Activity Plan Mixed Ages: Fish Art and Fish Tales
Children will dive into learning with these activities!
- Grades: PreK–K
Objective: Children will use fish as a theme to encourage creative thinking, math, science, and language and literacy skills.
- nonfiction and fiction books about fish including Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister (North-South Books, 2000), Fish Counting by Arthur David Zoller (Charlesbridge, 2000), What is It Like to Be A Fish? by Wendy Pfeffer (HarperCollins, 1996), and Coral Reef by Susan Canizares and Mary Reid (Scholastic Inc.)
- drawing and collage materials including paper, crayons, markers, and tempera and watercolor paints, sequins and buttons, yarn, colorful paper, fabric or wall paper scraps, glue sticks, and child safety scissors
- clipboards for observational drawings
What Do We Know About Fish? Introduce the fish theme by inviting children to share what they already know about fish. Create a language experience chart to record their comments.
Fish Tales. Collect a variety of nonfiction and fiction books about fish or fish characters and place them in the library and science area. Read stories to the class followed by book talks and related activities.
Use nonfiction books to help children learn facts and information about fish. Develop charts with the group to record factual information they learn from the text. Give children drawing materials and invite them to draw fish. Encourage them to use pictures of fish as a resource while they draw. Encourage them to use descriptive words to describe the parts of the fish and the names of the fish they draw.
Read fiction books to develop additional literacy skills. Invite children to look at the cover illustration and predict what the story will be about. Start reading the story and before completing it, ask children to predict the ending. Then have them retell the story, describe it in sequence, and relate it to personal experience or other books they have read.. Give children art and writing materials so they can create their own fish character and adventure story.
Ask children to photograph and draw fish. They can draw fish in a classroom aquarium or plan a field trip to a local fish store. Divide children into small groups led by an adult. Have the adults talk to children about different fish they are observing, encouraging them to describe the similarities and differences among the fish. Which is the longest fish and which is the smallest? Which fish is the most colorful or the roundest? What other words can they use to describe the fish they are observing? Give each child a clipboard, drawing paper, and colored pencils. Ask children to draw one or more fish they find interesting or a fish from their own imagination. Show children how to use a camera to photograph the fish.
Invite children to create a language experience chart to record information they learned from their observations and to share their observational drawings. When the photographs have been developed have children match the photos with their drawings. Find an area of the classroom to display their drawings, photographs, and charts.
Curriculum Connection: Creative Thinking
Fish Collage Mural. Invite the class to create a fish-collage mural. Invite a group of children to paint a large sheet of mural paper with colors to represent water. Hang the water? on a wall where children can reach it easily. Place the suggested drawing, painting, and collage materials in the art area and ask children to create fish to place in the water. Encourage children to use a variety of materials to create their fish. Keep materials available in the art area so children can continue to add fish to their collage.