A Fish Out of Water, by Helen Palmer

When a boy does not follow the directions on how to feed his fish, things turn into a big problem. This is a good book to use to introduce a new fish tank into your room, or to help the children notice the fish you have. It is also a reminder about the importance of following directions.

Materials

  • Animals for pet graph
  • Fish bowl and five simple fish
  • A live fish in a tank or even just a simple bucket

Vocabulary

  • Veterinarian (a doctor who takes care of animals)
  • Big, bigger, biggest/smaller, smallest

Before Reading the Story

Talk to the children about pets that they might have. Make a graph of pets that the children have. Use the animals for the pet graph but make sure to leave a space or two incase someone has an unusual pet.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement;  begins to make comparisons between several objects based on a single attribute.

Reading the Story

As the boy keeps moving the fish to different containers, ask what is happening (the fish is getting bigger). When the boy puts the fish into the bathtub and says this tub holds my father… ask the children what they think is going to happen. After the tub scene, let the children make some suggestions on what to do next.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to describe and discuss predictions, explanations, and generalizations based on past experiences.  AND Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation;demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

After Reading the Story

Continue your discussion about pets that the children might have. Ask them if they help care for their pet. (My Daddy and I walk my dog after we eat dinner. I put my cat in my room at night. My sister’s lizard has to have the light on when it is cold outside). Talk about how we have to be gentle with pets so that we do not hurt them.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; develops growing awareness of jobs and what is required to perform them.

Discovery

If you have fish in your room, this would be a good day to let the children record/draw the fish. Help them notice all the details of the fish (its fins, its little flippers. How he opens and closes his mouth). If you do not have fish in your room, consider setting up a tank or bowl. A beta fish is very easy and goldfish are not expensive. I have also gone fishing and brought in a 4-6 inch catfish for the children to observe for a day or two.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means, including discussion, drawing, maps, and charts.

Music and Movement

Sing Bubble, Bubble, Bubble, Pop! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTlbZL8XKa8   Make a fish bowl and five fish. With each verse remove a fish.

Five little fish are swimming in the water
Swimming in the water, swimming in the water
Five little fish are swimming in the water
Bubble, bubble, bubble, POP!
Four little fish are swimming in the water
Swimming in the water, swimming in the water
Four little fish are swimming in the water
Bubble, bubble, bubble, POP!

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

Ask the children to make themselves big. Now make themselves bigger, and biggest. Make yourself small, smaller, and now smallest. Make yourself long, longer, longest.

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

Blocks

Otto grows so big that he needs a very long and deep tank to hold him! Ask the children to use your blocks to build a tank that might hold Otto.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions.

Art

Give the children a copy of the fish bowl and encourage them to draw their own fish inside.  After they are finished with their drawing, ask them if they would like to tell you anything about their fish.  Write their response on the bottom of the page.  (My fish name is Sparkles.  I feed my fish just a little, my fish swims in the circle).

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation;demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

Library and Writing

Write each child’s name onto an index card.  Try to use the same size letters for each child.  Put the name cards on the table and encourage the children to put in order from shortest name to longest name.  For younger children just pick 2-3 names for them to put into order of shortest, the same, and longest.

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

Sand and Water

Water Play today.  Add measuring cups and bowls of various sizes.  Ask the children if they can guess which container will hold the most water? Encourage the children to count how many scoops of water it takes to fill a container or bowl. Encourage them to scoop and count.

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

Dramatic Play

Encourage the children to be animal owners for any stuffed animals you might have.  What does this animal need for food?  Where will it sleep?  Does it need any special equipment to help take care of it?  Can the child use his/her imagination to figure out what is needed?  (My dog needs a leash, can I use the red yarn?  My cat wants a toy, can I get the ball from the block center?  My tiger needs to be in this cubby/box because he bites).

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; approaches tasks and  activities with increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness.

Math and Manipulatives

Encourage the children to use building manipulatives today. As they build make comments about how big their structure is, can you build it bigger? Who can build is the biggest one on the table?

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

Outdoor Play

Pretend to be fish swimming in the water. Then do other animals that the children have as pets. Let the children suggest what other animal walks they would like to do.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; chooses to participate in an increasing variety of tasks and activities.  AND Physical Health & Development; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise to that enhance physical fitness.

