of foods to simulate their carbon footprint. In this activity students will explore how our food impacts the environment.

Image from CAS

  • Activity: web page
  • Topic: consumption, carbon footprint
  • Level: all grade levels

9. Garden Lesson Plan

This activity is offered by The Nature Conservancy, a global environmental nonprofit organization, through Nature Lab, their youth curriculum platform. In this activity students explore the impact of locally grown food on the environment. Videos, case studies, and other prompts provided in the plan help students walk through all the parts of agriculture that could have impacts.

Image from Nature Lab

  • Activity: PDF
  • Topic: agriculture, climate, carbon footprint
  • Level: middle school

10. Fertilizers and Algae Growth Experiment

This activity is offered by Science Buddies, a nonprofit dedicated to creating stimulating STEM learning content. This is a long-term experiment using samples of local water from a pond or lake to test the impact of fertilizers on algal growth. In this activity students will learn about fertilizer use and some of its dangers to nearby habitats.

Image from Science Buddies

  • Activity: web page
  • Topic: fertilizers, aquaculture, nitrogen cycle
  • Level: middle school, high school

11. Overfishing Data

This resource is offered by Our World In Data, an effort to publish data about the world’s “great and terrifying problems,” affiliated with the University of Oxford. This collection shares real-world interactive data on fishing sorted by question titles such as “What methods are used to catch fish?” and “How much of our protein comes from seafood?” Students can explore the collection of data and manipulate the date range, geography, or other inputs on each graph.

Image from Our World In Data

  • Resource: web page
  • Topic: biodiversity, fishing, food supply, sustainability
  • Level: middle school, high school

That’s Not All!

Check out our full collections of adapted research articles on Farming, Fish, Fisheries, Food Security, Overfishing, and Water Resources. Each article comes with tailored teaching resources, lessons, labs, and other activities for your students.

Title Photo by Nubia Navarro.

Share this Lesson Idea

Check out this Related lesson idea

Latest Scientific Articles

We want to hear from you!

If you are a teacher and you used some of our resources in class, we want your feedback! Please fill out this Teacher Feedback survey!

Journal funding support from:

Recommended by: