• Views 386
  • Favorites
Photo by Karsten Winegeart via Unsplash

Database Provider




6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Biology


110 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Hawai'i


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Sustainability: Implementation of Hawaiian Fishponds

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Apr 19, 2024
Ask a Question


In this lesson, students learn the connection between sustainability and survival, and the importance of Native Hawaiian sustainability practices.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students play a collaborative fishing game to explore the connection between sustainability and survival.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students learn about the term sustainability and about Native Hawaiian sustainability practices for survival by learning about Native Hawaiian fishponds.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students develop a presentation on their solution for overfishing based on the information that they learned about Native Hawaiian sustainability practices.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson aligns with Hawai’i’s Nā Hopena A'o HĀ-BREATH Framework.

  • Students collaborate as they play a game to explore fishing and sustainability.

  • Students have a choice in how they demonstrate what they learned.

  • Teacher provides clear guidance about the expectations for the presentation using a rubric that students can also use as a guide.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers should reassure students to not feel guilty about small-scale fishing with their families. The purpose of the lesson focuses on the issue of overfishing and sustainable practices as a solution.

  • Teacher should set up The Fish Game before class begins based on class size and total number of groups. Each group should have an envelope with 20 cutout ahi fish (fish templates are provided in the Student Document) and a sheet of blue paper to represent the ocean. The sheet of blue paper is optional.

  • During The Fish Game, teacher should display the slide from the Teacher Slideshow that explains rules and the goal of the game for easy student reference.


  • A digital version of The Fish Game can be accessed here.

  • The Investigate and Inspire sections can be taught on separate days or class periods.
  • In the Inspire section of the lesson, teacher can determine the number of required resources and other presentation requirements.

  • Students can work independently or in pairs for their presentations.
  • Optional field trip: Take your students to He’eia Fishpond located in Kaneohe, Hawaii to restore the fishpond ecosystem.

  • Optional extension: Students can research and share arguments against sustainable fishing practices, evaluate the claims using what they have learned about the importance of sustainability, and write a stronger case for why sustainability is essential.
Scientist Notes

The significance of developing sustainable practices in our environment is discussed in this lesson. Students will get profound insights into the best fishing techniques, play a fishing game, and develop sustainable fishing solutions that Hawaiians might use in their fishponds. The lesson materials underwent a rigorous evaluation and passed the science review procedure.


Primary Standard

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
Related Resources


Login to leave a review