30 - 45 minutes

Students will investigate the external characteristics of fish.


Background information about fish anatomy can be found in the Fact Sheet: Fish Anatomy.

Each student will require a copy of Student Worksheet: What’s a Fish? (1)

You will require a simple informative book about finfish. Some suggested texts may be found in the Recommended Resources section.

You will require a stack of Post-it notes if you choose to complete the Post-it note fish activity at the end of this lesson.

Western Australian curriculum

Science Science understanding Biological sciences ACSSU017
English Language Expressing and developing ideas ACELA1453, ACELA1454
English Language Text structure and organisation ACELA1447
English Literacy Interacting with others ACELY1788, ACELY1656


  1. Share one of the books from the Recommended Resources (below) with your class.
  2. Engage students in a discussion about what features made a fish a fish. Collate ideas on a (white/black/smart) board.
  3. Distribute STUDENT WORKSHEET – What’s a Fish (1). Students will fill in their worksheet with the features that they determined make a fish.
  4. (optional) Post-it note fish – As an alternative to completing STUDENT WORKSHEET – What’s a Fish (1), hand out Post-it notes and ask students to write one feature about fish on their note. Collate all of the notes on a sheet of card into the shape of a fish (the Post-it notes should be placed such that they all open the same way – these represent the fishes scales). You can draw a fish outline around the Post-it notes, giving the fish its fishy features, and a habitat.


Recommended Resources

Howell, I. 2015 Fact Cat: Fish, Wayland, Great Britain.

Johnson, R. 2017 First Facts: Fish, Steve Parish Publishing, Queensland.

Pfeffer, W. 2015 What’s it like to be a Fish? HarperCollins Publishers, New York.


Additional resources

Parish, S. 2008 Amazing Facts about Australian Marine Fishes. Steve Parish Publishing, Queensland.

Poster: Bony fish – external anatomy

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Bony Fishes, https://seaworld.org/en/animal-info/animal-infobooks/bony-fish




fish anatomy, features, characters, living things