The Abby award-winning book "The Rainbow Fish," written and illustrated by Marcus Pfister, is a classic among children's literature. The story tells of a beautiful fish who starts off being vain but learns that through sharing and giving of himself, he can find happiness and friendship. The book is not only famous for it's moral, but also for its shimmering illustrations. When reading this tale, engage children in extension activities to help increase their comprehension of the story.
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Unique Fish Scales
Children learn that they are all unique, like the Rainbow Fish, through this extension activity. Draw a large outline of a fish with black marker and hang it on a wall. From construction paper, cut out fish scales for each child. After reading the book, hand out the fish scales and discuss how everyone is unique and special. Instruct the children to write their names and something about themselves on their scales. Have them decorate the scales with crayons and markers. Collect the scales and hang them on the outline of the fish and read aloud what is written on each scale.
Rainbow Fish Craft
Have children turn paper plates into Rainbow fish. Have children cut a triangle that extends from the edge to the centre of the paper plate and glue the shape to the back of the paper plate--the cut-out triangle will serve as the fish's mouth and the glued-on triangle will serve as the fish's tail. Instruct children to use watercolour paints to colour their fish. Provide them with pieces of tin foil; have them cut the tin foil and glue it onto their fish, creating shimmering scales like the fish in the book. Add a googly eye to the fish and the craft is complete.
Sharing is Caring
Highlight the moral of sharing in the story with this activity. After reading the story, have children write a list of ways that they can share with their peers and community. Invite them to share their lists with the class and display the lists in the classroom. Encourage children to act out the sharing activities they have written on their lists and each time they conduct one of the activities, have them record when, how and with whom they shared.
To fully comprehend a text, readers must be able to sequence the events that occurred in the order in which they happened. To increase comprehension of the story, have children sequence the events that occurred. Print out images from the book or write out sentences from different parts of the book. Jumble up the images or sentences and instruct the children to put them in the correct order in which they happened in the story.
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