Lesson plan

The Rainbow Fish

In this literacy lesson, students have the chance to explore feelings using The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. They will role-play, answer comprehension questions, and create a craft!
Need extra help for EL students? Try theA Rainbow of FeelingsPre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try theA Rainbow of FeelingsPre-lesson.

Students will be able to answer comprehension questions about a story and identify feelings.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
Fish Coloring Page
  • Show students the cover of the book Rainbow Fish. Ask students if they have ever heard this story before.
  • Ask students to identify ways that they are different from their peers, such as different hair and eye colors.
  • Now, tell students that today they will be listening to a story about a fish who was different then the rest of his friends.
(10 minutes)
(15 minutes)
  • Then, go through the story again using the book. Ask students to act out different parts of the story.
  • For example, when no one wants to be friends with Rainbow Fish, ask the class how he might feel. Then, have a student to stand up and show how they may feel.
  • When Rainbow Fish shares his scales, have a student identify how Rainbow Fish might be feeling and then act out this emotion.
  • Ask students to share if they would give a scale to a friend if they didn't have one.
(15 minutes)
  • Now, give each student a Fish Coloring Page and various different colors of paint.
  • Have students dip celery stalks into the paint to create scales of different colors.
  • When they are finished, add glue to a few scales and put glitter on them to represent Rainbow Fish's shiny scale.


  • Pair students struggling with the craft with a partner for support.


  • Have students act out the story from the beginning, middle, and the end of the book.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to act out their favorite part of the story.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students share with you their favorite part of today's lesson.
  • Ask them what kinds of things they share with their friends.

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