New in BookWidgets: The Aquarium Widget!

This blog post was an April Fool’s Day joke. While the BookWidgets team has nothing against fish and we surprised ourselves that we could come up with so many great lesson ideas for a virtual aquarium, we have no plans to add an Aquarium Widget anytime soon. If you really want to apply the lesson ideas below, you can use the linked widget we used as our fake Aquarium Widget.

Over the past two years, students and teachers have experienced a lot of additional stress. Recent studies from Lummen JJ71 University have shown that looking at an aquarium is considered very calming for 97% of students. Tests with online aquariums showed similar scores.

That’s why BookWidgets is now launching the Aquarium Widget! With this new widget type, you can give students the peace of mind they deserve. The Aquarium widget is super easy to set up: just choose the size of the aquarium and select some species of fish before sharing it with students in your favorite LMS. Through the live feature, you can even track how long the students are enjoying the aquarium.

Aquarium widget

Student view of the Aquarium Widget

Besides just relaxing and enjoying the fish, you can also use this widget for teaching purposes. Be sure to check the 8 lesson ideas below.

Lesson ideas

1. Meditate 🧘🏻‍♀️

As described earlier, the purpose of the aquarium widget is to unwind, and you can apply that directly in your lesson. Ask your students to listen to the aquarium sounds and control their breathing.

2. Silence classroom mode 🤫

Project the aquarium on your classroom screen when students have to work individually in silence. As long as the aquarium is on, students have to be quiet.

3. Classroom Energizer ⚡️

(Don’t) touch the fish! Project the aquarium widget on the wall of your classroom or sport facilities. Put two students in front of the wall and ask them to touch the fish swimming by as fast as they can. They need to touch all the fish in the aquarium. If they missed one, they have to switch with another student in their team. The team that catches the most fish wins!

4. Virtual field trip 📸

Study the different species of fish, their characteristics and behavior during biology classes. Using their best David Attenborough nature documentary narration, have students describe what they see in the aquarium.

5. Practice counting & colors 🔢

These two lesson ideas are perfect for young learners to practice counting & colors.

  • Counting: ask your students to count all the fish swimming by during a 2-minute time period.
  • Colors: Ask your students to shout out the colors of the fish swimming by. Or… combine this with a bingo widget so students can tap the colors on their bingo sheet!

6. Virtual classroom pets 🐟

This aquarium has so many fish that students even forget what it’s like to have just one living classroom pet. It’s also a safe and ethical way to make sure your classroom pet gets all the attention it needs: an internet connection. Stream the aquarium widget on a separate computer screen so students can admire their classroom pet any time during the day.

7. Test your students’ patience ⏳

Ask your students to focus on the aquarium tank and shout out your name when they notice a shark swimming by.

8. Pee pee time 🚽

Play the aquarium about 20 minutes before you leave on a field trip. It will make sure every student goes to the toilet before the bus ride, so accidents will not happen.

How to create an Aquarium Widget

Go check out the new Aquarium Widget in our Widget Library. You can find it in the games section.

Aquarium widget

Step by step guide

  1. Log in to your account on;
  2. Click on the Create new widget button;
  3. Choose Aquarium, you’ll find it in the games section;
  4. Define the size of the aquarium (note that the Aquarium has a responsive design, so it also works perfectly on mobile devices);
  5. Select the species you want to see in the Aquarium;
  6. Click the Share button in the upper right corner, that’s it!

What’s next?

More features may be added in the future. We are currently considering the following extensions:

  • The possibility to add hotspot links to the fish, so students can click on them;
  • Text to speech with the sounds of the fish;
  • A brand new Reptile Vivarium Widget;

Do you have other suggestions? Please send your feedback to

Wrap up

How are you going to use the brand new Aquarium Widget in your lessons? Let us know on Twitter! - @ibookwidgets

Or share your best Aquarium lesson ideas in the Teaching with BookWidgets Facebook group so that in turn, you can inspire others!

Have fun! 🐟🐠🐡

Dimitri Bongers

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