Monday, October 10, 2016

Let's Go Fishing!

The Let’s Go Fishing Animated Step-by-Step Poem was designed to deepen children’s understanding of the time-honored tradition of going fishing. 

This resource was created to ‘set the stage’ for the hands on Fishing Game that is used in many early childhood classrooms. Students are provided with a fishing pole and a ‘pool’ full of fish.  A wooden dowel with a magnet attached to a string can be used as a fishing pole; fancier, options are available on the internet but many have the complaint, ‘the pole is too short’. The child casts their line into a ‘pool’ of fish, each possessing a metal component (e.g., metal paper clips) that can attach to the magnet tied to the end of the fishing line.  The fish can be colored, numbered, big/little to support work on early concepts, e.g., “What COLOR did you catch?” , “ We’ve caught 1, 2, 3, and now we need to catch number 4 ” , “Let’s catch a BIG fish this time?” , “Let’s catch a SMALL RED fish.” I use fish that are large enough to accommodate a 3 inch symbol velcroed to their flip side.

Back-to-back fish are created using a technique similar to the construction of dual=representation symbols ( Print out the fish; fold the page along the vertical line; glue the folded halves together; cut out the fish following its contours (it will be two-sided); laminate; cut out leaving a 1/8” border of laminate and add the metal component (e.g. paper clips) necessary to allow the fish to adhere to the magnet. Overhead projector pens can be used to write numbers, letters, CVC words or math equations on the white square. Solve the math problem then return to the task of fishing. Decipher the CVC word, then find it’s corresponding miniature in a small bin or bag. You can also attach female (loop) velcro to the edges of the square to accommodate picture symbols.

This magnet-based activity is a wonderful, collaborative, fun, interdisciplinary activity. 
Here are a few examples of goals being addressed:

Put on a hat to provide protection from the sun (pretend play)
Maneuver through an obstacle course in the motor gym to get to the ‘fishing hole’.
Use eye-hand coordination to ‘catch’ a random or designated fish.
Use two hands (bilateral manipulation) to pull the fish off the ‘hook’ (magnet).
Bend over or squat down to drop the fish into the bucket.
Cross midline to place the ‘caught’ fish in the bucket.
Balance on a ‘balance pillow’ or straddle a bolster while fishing
Work on core strength and balance when fishing; rocking the bolster; rocking the PT boat.
Maintain your balance while carrying the bucket back to the table.

Identify the colors of the fish 
Count the fish 
Count the buttons velcroed to the fish 
Cumulatively add the numbers on the fish 
Solve the math problems written on the fish 
Verbally label the symbols attached to the flip side of each fish
Identify letters written on (overhead transparency pens) or velcroed to the fish; use the letters to spell the child’s name in a followup letter match task.
Match fish (if you have two sets of colored fish) How many matches did you get?
Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts big and little.
‘Catch’ a letter then search in a bin to find the small toy that starts with that letter.

Communication displays can be used to mediate the interaction.  (e.g., Let’s go fishing! I caught one! I caught a red one.).
When conducting the activity I try to reinforce some of the language used in the Let’s Go Fishing Animated Step-by-Step poem.

Precede the activity with a hand/arm massage with lotion to simulate putting on sunscreen (pretend play)
Use a switch-operated fan to simulate the breeze you feel when you’re out fishing.
Periodically mist the air with warm water to simulate ocean spray or simulate the act of getting a bit wet when netting the fish.

For more great ideas on the fishing game, check out this great web post on the website called One Perfect Day. 

The fishing game allows the team to address a multitude of goals in a shared activity. The Let’s Go Fishing ASbyS allows the team to ‘set the stage’ for a deeper understanding of the game. 
Happy fishing!

…’til the next post …  (new posts every Monday)

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©2016 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator