Halibut Activity #3: The State Emblem?

The Alaska state emblem?


1. Divide into Groups
Distribute a copy of the Student Resource: All About Halibut to each student. Divide the class into these groups. Give groups time to read the information and then have them highlight facts about Pacific halibut they believe would be of interest to their assigned group. They should explain their choices at the bottom of the Student Resource. Have groups share their choices and explanations in a class discussion.

  • Fisherman
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Tlingit elder
  • Local Inn Owner

2. Halibut as State Fish
Based on their reading, have them work together, using the Student Handout: Graphic Organizer: Cluster Diagram, to assess the importance of the Pacific halibut to the state of Alaska.

  • Why might it be advantageous to make the Pacific halibut the state fish of Alaska? Explain.
  • Could this designation help efforts to protect the fish from overfishing? Why or why not?

3. Design a Campaign
Working in small groups, ask students to design a campaign to make the Pacific halibut the state fish of Alaska. The campaign should include the following components:

  • rosters
  • a press release
  • informational brochures
  • speeches for speakers who will carry the message to the public

Consider creating a cartoon halibut to act as a mascot for the campaign, slogans to keep the Pacific halibut in the public eye; and, a radio or video advertising skit to sell the idea to Alaskan voters.

4. Hold a Vote
Invite parents or another class to act as the "voting public of Alaska." Stage the campaign for your public and hold a vote: Will Alaska's state fish become the Pacific halibut? Tally the vote. The class can hold a victory party for themselves and their public or a "better luck next time" party to rally supporters to try again.

The actual state fish of Alaska is the king salmon. Discover as much as you can about this fish and its importance to the state. Compare your data on the King Salmon to the data on the Pacific halibut. Now, write a short op-ed piece for a state newspaper comparing the two fish and stating your opinion on the best fish for the job!


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