Julie Sewell is a kindergarten teacher at the elementary school that my and Cathy’s boys attend (or attended in the case of my oldest son, Owen). She is an experienced teacher and we felt fortunate that two of our boys got to be in her full day kindergarten classroom. They both adored her and so do we. Each year she uses Marcus Pfister’s Rainbow Fish to kick start the year with her students, and then refers to many of the big ideas from the book throughout the rest of their year. Here she shares some of the resources she uses with her early learners. Do you have other ideas for kindergarten that tie to this beloved children’s book? Be sure to share them in the comments below!
My First Day of Kindergarten Have your kindergartners draw a picture of something from their first day to take home and share with their parents.
Rainbow Fish Welcome Letter This is a letter for parents presented in a Word document so that you can personalize it to your own classroom.
Fish Template This large (8.5 x 11) fish template can be used for many activities. Copy it on the back of the conversation page (below) to give students something to color.
Fish Color & Color Word Matching Activity This matching activity can be used as a center or a partner activity. Just laminate and cut apart both pages of cards. You may also want to use it as an informal assessment to see which students already know their colors and/or color words.
Rainbow Fish Shape & Color Hunt Directions These are Julie Sewell’s directions for how she uses the Shape & Color Hunt activity (just below).
Shape & Color Hunt Activity You will need two sets of these pages so that you have two of each shape/color combination (ex: two fish with yellow circles, two fish with yellow squares, etc.) We have left a few blank fish in case you need to create more cards with different colors or shapes. Laminate and cut apart the cards.
Rainbow Fish Friend Conversation Paper This page is to be used just after the Shape & Color Hunt with lots of guidance from the teacher. It will help your new kindergartners start to learn about new friends in the classroom.
The following two links (one in black & white, one in color) is a letter that Julie sends home with students as they take Rainbow Fish (a stuffed fish in her classroom) and a spiral notebook home with them. Pictured is Julie with one of her students sharing what he wrote about when he took Rainbow Fish and the journal home with him.
Rainbow Fish Counting Book A beginning counting book. Have students count the fish and write the numbers on each page. Then use the repetition in the book help students to practice reading.