Skills Building: Ish (PK-2)

Unit 13 Book - Ish

Written and Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

TEKS: Reading K.5(D); 1.6(D); 2.6(D); 3.6(D); 4.6(D); 5.6(D)

Pre- Reading Questions 

  1. Has someone ever criticized something that you were proud of? How did that feel?

  2. Does getting criticized for something you are proud of make you want to do it more or less? 

  3. If getting criticized makes you want to do something less, how could you change your mindset and try again?

  4. Have you ever criticized someone for their work and realized later that you hurt their feelings? How did it feel to know you accidentally hurt someone’s feelings?

Post- Reading Questions

  1. When we persevere and show perseverance, we try something again and work hard at it even when people might make fun of us. How did Ramon show perseverance?
  2. Ramon loved to draw, but his brother’s comment hurt his feelings. What could have happened if Marisol hadn’t encouraged him?
  3. What did Ramon learn from Marisol?
  4. Sometimes when we need to show perseverance, it is important to have people around us who give us encouragement and emotional support. Marisol gave Ramon that support. Who in your life gives you the support to try again and persevere?

Creative Enrichment Activity: Ish Paintings (PK-2)


Students will work to create an “ish” painting of their own. Once complete, they will crumple it up and find that no matter how hard they try to smooth it out and get rid of the wrinkles, it can never be undone. They will then recreate the painting or drawing to the best of their ability. This activity will teach how words can sometimes cause actions and feelings that cannot be undone but that it is important to always try again and persevere. 


  • Blank paper
  • Quick dry paint or markers
  • Tables

Duration: 30 – 40 minutes


  1. Have students sit at tables with enough space to create art.
  2. Explain to students that they are going to create their own “ish” paintings. The paintings will be made of lines and shapes (abstract).
  3. Pass out a sheet of paper and quick-drying paints or markers to each student.
  4. Allow students 10-15 minutes to create their paintings. Play a little background music to get their creative juices flowing. If a student says that they are done before time is up, encourage them to continue adding to their “painting.”
  5. Once time is up, have students return the quick-dry paints and markers.
  6. Allow students to hold up their paintings and share their masterpieces with their classmates.
  7. Next, have students pass their “ish” painting to the person next to them.
  8. Once they have all received someone else’s painting, instruct them to crumple it up, without ripping it, into a small ball.
  9. Now have them return the crumpled ball to the original artist.
  10. Instruct each student to try and smooth out their drawing and restore it to its original form.
  11. Students will then recreate their painting to the best of their ability

Reflection Questions

  •  How did you feel when you had to give your painting away? How did it feel to get someone else’s painting?
  •  How did you feel when you saw someone crumple up your masterpiece? How do you think the other person felt when they saw you crumple up their masterpiece?
  • How successful were you at restoring your painting after it had been crumpled up?
  • How did it feel to re-create your painting? Did it look exactly like it did the first time? Did you learn anything from your first painting that you changed in your second painting? 
  • How did you show perseverance in this activity? How do you show perseverance in your life?