30-45 minutes

Students will label the external features of a bony fish.


This lesson uses the fish print created in the Lesson: Gyotaku. Alternatively, if students have not completed the Lesson: Gyotaku or have used their fish print for another activity, a range of images of fish are available.

This lesson requires students to have access to non-fiction books on fish and/or the internet.

Related Resource:

Student worksheet: External fish anatomy – West Australian dhufish

Student worksheet: External fish anatomy – Pink snapper

Student worksheet: External fish anatomy – Barramundi

Student worksheet: External fish anatomy – Wahoo

Student worksheet: External fish anatomy – King George whiting


Western Australian curriculum

Science Science Understanding Biological sciences ACSSU043, ACSSU044


    1. Provide students with their Gyotaku print, or with a copy of Student Worksheet: External Fish Anatomy (for your chosen species).
    2. Engage students in a discussion about, or provide students with books and/or access to the internet to find out about, the external features of a fish.
    3. Allow time for students to label the following on their diagram:
      • Common name, e.g. Australian herring.
      • Scientific name, e.g. Arripis georgianus
      • External features of the fish:
        • Dorsal fin
        • Pectoral fin
        • Lateral line
        • Eye
        • Caudal fin
        • Mouth
        • Gill cover
        • Ventral (Pelvic) fin
        • Anal fin
        • Nostrils

Related Resource

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Recreational fishing identification guide, http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/Documents/occasional_publications/fop103.pdf

Additional Resources

Allen, G., 2004, Marine fishes of tropical Australia and south-east Asia, 3rd edn, Western Australian Museum, Perth.

Department of Fisheries, Western Australian recreational fishing rules, http://rules.fish.wa.gov.au/?utm_source=dof-website&utm_medium=website-promo&utm_campaign=recreational-rules

Hutchins, B. & Thompson, M., 2001, The marine and estuarine fishes of south-western Australia, Western Australia Museum, Perth.

Prokop, F., 2006. Australian Fish Guide. Australian Fishing Network. Victoria, Australia.


fish anatomy, features, external features, bony fish