One Smart Fish - Evolution & Inheritance

One Smart Fish by Christopher Wormell provides a meaningful context for learning about adaptations and evolution. The story focuses on 'one smart fish', who even though he wasn't the biggest and boldest was the cleverest.  What this fish wanted more than anything else was to walk upon the land, so  invented something amazing – feet! This idea didn't catch on immediately but after a few hundred million years it did  and other creatures evolved until you and I got here.  This story can help to support learning about the following:

• explore how living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago

• recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents

•  identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.

The rich images are equally as useful as the concepts within the story. The story begins by showing us the breadth of diversity within the fish world.  From the smallest fish to the largest shark. Very clearly the author introduces the reader to the idea that life on land evolved from the oceans, an enormous concept simply communicated. Meaning that this book is a great starting point from which children might begin to explore evolutionary change over time.

Key scientific vocab: evolution, adapted/adaptation, characteristics, vary/variation, inherit/inheritance

Other fiction books on a similar theme:

Ravenwood – Andrew Peter

The Arrival  - Shaun Tan

Our Family Tree – Lisa Westberg Peters

Dogs – Emily Gravett

What Mr Darwin Saw – Mick Manning & Brita Granstrom

Dear Olly  - Michael Morpurgo

Amazing Animal Journeys  - Chris Packham

This book, published by Millgate House Education is full of practical ideas for bringing this topic alive in your classroom. Exploring concepts such as variation,natural selection, adaptation, population change over time and evolution. The activities are simple to follow and easy to resource.