ALEX Lesson Plan


The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Charles Clemmons
System: Cullman County
School: Cullman Child Development Center
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 5522


The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister


This is a reading lesson for special education/early elementary students. This lesson helps students with their reading skills as they learn about generosity.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
CE (K-12)
15. Generosity
ELA2015 (K)
1. With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text. [RL.K.1]
a. Make predictions to determine main idea and anticipate an ending. (Alabama)
ELA2015 (K)
3. With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story. [RL.K.3]
ELA2015 (K)
7. With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts). [RL.K.7]
ELA2015 (K)
9. Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding. [RL.K.10]
ELA2015 (K)
38. Begin to demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. [L.K.2]
a. Capitalize the first word in a sentence and the pronoun I. [L.K.2a]
b. Recognize and name end punctuation. [L.K.2b]
c. Write a letter or letters for most consonant and short-vowel sounds (phonemes). [L.K.2c]
d. Spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships. [L.K.2d]
ELA2015 (1)
1. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text. [RL.1.1]
a. Make predictions from text clues. (Alabama)
ELA2015 (1)
2. Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson. [RL.1.2]
ELA2015 (1)
3. Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details. [RL.1.3]
ELA2015 (1)
7. Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events. [RL.1.7]
ELA2015 (2)
1. Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text. [RL.2.1]
a. Infer the main idea and supporting details in narrative texts. (Alabama)

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to summarize story details and relate them to the character trait of generosity.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to describe characters from a story. Students will be able to explain cause and effect situations in a story. Students will be able to make simple predictions about events in a story. Students will be able to make simple character comparisons.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

The book, The Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister; graphic organizers, paper plates, stapler, paint, glitter, blue paper, shiny paper, glue, scissors, sentence strips, overhead projector

Technology Resources Needed:



1.)Begin lesson by asking students "Have you ever had something you had to give away?" Encourage students to share experiences.

2.)Have students draw pictures of the following situation: You have only one piece of candy and someone asks you for it. Draw a picture showing what you would do. Allow students to share pictures and comments.

3.)Tell students that you are going to read a book about someone who had something that others wanted. Show students the cover of the book and discuss.

4.)Read the first page description of Rainbow Fish. Use a graphic organizer to have students brainstorm words or ideas that describe Rainbow Fish.

5.)Continue reading, showing students pictures, through starfish telling Rainbow to go see the octopus.

6.)Use graphic organizer to describe the cause and effect of Rainbow Fish refusing to share his scales.

7.)Continue reading story through Rainbow Fish giving Little Blue Fish a scale. Students will use a graphic organizer to describe this event, to write a sentence and/or draw a picture to depict the event, and then to write a sentence and/or draw a picture making a prediction about what they think will happen next in the story.

8.)Read remainder of story and discuss.

9.)As a class or individually, use a graphic organizer to describe Rainbow Fish at the beginning of the story and at the end of the story and what caused him to change. Discuss real life application (generosity).

10.)Have students complete an art project. Use paper plates to make a Rainbow Fish. Cut triangle shaped wedge (fish mouth) and glue to opposite side (fish tail). Use paint, glitter, blue paper, and shiny paper to make scales on the fish.

11.)Use sentence strips to have students complete the sentence: "Rainbow Fish was generous by giving away his scales. I am generous because I..."

12.)Allow students to share completed projects. Display students' Rainbow Fish and sentence strips in classroom or hallway.


Assessment Strategies

Students' participation, completed graphic organizers, and completed projects will be used for assessment.




Students could have help completing graphic organizers from the teacher or another student.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.