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Learn and Play with The Rainbow Fish – Rainbow Fish Lesson Plans

Learn and Play with The Rainbow Fish – Rainbow Fish Lesson Plans

Be inspired to tell your stories and let your imagination be your guide with this classic must-read by Crockett Johnson.

Book: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Phister

Target Audience: Pre-K – 2nd grade

The Rainbow Fish is a story of selflessness, vanity, and the power of sharing your gifts, talents, and uniqueness with others.


Read the Book

Every great lesson begins with a great book! Spend some time reading and enjoying this classic story with your child. Let him/her delight in the shimmery scales on the page. Allow your child to ask questions, respond, and soak in the story.


Discussion Questions

  • What makes you feel important?
  • What makes you/someone a good friend?rainbowfish
  • Can the things that make us feel important be the same as being a good friend?  Can they also stop us from being a good friend?
  • What made the Rainbow Fish so special?
  • How did the Rainbow Fish act?
  • What did he do when other fish invited him to play?  Why do you think he did that?
  • Did the other fish like him?  Why not? Would you want to play with someone like the Rainbow Fish?


Bible Connection

  • Tell children that the story of the Rainbow Fish reminds you of a story in the Bible.  Read Mark 9:33-35
    • What were the disciples arguing about?
    • Explain that because each of the disciples wanted to be the greatest it was stopping them from getting along together.
  • Read Mark 10:43-44
    • What did Jesus tell the disciples they must do if they wanted to be the greatest?
  • What did the Rainbow Fish learn he had to do if he wanted to get along with others?  Did this make him the greatest/best fish?  What became the most important thing for the Rainbow Fish?
  • Relate this to things in children’s own lives and experiences.


Lesson – Puzzles

  • Call the kids back to the carpet area.
  • Pass out one puzzle piece to each child. (Or 2-3 if necessary, etc.)
  • Have the kids work together to put the puzzle together, each putting in their piece.
  • After the puzzle has been finished, say:
    • “We couldn’t have done the puzzle without everyone’s help. Every one of you had something we needed to make the puzzle work. Everyone is important and everyone is special.”
    • Remove one piece (something central to the puzzle’s picture), and ask, “Does the puzzle look the same without this piece?” And then re-emphasize how every child has something to contribute/share/give/ or something that makes them special and important, and that no one is more important or special than someone else.

Snack – Friendship Mix

When I read The Rainbow Fish, I want my children and/or students to know how important everyone is, and to understand that everyone has something to contribute. Friendship Mix is a simple and tasty way to reinforce this point. To Christmas-Crunch-608434_172x172make Friendship Mix, simply give every child a scoop of an ingredient to add to a larger community bowl. You can use a variety of crackers, dried fruits, sweets, cereals, etc. This is a very versatile snack ,and a great way to clean out your cupboard as well!

Allow every child the chance to contribute their ingredient to the bowl. Talk about how the mix wouldn’t taste as good without the raisins, or the Cheerios – that every ingredient made the mix special. Everyone played a part and had something to share



Start by printing out a fish template. You can find a bunch of great options for printable fish templates here. Give each child a template, and have him/her draw a picture of something a good friend can do. You can take a dictation and write down what the child says.

Older children can write a simple sentence, stating how they can be a good friend.

Glue the fish template to a piece of colored construction paper, and cut around the template to create a frame or colorful border.

Bekki Lindner

Writer, speaker,ministry leader, pastor's wife,mom of 4,lover of imagination,children's literature fanatic, and champion of mothers everywhere. Writer for Scholastic. #DisneySMMoms Also blog at:

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