Aloha ʻĀina Activity: Fishponds



This activity is an excerpt from the Aloha ʻĀina curriculum created by the Pacific American Foundation in cooperation with the Hawai‘i State Department of Education.


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Fig. 1. Students learn about fishponds by building their own model.

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Image courtesy of Aloha ʻĀina


Fishponds were used to provide fish to eat for the community.


How do fishponds work?


Students build model fishponds in shallow pans and experiment with changing water levels outside the pond wall to simulate what happens with rising and falling tides.

Aloha ʻĀina Activity: Engineering Ingenuity

How did Hawaiians engineer shoreline fishponds to grow fish, while maintaining water quality and preventing siltation?


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Fig. 2. Students in Grade 4 explore the Ahupuaʻa.

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Image courtesy of the Aloha ʻĀina Curriculum

About the Aloha ʻĀina Curriculum

"Shaping the future, while preserving a heritage, the Aloha ‘Āina Curriculum provides Hawai‘i’s youth with culturally relevant lessons. Since 2005 the Pacific American Foundation and its curriculum writing team has developed a collection of unit and lessons plans that explore, reveal and explain the ahupua‘a land-management system and challenges students to become stewards and scientists who care for the land and preserve the traditions. ‘Āina, that which nourishes, encompasses land, ocean, heavens, land-based water systems, plants and animals. Aloha ‘Āina is a way of life that is evident in Hawaiian practices."


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Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawai?i, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.