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Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th


Science, Biology, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Games
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus


The Fish Game

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  • In this game, students will learn how fishing practices and the number of fishing boats in an area can affect fish populations.
  • Players can choose between four scenarios and decide if they will fish and how many fish they will take on each turn, which will impact the fish population.
Teaching Tips


  • This game is an interactive and engaging way to get students thinking about fishing methods and sustainability. 
  • Students will learn about how different methods of fishing and cooperation between fishers can improve upon the problem of overfishing.
  • There is a trust factor measurement and a "broadcasting intentions" feature that can be used as an SEL topic to connect to this resource. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • In order to play independently, students should be able to read and comprehend a list of game rules. 
  • You may want to post the detailed content and rules for students so they have easier access to them while playing the game.


  • Younger students will need some guidance on the rules for the different scenarios and some pre-teaching about reproduction rates, population dynamics, and carrying capacities.
  • Have students work in groups and divide them up so that one group is doing each scenario and assign different strategies after they have tried it out a few times.
  • Cross-curricular connections can be made in social studies classes discussing cooperative practices in different cultures or how overfishing can crash fish populations that many people rely on for food.
  • This game will pair well with a reading-level appropriate article about fishing sustainability. After reading and discussing, students can play the game. 
  • Biology classes can use this as a hook or exit ticket for lessons about ecosystem balance, trophic structures, population dynamics, predation, or overfishing.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a game where students can fish in four different scenarios. Each scenario has rules on what fishing methods can be used, how quickly the fish population replenishes, and whether players can change their fishing methods over time. The game also includes an element of building trust and respect with the other fishermen in the game. The game illustrates the importance of using sustainable fishing practices, working together with others to make sure everyone has access to resources, and how humans and ecosystems can work together in a balanced system. After the students play the game, an explanation can be viewed that explains the different scenarios and has students think about what “winning” this game would look like in the real world. In other words, it steps students through how fishing can be done fairly for many groups of people while maintaining a stable fish population, as well as highlights the ways this stability can be lost. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Mathematics
    • The Number System (6-8)
      • 6.NS.A.1 Interpret and compute quotients of fractions, and solve word problems involving division of fractions by fractions, e.g., by using visual fraction models and equations to represent the problem. For example, create a story context for (2/3) ÷ (3/4) and use a visual fraction model to show the quotient; use the relationship between multiplication and division to explain that (2/3) ÷ (3/4) = 8/9 because 3/4 of 8/9 is 2/3. (In general, (a/b) ÷ (c/d) = ad/bc.) How much chocolate will each person get if 3 people share 1/2 lb of chocolate equally? How many 3/4-cup servings are in 2/3 of a cup of yogurt? How wide is a rectangular strip of land with length 3/4 mi and area 1/2 square mi?
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
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