Children are certainly the future, and teaching them about nature is a great way for them to make the connection between human beings and environmental impacts. Teachers or parents have the power to teach kids about healthy ponds. For example, pond aerator advice only comes if you ask for the knowledge, and kids need to be told to ask questions as well! The ways in which a pond operates can best be understood by going on a field trip. Here are some things that kids will learn once they start to show interest in the subject.
Take kids to see an example of a good fish pond. Hatcheries are the best options because the people who run it understand that young fish are the most vulnerable when it comes to clean and oxygenated water. Younger fish need to be taken care of closely. Point out that all of the fish look alive and healthy. Sluggishness is a sign of weakness caused by a lack of oxygen, in many cases. A healthy pond has fish with fins in tact, and they are brightly colored. They also behave naturally. The fish will quickly respond to any water disturbances which take place.
Now, show the children an example of a poorly oxygenated pond. This pond will show signs of stress all around it. For example, the fish will show extreme sluggishness. Many of them will be left gasping at the surface as they try to get more oxygen. Illnesses are much more likely as well. Pay attention to fish that have red fins or small white parasites called “ick.” Ick is highly contagious, and it spreads like wildfire from one fish to the next during stressful times. Porly oxygenated ponds will also contain large amounts of algae. It will flaot along the surface with a green or yellow film. Stagnant, unmoving water is another sign of trouble.
The best part of teaching kids about healthy pond networks, is taking a net to collect specimens. Kids are always fascinated by the things they are unfamiliar with. Take time to net examples of fish and frogs. The size and girth of the fish indicate whether or not they are healthy. Use a large dip net or a cast net. A cast net is the best method, but it can be tricky to throw. It requires a bit of strength and skill, but it can go out into the middle of the pond to get fish.
Teachers should use a fish tank as an example of poorly oxygenated, versus quality oxygenated water. Fish tanks are great because they provide a prism for kids to look through. The filter and bubblers on fish tanks behave very similarly to the aerators that are found in ponds. One of the best science lessons you can provide is for kids to understand the way nature uses oxygen the same way that human beings use it.