This fishbowl is amazing.
I dug it out of my classroom closet before I left for the summer. It was in there because for a while, we couldn't keep the poor lil' guys alive (I suspect we were adding too much water conditioner). So I cleaned it, washed off the smooth stones and scrubbed the little plastic plant. But the plastic plant bothered me a bit. Everything else in there was natural.
So, while I was up at my parent's lake house for the weekend, I snatched some type of water grass and put it into a plastic water bottle and set it on the mantle to take home. My dad was not happy with me when he took a drink out of it. I, of course laughed and teased him, only to accidentally take a swig out of it myself when I got home. Karma...blech.
While we were skimming seaweed, we also plucked some water lilies for our water feature in the front yard, so it should be interesting to see how they both fare. Especially considering those kinds of plants can cost over $40 at the garden center!
But anyway, back to the bowl.
It is large, round, and is made of (gasp!) glass. It is intriguing to the children. The water is crisp and clear and the stones are colorful. When light filters through it, it glimmers. It is also intriguing because it magnifies the objects inside: bubbles and scales, fins and eyes.
I place it prominently in the classroom, under a skylight on a built- in, stand-alone bookshelf. From there, the children can see the bowl from all angles. They can press their noses up to it. They have even wrapped their arms around it a time or two for a full bodied tactile experience.
Sure we learn about science from this fishbowl, but mostly we're interested in it because it's a Thing of Wonder.