Rainbow Fish Homeschool Lesson Plan

I love finding a free homeschool lesson plan that fits easily into our routine.  Whether we are taking some time off and need a fun supplement, or I just want to mix things up a bit and get out of traditional books, homeschool lesson plans like this one around The Rainbow Fish book are ideal. 

Creating a homeschool lesson plan around a favorite book is a great way to incorporate things your kids already enjoy in their education.  You can seamlessly transition from just reading at storytime into a full-fledged unit study or lesson that helps your kids with sensory projects, word recognition, spelling, and vocabulary skills.  We love The Rainbow Fish and thought it would be a great choice for a fun and easy homeschool lesson plan!

The Rainbow Fish Homeschool Lesson Plan

What does a good friend look like? What characteristics do they have? With this lesson, children will learn to identify what a good friend is and how to be a good friend themselves. Being a good friend is not always easy, and this is obvious in the book, The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.

We have created for you, a great homeschool lesson plan that follows the story and concept of friendship.  Adapt these ideas and suggestions to meet your homeschooling needs as desired.


Students will be able to identify the characteristics of a good friend.
Students will be able to practice being a good friend to others.
They will have a deeper understanding of friendship.
Students will have a deeper understanding of what it means to share.

Supplies Needed

Book, The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
Finger paints in assorted colors
Scrap paper
A sheet of miniature stickers for each child
Googly eyes

Step 1: The Rainbow Fish Homeschool Lesson Plan
To begin, do a read-aloud of the book. As you are reading, tackle tough words together and define any words they are not sure about. Take frequent pauses to get their ideas on what Rainbow Fish and his friends are thinking and feeling.

Keep thoughts simple and short. When the read-aloud is complete, take 5-7 minutes to reflect with the students about what stood out the most to them about the book and its characters.

More Rainbow Fish Activities

Characteristics of a Good Friend

For this activity, place a large poster board in front of the children. Ask them the question, “What does a good friend look like to them?” Have them close their eyes and think about this question. Their brains may take them to the thought of a good friend of theirs.

Naturally, they may want to name physical characteristics. However on the poster board, tell them you will only be writing descriptive words that don’t necessarily describe physical characteristics (hair color, eye color) but internal characteristics such as loyal, brave, etc.

Have each child contribute a word or two to this list. You can even look for some of these words in the book, The Rainbow Fish. Once all of the words are collected, ask them if any of those words describe them as a friend. Have them write on a piece of scrap paper the words that do. Allow time to share these thoughts.

How Sharing Feels

In the story of the Rainbow Fish, the fish decides to give his scales away instead of keeping them. This made him happy. Give each child a sheet of stickers.

Ask them how they feel having a whole sheet of stickers to themselves. Now, ask them how they would feel if they were able to share these stickers with others. Let them try doing exactly this.

While you may have a child who is hesitant or still does not want to share, help them understand that the happiness they feel over having the stickers will transfer to the person they give a sticker too. Wouldn’t it be lovely for that friend to feel that happiness as well?

Friends share with each other, and this activity models this. Forcing them to share can backfire though, so encourage but try not to push them.

Must-Have Kids Craft Supplies

Sick of hearing “I'm bored”? Keep these fun craft supplies on hand for this activity and creative play time!

Role Play

Have students think about a time that someone did not share with them. Then, have them recall a time they did not share with someone else. How did they feel? Try acting out some of their favorite pages from The Rainbow Fish.

Pair students up into small groups and give them time to study the book. A simple 1-2 minute skit is all they need to do in order to put themselves in a position such as the Rainbow Fish found himself in.

Rainbow Fish Lesson Plan & Craft Idea

Rainbow Fish Handprint Craft

Allow the children to make their very own Rainbow Fish! To do this, you will need the assorted finger paints, paintbrush, googly eye, and scrap paper mentioned above.

Rainbow Fish Handprint Directions

To make this craft, use a paintbrush to color the palm of their hand a solid color. You want to apply the paint to the underside of their hand, as they will be pressing it onto the paper like a handprint. If the children are careful enough, they can even try painting each other’s hands.

Use the paintbrush to apply a different color to each finger of the child.

Have the child press their hand firmly onto the piece of paper, leaving a hand imprint.

Turn the paper so the fingers look like the tail and the palm is the body of the fish.

While your paint is still wet, stick a googly eye on. It should stick, but if not just add a dab of glue.

You can add some air bubbles to jazz it up too!

That’s it! You now have your very own Rainbow Fish prints, all looking similar, yet each is unique with the handprint of each child.  

Once you are all clean, you can follow up with a snack if you wish. Rainbow Goldfish Crackers would be perfect, naturally!

Getting your kids excited about books and how they can influence their lives is always a goal in every homeschool lesson plan.  Take the time to invest in their imaginations with fun storytime lesson plans like this one.

More Homeschool Lesson Plans

Want more Rainbow Fish? We've put together a 15-page printable workbook to help preschoolers get ready for kindergarten!

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