Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Something Fishy Going On!

On Monday we encountered some strange creatures from the deep - an arrow squid, monkfish head and a Japanese gurnard. We were given the option to write a transactional text or a poetic text. Enjoy some examples of each.

Here are Tvisha's and Brianna's arguments (Transactional) Which side do you belong on?

Fish in Room 3 by Tvisha

Spotted gurnard, monkfish and arrow squid are all commonly found in the sea waters surrounding New Zealand and Australia. On Monday however these sea creatures found their way into our classroom for a writing experience. The children in Room 3 had very different reactions to the fish, many people wondered whether bringing in the fish was a good idea? 

I believe strongly that bringing in the fish was a good idea, firstly the fish provided an interesting experience to write about rather than the usual ‘what we did in the holidays’. However some people (like Brianna, Moksha and Siya) may disagree and say this was a bad idea because of the smell that the fish left behind in the classroom, although it’s true there was a bad smell, opening the windows and using air freshener soon got rid of the smell.

Moksha and Siya may argue that we could learn about the anatomy of a fish or a squid on youtube instead of in real life since it is gross looking at in front of us rather than on the screen. However I believe it is important to experience things in real life and not just through screens. 

As the above evidence shows, it was a fabulous idea to bring fish into the classroom. In the future I recommend that Mr Bainbridge should definitely bring in more dead animals for us to cut open and explore for writing.

Fish in Room 3 by Brianna.

Spotted gurnard, monkfish and arrow squid are all commonly found in the sea waters surrounding New Zealand and Australia - they should however never be found in a primary school classroom. On Monday Mr Bainbridge brought in the above sea creatures for a so called ‘writing experience.

I believe strongly that this was a bad idea. Firstly bringing in a fish made the classroom smell like being in a trash can, and it distracted people from working in the classroom and next door and that’s not only how it can distract people from working, it’s how people are jumping all over the place and screaming. However some people (Mr Bainbridge) may argue that bringing in a fish would help provide an interesting experience for us to write about rather than writing about the weekend or holidays.

Another reason Mr Bainbridge may have thought bringing in the fish was a good idea was that he was trying to teach us how to fillet a fish or prepare a squid. However we could learn those skills from Youtube without any of the mess.

As the above evidence shows it was a bad idea to bring fish into the classroom. In the future I recommend Mr Bainbridge should not bring any dead fish into the classroom. He should instead bring candy and chocolate and let us write about that instead.

Here is an example of a recount by Charlotte (poetic)

“Urgggggh it’s guts are everywhere" Kristy screamed with a disgusted look on her face. Terrified children started running round the classroom like weirdos. The pong of fish made me want to throw up. With a swift strike Mr Bainbridge chopped open the slimy fish and handed the head to Sativa. “Ewww look what Sativa’s doing!”. Peering over I caught a glimpse of Sativa poking her finger inside the monkfish head and pushing out the eye. Holding a GoPro with one hand I reached out and picked up a small sack of fish eggs. I looked down into the monkfish mouth dragging my finger around I felt a sharp row of teeth and quickly pulled my hand away in shock. I looked over in horror to see Mr Bainbridge confidently placing an arrow squid onto the chopping board. “No not another one” squealed Alexus, looking if she was about to puke.

Mr Bainbridge grabbed the Gurnard and dropped it onto the chopping board. The fish had razor sharp fins sticking out of it. The gurnard had dark brown chocolate spots which sat on top of murky green skin. Quickly Mr Bainbridge held up the long thin sharp knife and brought it back down slitting the sides of the fish. Once again he handed it to Sativa to peel off the rest of the spotty skin. Leaning over the crowds of people I leaned out and poked the fish eye Sativa popped out. The eye was clear and hard and was shaped like a sphere.

Once the squealing stopped we started to pack up, placing the corpse into tip top containers. I rushed to the bathroom and drenched my hands in soap. Walking into the the classroom I gave the hand sanitiser a workout.  Any remains of what had just happened were covered up with a thick layer of  ‘aqua mist ’. Would you have liked to spend your Monday morning playing ‘operation’ with dead fish?

Recount by Joshua (poetic)

“Squelch!” Dark red liquid splattered all over the chopping board. A beheaded body lay limp, blood flooding out. A sharp, shiny blade slid through the belly. Intestines tumbled out. In Room 3, Mr Bainbridge brought in a monkfish head, a gurnard and an arrow squid. We were doing this for ‘Writing’ and so far, it didn’t look like what it said on the board.

The table was soon painted red like a fire hydrant with the gurnard’s blood. The fins of the gurnard opened up like peacock feathers to reveal shimmering colours. The head was sandpaper and the fins knives. Black spots speckled the pinkish skin. Mr Bainbridge showed us the gills and the sharp spikes near it’s head. A big, black eye surrounded with yellow stared out, not seeing anything.

The time had come to bury the deceased. Squid and fish guts were cruelly stuffed into a plastic bag. Blood was wiped off the chopping board and the air was freshened using deodorant. Suyash finally came back into the room after a long time hiding out of the classroom. I mean, who wouldn’t rush out when your teacher is dissecting fish?

And finally a guide to preparing gurnard from Harrison (transactional)

How To fillet A Japanese Gurnard

The Japanese or spotted gurnard is a commercially fished species caught around Australia. The gurnard grows to approximately 50cm and is rich in potassium and calcium. This is how to fillet a gurnard.

What you will need: A cutting knife, a chopping board, an adults help, an apron, a pair of plastic gloves, a pair of tweezers and a Japanese gurnard.

  1. First put the raw fish on the chopping board.
  2. Secondly use a knife to cut off the fish head from the gills and cut the spiky fins from the body, you can tell an adult if  you need any help to cut it.
  3. Next run the knife alongside the spine without cutting into the back bone.
  4. Then you can use a pair of tweezers or fish pliers to take the small bones out.
  5. After that make a small cut at the edge of the fillet and slide the knife in.
  6. Hold the skin and keep the knife at a 45 degree angle and wiggle the skin free from the fillet.
  7. Then repeat the same thing one more time on the other fillet.
  8. When you are done you will have two fillets ready for eating raw or cooked.


  1. Great writing of interesting fish. That really looks cool even the slimy arrow fish! Keep the good work!

  2. A great range of writing, Room 3. I enjoyed the way you all took something different from the smelly, squelchy experience.