Transitions

Make several shapes that you are working on (oval, rectangle, and triangle). Cut out the shapes in three sizes, big, bigger, biggest. As the children move to the next activity ask them to show you a shape and a size. (Kerry, can you find the big triangle, Roger can you find a bigger triangle)?

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

Resources

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Big Al, by Yoshi

Big Al is a fish that is very big and scary looking.  All the other fish stay away never realizing that he is kind and brave until one day…Big Al saves the day.

Materials

  • Camouflage pictures
  • Alphabet Fish page
  • Five little fish
  • 20 more big ugly fish
  • Individual picture of each child in your classroom
  • One index card per child

Vocabulary

  • Plowed (run right into someone or something)
  • Tremendous (great big)
  • Camouflage (to disguise or hide)

Before Reading the Story

Reading the Story

On the page when Big Al thought that he would never have a friend and something happened, stop and ask the children if they can guess what they think Big Al is going to do?  When you finish the story, ask the children if Big Al was a good friend, why? 

Language Development/Speaking Understanding; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes.

After Reading the Story

Talk with the children about how friends can help each other.  Mention any incidents that you have recently seen of one classmate helping another (At breakfast I saw Ryan help Michael to cut his waffle, Alison helped Ann to zipper her party dress in the dramatic corner).  Ask the children if they can think of a time when a friend helped them.  Ask the children what they should say to another person who helps them (thank you). 

Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; shows progress in developing friendships with peers.

Discovery

In the story, Big Al tried to camouflage himself.  Put out pictures of animals that are camouflaged for the children to look at. 

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Music and Movement

Sing The More We Get Together  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lldmkrJXQ-E

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

Do the chant, 2,4,6,8, Who Do We Appreciate?  Then add a child’s name and clap out the syllables.  2,4,6,8, who do we appreciate?  Ro-ger, Ro-ger, Ro-ger.  2,4,6,8, who do we appreciate?  Pri-scil-la, Pri-scil-la, Pri-scil-la.  Go around the circle and do everyone’s name.

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing ability to hear and discriminate separate syllables in words.

Finger play, Five Little Fish

One little fish alone and new

Soon she finds a friend and now there are two.

Two little fish swimming in the sea

They meet another friend and now there are three.

Three little fish swim along the shore

Soon they see a friend and now there are four.

Four little fish go for a dive

There they find another friend and now there are five.

1,2,3,4,5.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Blocks

Cut around pictures of the children and tape or contact paper each one to a small unit block.  As the children play in the block center they can use their friend pictures as part of their play.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; approaches tasks and activities with increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness.

Art

Finger-paint today.  As the children finger paint, have them make a handprint on a separate piece of paper.  When this dries, embellish.  Cut around and glue them all onto a large piece of blue paper.  Make a bulletin board, A School of Friends.

Creative Arts/Art; gains ability in using different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation.

Sand and Water

Put sand into the table today and then pour water on top. Add any plastic sea creatures/fish that you have.  The children can bury the creatures in the sand to hide and camouflage or pretend to swim them in the water. 

Creative Arts/ Dramatic PLay; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

Library and Writing

Give each child a copy of the Alphabet Fish Page and several crayons or markers.  Put a basket of magnet letters in the middle of the table.  Let the children take turns picking a magnet letter out of the bowl.  The children then look for that letter on their alphabet page and color it in.  Play until all 26 letters have been found.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating the names of letters with their shapes and sounds.

Dramatic Play

Encourage the children ask a friend to help with the zippers, buckles, and buttons on your dress-up clothing.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; increases abilities to sustain interactions with pers by helping, sharing, and discussion.

Math and Manipulatives

Cut out 20 fish shapes.  Make two sets of fish labeled 1-10.  Challenge the children to line the fish up starting with number one and going to number ten.  Are they able to identify the numbers?  For younger children use 1-5 and add dots that they can count.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Outdoor Play

Play Swimming in a School.  The teacher is the leader and the children follow as in Follow the Leader.  Swim around the tree, under the climber, on top of the bench, etc.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance physical fitness.

Transitions

Write each child’s name on an index card.  Hold up the card and ask whose name is this?  That child can then help name the letters before going off to the next activity.

Literacy/Alphabet Awareness; identifies at least 10 letters of the alphabet, especially those in their own name.

Resources