Skills Building: The Rainbow Fish (PK-2)

Written and Illustrated by Marcus Pfister

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

Pre Reading Questions

  1. What is something kind that you did or saw someone else do for another person this week?
  2. How do you feel when someone does something kind for you?
  3. How do you feel when you do something kind for someone else?
  4. What qualities do you think are important in a friend?

Post Reading Questions

  1. How did Rainbow Fish act in the beginning of the book? Was he kind? Did he have many friends?
  2. How did Rainbow fish’s behavior change?
  3. How did Rainbow fish feel after giving away all of his shiny scales?
  4. How did Rainbow fish show care for others in this story?
  5. What qualities of a good friend did Rainbow fish display by the end of the book?

Creative Enrichment Activity: Friendship Fish (Pre-K-2)

Overview: In the book Rainbow Fish, Rainbow Fish learned that sharing was an important way to care for others and be a good friend. Another way we can care for others is by encouraging them and giving them friendly wishes when things are difficult. Just like food nourishes our bodies, friendly wishes nourish our hearts. Today we are going to create our own rainbow fish and feed and nourish each other through kind words.


● Rainbow Fish template printed on cardstock. Download Rainbow Fish template.
● Aluminum foil cut into ~4” x 2” strips for each student
● Tissue paper – various colors
● Sharpie/black marker
● Glue sticks
● Scissors

Duration: 45-50 minutes (for staff: 5-minute pre-activity setup)

● 5 minutes: Introduce the activity.
● 20 minutes: Create Friendly Fish
● 10-15 minutes: Pass out “scales” and friendly wishes
● 5 minutes: Clean up
● 5 minutes: Reflect and share


  1. Staff should print templates on cardstock prior to the activity and pre-cut aluminum
  2. Introduce the activity using the book.
  3. Staff pass out tissue paper, fish template, scissors, and glue but do not pass out the foil yet.
  4. Students glue tissue paper to their fish template to create designs on their fish. Tissue paper can be:
    • Scrunched up to create texture or used in flat pieces,
    • Ripped or cut with scissors, or
    • Placed covering the outline (it will be cut out later).
  5. Once the fish is complete without the shiny scales, the students will then receive their piece of aluminum foil. Students will tear or cut their foil to create four to five “scales.”
  6. Group the students into “schools” of 4 or 5.
  7. Each student should say one friendly wish to each person in their group and pass out one scale to each group member as they say their friendly wish. A student might say, “I wish that you get to spend a lot of time playing outside this week” while handing a scale to a friend. This should be repeated with a new wish for each group member. 
  8. Each student will pass out four to five scales and will receive four to five scales. Explain that friendly wishes are not compliments, but hopes and wishes for another person.
  9. Some examples of friendly wishes are:
    • I hope you stay well and strong.
    • I hope you have a good day.
    • I wish all the happiness in the world for you.
    • I wish for you a week of fun and laughter.
  10. Once the students have received their friendly wishes and shiny scales, they may then glue their scales onto their own fish.
  11. Clean up the materials.
  12. Reflect as a group.

Reflection Questions

  • How did you feel while creating your fish?
  • What are some friendly wishes that others gave you?
  • What are some friendly wishes that you gave to others?
  • How did these friendly wishes make you feel?
  • How can you use friendly wishes to show care and be a good friend to others in school or at home?