Beacon Lesson Plan Library

NoneEdible System/Edible System Edible System

Lorna Carnley


This activity is a great way to start studying ocean life. Students set up a class aquarium and individual edible aquarium.


The student understands that a terrarium or an aquarium is a model of a system.


- Chart paper
- Markers
- [A Home For Hermit Crab] book,(Carle,Eric,Scholastic Inc,1987)
- Glass aquarium
- Gravel
- Filter
- Air pump
- Fish food
- Heater
- Chlorine drops
- Plants
- Fish
- Water
- Fish hiding place(example: castle, rock, treasure box)
- Clear plastic cups
- Nerds
- Blue gelatin
- Parsley
- Gummy fish
- Spoons


1. Purchase aquarium items needed in procedure step 11.
2. Purchase edible aquarium needed in procedure step 16.
3. Prepare gelatin for step 17 to the correct consistency.
4. Purchase or check out from the library a copy of [A Home for Hermit Crab].


1. Read [A Home for Hermit Crab] (Written by Eric Carle)

2. Go over life cycle systems.

3. Have students discuss living and non living things that live and or exist in the ocean.

4. Ask how many of the students already have an aquarium at home.

5. Discuss with studentís what it takes to keep the aquarium going.

6. Ask students what we would need in a classroom to set up an aquarium.

7. On chart paper write their ideas.

8. Show pictures of existing aquariums.

9. Ask students if they have left anything out that the aquarium needs.

10. Teacher and students then set up the class aquarium together.

11. Discuss with students while you are setting up each step of the aquarium.
Example: Gravel, hiding place, plants, filter, air pump, heater, water, fish, chlorine drops, and food.

12. Have children share what they think it takes to keep the aquarium going and the fish living.

13. On chart paper write their ideas.

14. Set up helpers to feed the fish and take care of the aquariums needs.

15. Explain to the students that they are going to make their own edible aquarium.

16. Pass out the following items to make the edible aquariums: clear plastic cup (aquarium), nerds (gravel), blue gelatin (water), parsley(plant), and last gummy fish (fish)

17. Teacher needs the chilled gelatin.

18. Have students then put their own edible aquarium together.

19. Teacher then assesses the finished product.

20. Allow those that have completed the aquarium correctly eat them.

21. Teacher should then assist the students that are in need of extra help.


Studentís edible aquariums.
Completion of the aquariums.
The teacher formatively assesses the studentís aquariums to make sure they understand a system. Using the studentís edible aquariums the teacher observes and discusses with the student why they added the needed objects in the real and edible aquariums and how they are needed in the system. The student's that continue to need help may draw a picture of an aquarium an write a short sentence to go with each item they draw to explain how it fits in the system.

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