What could be more fun than a day full of Rainbow Fish activities? Children love this book with beautiful illustrations and a wonderful message. It is the perfect book for a Fun Friday. Whether you teach kindergarten or preschool, this book is great for teaching about the need for friendship and the joy of sharing.
The Rainbow Fish Book
This adorable book by Marcus Pfister, tells a lovely story about a beautiful, lonely and more than a little vain, fish. Throughout the course of the book, Rainbow Fish learns how to make friends by sharing his beautiful shiny scales and transforms himself into a joyful, selfless fish with lots of friends. To purchase this book on Amazon, click on the picture below.
Rainbow Fish Activities for Kindergarten
We suggest doing a whole day with your kindergartners. Try to interweave the Rainbow Fish throughout all subjects. Reading the book and doing an adorable art project is fun, but how much more fun (and creative) is it to have a Rainbow Fish Day? Your children will be happy to count, compare, add and eat rainbow fish for math. It’s also easier for students to write when they have exciting things to write about.
Rainbow Fish Literacy Activities
Rainbow Fish Reading Activities
Start the day with a discussion of what makes a good friend. Then read the book, making sure to stop along the way and ask some discussion worthy and text dependent questions. This ensures good comprehension. Here are some examples of the questions we use: Describe the Rainbow Fish. Why do the other fish turn away when the Rainbow Fish swims by? How does this make the Rainbow Fish feel? Why did the Rainbow Fish decide to give away some of his scales? How did it make him feel? How did the other fishes’ behavior towards the Rainbow Fish change throughout the book? Why?
Retelling the story either through discussion or the use of props, along with acting out the story are good Rainbow Fish comprehension activities. We like to use storytelling props. You can purchase some from Amazon by clicking on the picture above or from Lakeshore. However, you can always make your own props by using labeled pictures of the characters in the book.
Rainbow Fish Writing Activities
Having your students write about The Rainbow Fish is an important part of the day. Choose a writing prompt or template depending on the ability of your students. One writing prompt we use that works very well with kindergarteners is: What is your favorite part of the story? We suggest you have students retell the story first, then state their favorite part. Choose a part the students didn’t name and model writing about it. Once you’ve finished modeling say, “It’s time for you to write about your favorite part. I know it will be different from mine because nobody chose this part of the story.” Providing a word bank and a sentence starter to go along with the prompt helps students to be successful writers.
Here are some other writing prompts: What makes a good friend? Why did the Rainbow Fish give away his scales? Why did you like the story? Describe the Rainbow Fish. Describe one of the characters in the story.
Rainbow Fish Math Activities
One way to incorporate the Rainbow Fish during math is by using Pepperidge Farm Goldfish (Colors) as a manipulative. You can have your students do any of the following with their goldfish: count; compare quantities; add; subtract. Using goldfish as math manipulatives is fun and tasty. We love doing story problems with our students; the teacher gives a story problem and the kids use their manipulatives to find the answer. After doing several this way, the teacher can ask different students to make up story problems. At the end of the math session students get to eat their own goldfish.
Rainbow Fish Art Activities
No Rainbow Fish Day can be complete without an adorable art project. Here are a few that we think work well with young children. Each picture shows the supplies you need. Teachers, parents, nannies and sitters, be sure to model how to complete whichever Rainbow Fish art activities you choose to do with your little ones.
These two adorable fish can be made by downloading the free Rainbow Fish activites pdf (Fun Fish Activities) created by 4 Kinder Teachers and copying it on either white or blue construction paper. Students simply color the first fish with crayons, add a setting and then glue on an aluminum foil scale, that the teacher has pre-cut. The second fish is made by coloring the fish first, then glueing on pre-cut tissue paper squares and aluminum foil (pre-cut strips and scale).
This fun fish may take a little more teacher prep (depending on the ability of your children) then the last two. Using a blue paper plate, cut out a triangle to create the mouth and tape it to the back for the tail. Cut lots of different colored construction paper and aluminum foil rectangles. Students will cut the corners off the rectangles to create scales and glue them, along with the googly eye on their paper plate fish.
Rainbow Fish Snack Idea
Although snack time may not be every teacher’s favorite time of day, children love it! Why not make it fun and educational by having your students read and follow a recipe? We recommend posting a large kid friendly recipe like the one above, for the class to read together and follow step by step, when making their own Rainbow Fish snacks. Here is the recipe for a yummy Rainbow Fish treat.
Rainbow Fish Marshmallow Treat
- Large marshmallows
- Blue frosting (made by adding a blue food coloring to a can of white frosting)
- Rainbow colored goldfish
- Graham cracker crumbs (optional)
- popsicle sticks or lollipop sticks
- Put the stick in marshmallow.
- Spread the blue frosting on marshmallow.
- Dip the frosted marshmallow in graham cracker crumbs. (This step is optional.)
- Place the goldfish on the frosted marshmallow.
- Eat and enjoy
A Colorful Science Experiment
Here is a fun color mixing activity for your Rainbow Fish Day. The rainbow of colors that come from the following experiment will delight your students. Using the scientific method and having your students draw or write the conclusion will make this activity more rigorous.
You’ll need the following: a shallow dish, milk, food coloring, cotton swab or a toothpick, and dishwashing soap. Pour the milk into a shallow dish. Add the food coloring (one drop of each color) to the milk. Try to keep the drops near each other and in the center of the dish. Dip a cotton swab or toothpick into dishwashing soap. Touch the cotton swab in the center of the milk. Do not stir! Watch as the colors swirl and mix. To find out the science behind this experiment visit Steve Spangler Science. You can also watch this experiment on YouTube from SICK Science.
The Rainbow Fish Animated and Online
Don’t forget to show your students one of the many online versions of The Rainbow Fish book. Storyline Online has created a wonderful video of Ernest Borgnine reading The Rainbow Fish. It’s animated, free and online. You simply must share this heart-warming reading with your students. To learn more about Storyline Online, read our blog No Time for Story Time? Try Storyline Online.
Rainbow Fish Activities for Preschoolers
One last thing, Rainbow Fish activities are also great for preschoolers. With a little help, preschool age children can do most of the activities above. As long as you know the abilities of your students, you can easily match the activities to their level. Have fun!
More Fun Friday Ideas
For more Fun Friday ideas, read our blog, Make Every Friday Fun with Fun Activities for Kindergarten.
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