Have Fun with a Classroom Activity for the Rainbow Fishby Marcus Pfister

A favorite children’s book, The Rainbow Fish, tells the story of a fish with beautiful scales who learns to be accepting of others and share with them. This story helps children see that not everyone is the same; we all have things about us that make us special and unique.

After reading The Rainbow Fish with your classroom, try out this simple activity to enhance their memories of the moral of the story. Your students will also learn to get along with others and develop friendships among their classmates in the process.

The materials you will need are:

The Rainbow Fish book by Marcus Pfister

fish shaped template – one for each student

light blue construction paper



glitter glue 

iridescent wrapping paper or foil


Begin by reading the story with your students . Take time to discuss the various features of the story. The illustrations are beautiful with a watercolor effect and softened hues. The shiny scales on the Rainbow Fish draw the reader in, causing a person to understand why the fish was so proud of his skin. Find out from the children what the other fish might be feeling. Did they feel sad or jealous of the Rainbow Fish? Explore other emotions that the students might have experienced themselves in various situations. Next, ask the classroom what kinds of qualities they like in a friend. How can they be better friends to others?

Give each child a fish shaped template .Let them make scales for the fish by drawing rows of circles similar to the scales of the Rainbow Fish in the story. They don’t have to all be uniform either. Instruct the students to color the scales according to the colors they want, leaving about 3 or 4 blank. A section of the wrapping paper or foil can be distributed round the classroom. After cutting out enough circles to mimic the scales, show the children how to glue the “scales” onto the blank spaces, shiny side up. Cut out small, short strips of wrapping paper or foil for the tail and fins. Glue in the same manner. Allow a short time to adhere well.

Have the classroom cut out the whole fish and glue to the light blue construction paper. Encourage the children to draw what they think the Rainbow Fish’s home would look like. Consult the book for ideas.  Put on the finishing touches such as using the glitter glue to outline the Rainbow Fish’s body, air bubbles, or highlight some of the coral and plants. Proudly display the artwork of the students and let them explain what they liked most about the story.

This is only a sampling of the activities that you can do with your classroom and The Rainbow Fish Story. Use the same template in teaching math and following patterns for example. Whatever you decide to teach your classroom by following the Rainbow Fish story, it will be  full of fun and wonder.