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Lots of Ideas for a Salmon Unit

We've been learning LOTS about salmon AND we completed these fabulous salmon art projects (pictures below).

We Read Two Great Salmon Books:

The first book is called Salmon Forest by David Suzuki and Sarah Ellis. In this beautiful story, set in the Pacific rain forest, a little girl learns about the strong and important connection between the salmon and the forest.


Then we read Salmon Creek, by Annette LeBox and Karen Reczuch. In this book the salmon life cycle is explained through the voice and eyes of Sumi, a coho salmon. 

Salmon Creek is, in my opinion, probably the most gorgeous and poetic book you'll find for explaining the mysterious lives of salmon.



Salmon Video

We watched this fabulous video to learn more about the salmon life cycle:



Salmon Life Cycle Wheels:


Ideas and Freebies for a 1st Grade Salmon Unit: Salmon Books, Salmon Mural, Lifecycle Wheel, Salmon Art. By GradeONEderful.com

If you'd like to make your own, they're super simple. All I did was trace a circle, divide it into six equal sections, one for each stage of a salmon's life: 1) eggs,  2) alevin,  3) fry,  4) parr,  5) smolt and adult, and 6) spawning adult.  I combined smolt and adult so that we could fit the cycle into six sections.

After the kids illustrated each stage, they coloured a salmon picture on another circle (minus a piece for viewing) and then we attached the paper with those brads that let you spin the paper around. I can never remember the proper name for those!

Salmon Art

I always like to include some artwork with any unit we're working on, so I had the kids paint these beautiful native salmon:

Ideas and Freebies for a 1st Grade Salmon Unit: Salmon Books, Salmon Mural, Lifecycle Wheel, Salmon Art. By GradeONEderful.com

As you can see from the photos, they're pretty easy to do.

  1. Paint the background stripes in 3 different colours (the brighter the better). We used tempera paints.
  2. Colour and cut out a native salmon. 
  3. When the paper is dry, glue on the salmon.

If you'd like to try this, then CLICK HERE for a copy of the salmon template.  Be sure to colour the areas with a "B" black, the circle near the tail red, and all the rest is left white. It looks best coloured with felt pens, rather than crayons.

Salmon Stream Mural

We also made this mural after a field trip to a local salmon spawning stream:

Ideas and Freebies for a 1st Grade Salmon Unit: Salmon Books, Salmon Mural, Lifecycle Wheel, Salmon Art. By GradeONEderful.com


Ideas and Freebies for a 1st Grade Salmon Unit: Salmon Books, Salmon Mural, Lifecycle Wheel, Salmon Art. By GradeONEderful.com

Ideas and Freebies for a 1st Grade Salmon Unit: Salmon Books, Salmon Mural, Lifecycle Wheel, Salmon Art. By GradeONEderful.com

I hope you enjoyed this peek into our salmon unit.





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12 comments

  1. You and your kids have had a busy week. Did you get down to Goldstream to see the salmon in action?

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    Replies
    1. We went to Osborne Pond on Bear Mtn. It was a GREAT trip!

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  2. What an awesome video !! I learned a lot from it .. Never too old to learn.

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    Replies
    1. I learned some stuff, too, Audrey!

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  3. Those are some vibrantly painted salmon pictures. Great job!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tammy. I was very proud of the kids.

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  4. Those Sunset Salmons are AMAZING!!! Thanks for sharing.

    Cindy
    Granny Goes to School

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  5. The salmon paintings and mural are gorgeous! It's so neat that the kids got to go on a field trip to see them too. One of the reasons I enjoy blogging is finding out about the different things teachers teach about in different places. From my house I'm not sure how far we'd have to travel to even find a river that has water in it!
    Chrissy
    First Grade Found Me

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    Replies
    1. That's my main reason for this blog, too! It's great to have such easy access to so many wonderful ideas.

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  6. Do you have the template for the salmon you used available?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jessica. Yes, I just found it. I need to scan and upload which I'll do later today and then put the link in the post.

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