Aquarium Acrobats

Aquarium Acrobats lesson plan

What's swimming in front of your eyes? Are those swaying anemones plants or animals? Fill an imaginary aquarium with underwater acrobats!

  • 1.

    Visit a large aquarium and explore the exhibits, or study smaller ones in a pet shop. Find out which underwater creatures can live together, and which must be kept separate. Find out how live plants contribute to aquarium life. How are salt-water and fresh-water creatures cared for?

  • 2.

    Choose a recycled box, such as a shoe box, to make your realistic aquarium scene. Cut away any extra cardboard with Crayola®Scissors so it is easy to see inside the aquarium.

  • 3.

    Cut two matching holes in the top middle sides of the box. Insert a dowel stick into the holes. You will hang your Aquarium Acrobats from this stick.

  • 4.

    On the inside and back of your aquarium, use Crayola Crayons to draw ocean creatures and plant life. Press hard to make a heavy layer of wax.

  • 5.

    Cover your art area with newspaper. Paint the outside of your aquarium with Crayola Washable Kid's Paint and Crayola Paint Brushes. Inside, finish painting the underwater scene with fish, coral reefs, plants, and water. When you paint over the crayon, it

  • 6.

    Use crayons and Crayola Washable Markers to design more fish and sea creatures on white paper. Cut them out. Design the backs of the cutouts so that when they do their acrobat tricks they will be colorful. Punch a hole in the top of each one. Tie string t

  • 7.

    Spread Crayola School Glue on the bottom of the box. Cover with aquarium gravel or sandpaper while the glue is wet. If you like, glue on real seashells or other craft items to complete your aquarium.

  • 8.

    Glue blue plastic wrap across the open areas to look like glass in an aquarium. Wiggle and twist the dowel stick to see your Aquarium Acrobats in motion.


  • Students observe life in an aquarium.
  • Students research aquarium life, both plant and animal.
  • Children use the information they gather to design a realistic underwater scene in a diorama.


  • Students research how marine life differs from and is similar to land life. What kinds of species live in each environment? How do animals adapt to different living conditions? What characteristics do marine animals have for them survive?
  • Children create imaginary sea creatures. Then write about their creature-where will it live, how does it survive, what adaptations does it make for its environment?
  • Select a specific ocean depth, lake, or river habitat. Find out what life is found in this watery environment. Create a room-size aquarium with replicas of creatures that hang from the ceiling and plants that grow from the walls and floor. Design all life to scale.