Fish Eyes-a book you can count on By Lois Ehlert

Fish Eyes is literally a book for counting plus one. The pages are full of bright colorful fish that jump, smile, and flip. The book also introduces words like fantailed through cheerful illustrations.


Pictures of Eye of an Animal cards

Fish Eye pattern

Yarn, magnets, and paperclips to make fishing poles




Before Reading the Story

Tape several pictures of fish onto the wall where all the children can see. Ask the children if they know what these animals are called? Where are they found? Explain to the children that fish come in many different shapes and sizes. Look at the pictures and talk about the scales, the fantails, the stripes, etc.. Ask the children if they ever eat fish, do they like it? Let them share any information they may have about fish. (I have a fish tank at my house and it has little blue fish in it. I went fishing with my Papa. You have to squish the worm onto the hook.).

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; grows in eagerness to learn about and discuss a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks. AND Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Reading the Story

As you read the story, stop on the different pages to point out new vocabulary words. Striped fish just like Anar’s shirt. Spotted like my arm that is spotted with freckles. Fantail, point to the tail and then the tail of the fish on the wall. Do you see any others with a fantail? Flashy-look at Brandon’s shirt, it is very bright and flashy. For words flipping and darting, use your hand to show what these actions look like.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.

After Reading the Story

Ask a child to stand up in front of the group. Ask the rest of the children,”How many children are standing”? Ask them , “how many will there be if you add one more”? Do and then recount. Continue asking one more and then counting to see if correct. Do till 10 and then have all the children sit back down. Now ask two children to come up front, how many will there be if we add two more, took one away, etc..

Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increasing abilities to combine, separate and name “how many” concrete objects.


Print out the animal eyes and the animal pictures. The children then match the correct eye to the correct animal.

Mathematics/Patterns & Spatial Sense; shows growth in matching, sorting, putting in a series, and regrouping objects according to one or two attributes such as shape or size.

Music and Movement

Sing Bubble Pop!

Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increasing ability to count to 10 in sequence and beyond.

Play the song Baby Beluga and encourage the children to dance and sing along with.

Creative Arts/Movement; expresses through movement and dancing what is felt and heard in various musical tempos and styles.

Teach the children the song and actions to Roll Over the Ocean

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; begins to express and understand concepts and language of geography in contexts of the classroom, home, and community.


Tell the children that you have made a fish game for them to play in blocks today but first they must build a fish pond. Make fishing poles with rulers, pencils, or sticks and pieces of yarn with a magnet attached. Place the fish shapes in the pond with a paperclip attached near their mouth. The children try to pick up the fish using the magnet on the fishing pole. You can colr the fish depending upon what concepts you might be working on (color, letters of the alphabet, numbers, children’s names, etc..

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads and using scissors.


Place the Drawing a Fish directions on the table and encourage the children to practice drawing fish. Once they have drawn a fish, encourage them to embellish it.

Creative Arts/Art; progresses in abilities to create drawing, paintings, models, and other art creations that are more detailed , creative, or realistic.

Library and Writing

Hang the pictures of the fish in the center for the children to look at and discuss. Ask them to find common properties and differences among the pictures.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops increasing ability to observe and discuss common properties, differences and comparisons among objects and materials.

Sand and Water

I have used a day that we read about fish to clean our classroom aquarium. We put the goldfish in the water table and talk about how to care for the fish for the day. I have allowed the children to”pet” the fish by gently putting their clean hands into the water and touching the fish. My classroom children have all really enjoyed this activity along with helping carry water to and from the sink for the aquarium.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; develops growing awareness of jobs and what is required to perform them. AND Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; chooses to participate in an increasing variety of tasks and activities.

Dramatic Play

As the children play in dramatics today, ask them if it is ok to let another child come into the center. Use your center signs to remind the children how many are allowed at one time and is there room for one more?

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to make one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Math & Manipulatives

Use the fish pattern and make a sheet of red, blue, green, and yellow. Cut the fish out and use for pattern play.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances abilities to recognize, duplicate, and extend simple patterns using a variety of materials.

Encourage the children to use the fish to measure the length of the table, their friend, from here to there.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows progress in using standard and non-standard measures for length and area of objects.

Outdoor Play

Bring out the parachute. Have the children hold on to the parachute handles. Loudly call, “I wish, I wish, I wish I was a ______/(color on the parachute) fish! All the children touching that color run under the parachute and back out. The rest of the children make waves by moving the parachute from knees to shoulders.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in following simple and multiple-step directions AND Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games and using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive ort directive.


Say the following to each child as they move to the next activity. “I wish, I wish, I wish I was a _______?name an animal. The child names an animal and then does the animal walk, movement to the next activity.

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.


About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.