Ashley Iglow and Marthe Spizman, JK 103
Fish tanks are a great way to teach students about life cycles! We are lucky to have a parent in class, who was able to help us set up the proper environment for fish and plants to thrive. This means setting up the tank and water before the fish arrive. Setting up the proper environment was tricky—especially when we are used to things being ready right away!
For a while, our tank was “dirty” looking. As a class, we learned that ponds and lakes are rarely crystal clear! If we just put tap water into the tank, our fish and plants would not have as good a chance at surviving. Natural aquatic habitats have lots of minerals, bacteria and small particles like soil/rocks that make the water a little murky.
We also thought spiritually about our fish tank. Morah Rena came in and helped us bless the tank by saying Shechechianu and Birkat haBayit. She gifted us a Hamsa with the blessing on it as well. The students shared with Morah Rena that we were thinking about some rules for the fish tank and she helped us see those rules as a B’rit –or covenant. The students will create a list of agreements for taking care of the tank and then sign the covenant with their fingerprints on the Hamsa.
We are so happy that we were able to mix science with Jewish ritual! Finally, our fish arrived! We got six “White Cloud Minnows” of two color varieties. The students are currently in the process of voting on team names for our fish. With this permanent ecosystem, JK students in the coming year can learn more about cycles and caring for our earth!