As part of their unit on fish, Upper School zoology students were learning to identify body parts, the lateral line and different of types of scales. In art, the students were starting a unit on linocuts (block printing in relief on carved linoleum, inking it, and then pressing it with paper), which is very similar to Gyotaku fish prints.
Science teacher Robin Greig and art teacher Will Hegler decided to connect their two lessons (and disciplines) through fish printing. After the students identified the parts of the fish, Hegler used the fish to make prints as an introduction to the lesson on linocuts.
As a result, the students were able to use many different skills and apply what they had learned in both classes in a multisensory lesson.
Gyotaku comes from the Japanese word for fish “gyo” and rubbing “taku.” The practice dates from the mid-19th century when fishermen used it to record their catches.
Photo: Trey Lamb with his fish print