science education resource

For K-12 Students • Educators • Homeschool Families • Naturalists

Matching Body Parts – Tropical Fish

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Using tropical fish, students will match the head, front fin, back fin and tail with the right fish. This helps students recognize patterns and match edges to make complete pictures. It is meant to improve motor skills and pattern recognition, while enjoying the sense of puzzle completion and learning about animals.

Applying teaching pedagogy, this simple activity addresses pattern completion, reasoning by analogy, serial reasoning and spatial visualization, measuring a student’s nonverbal abilities including critical thinking and problem solving using nonverbal reasoning skills in preschool to kindergarten aged children.

• printed page with animal pieces and page with animals named for later discussion
• scissors
• access to school laminator

1) Copy, laminate and cut out the pieces for 4 tropical fish.

2) Mix them all up in a pile. Have single, paired or small groups of students build and name the 4 animals.
3) Once they are done, talk about the 4 animals, their startling colors and how these help them in their habitat.

Matching Body Parts – Tropical Fish

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Citing Research References

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When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows.
Author Last Name, First Name(s). "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. Additional significant descriptive information. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Day Month Year of access < URL >.

Here is an example of citing this page:

Amsel, Sheri. "Matching Body Parts – Tropical Fish" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2023. March 21, 2023
< > has more than 2,000 illustrated animals. Read about them, color them, label them, learn to draw them.