Fish Is Fish Lesson Plan
Vocabulary builder, discussion guide, and extension activities
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
Enhance your students' experience and understanding of Leo Lionni's Fish Is Fish with discussion questions, a vocabulary building activity, and art projects that ask students to engage with the artwork and text of the book.
- Fish Is Fish by Leo Lionni
- Whiteboard or chart paper and markers
For Extension Activities Art Projects
- White paper
- Cardboard or pressboard
- Peeled crayons
- Tempera paint
- Leaf samples
- Drawing paper
- Crayons, markers, or colored pencils
- Wallpaper samples
Discussion Guide: Talk About the Story
Help children focus on the similarities, differences, and friendship between the fish and the frog with the following questions.
- How were the fish and the frog alike at the beginning of the story?
- In what ways did they become different from each other as they grew?
- How did the fish feel when he heard about the many things the frog had seen?
- What happened to the fish when he jumped out of the water? What did he learn from this?
- Was the frog a good friend to the fish? Why do you think that?
Vocabulary Builder: Head Off on a Word Hunt!
Step 1: Send children searching for the action words (verbs) in Fish Is Fish! Note both past and present tense. Verbs students may find include:
Step 2: List the words on the whiteboard or chart paper as children name them.
Step 3: Invite children to choose four verbs from the list and write sentences using these verbs.
Extend: Depending on the skill levels of the children in your class, you may want to have them use the words to write a brief story.
Extension Activities: Mimic the Artist
As a class, review the story, taking note of illustrative techniques used in Fish Is Fish. The artist employed techniques that children can recreate in simple ways. Try one or more of these activities in your classroom.
- Have children create water scenes by placing white paper over a rough surface, such as cardboard or pressboard, and rubbing (peeled) crayons across it.
- Children might make leaf prints by painting leaves with tempera paint and pressing them on paper.
- For simplest effect, children can color with crayon over a previously colored area, reversing the direction of the strokes to achieve a crosshatched effect.
- After examining the birds that the little fish imagined in the story, children may wish to sketch their own fish-based animals. Help them draw basic fish and then add features such as tails, wings, horns, whiskers, and ears to turn them into animals the fish might imagine.
- Provide wallpaper samples and encourage children to design, cut out, and paste clothing onto the animals they have drawn.