Rainbow Fish Counting

Of all the math skills that children will acquire, counting is one that most children will already be doing before they reach school-age.


Rote counting (or saying numbers in a sequence from memory) is what most children will be able to do, but this does not mean that they can actually determine the amount in a collection.


In order to help our students develop an actual understanding of numbers and how counting relates to real life, we did a hands-on activity with jewels aimed at developing their one-to-one correspondence.


By placing a certain amount of jewels onto a rainbow fish diagram (counting as they did so), participants were able to make a connection between the spoken numeral and a concrete amount.


Rainbow Fish Story Tray

A storyboard is a story telling device used to visually “sketch out” the actions of a story that are told in a visual medium like animation, pictures, or felt pieces.


In this activity, students participated in a discussion about the book, The Rainbow Fish, by Eric Carle. In the story, the rainbow fish is asked to share his beautiful scales with his friends. At first, he hesitates, until he realizes that sharing makes him feel good. As the story progresses, he begins to lose more and more of his scales.


By using a story board, students explore aspects of a story they may not have noticed while reading it, such as how it develops, what’s missing, the use of language, how words and pictures work together, and what the story means to them. To do this, we laid down on our stomachs in a circle.


As the story was read, students took one shiny scale from a large diagram of the rainbow fish. They conclude with a discussion of why sharing is so important, and how we can be better friends to our classmates.

Rainbow Fish Match

Since we are learning about the book Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister, we decided to create our very own fishy rainbow! To accomplish this, your little one was guided to a premade rainbow as a visual organizer.


We then sorted our fish into the various colors of the rainbow. This activity fulfilled several developmental tasks. Your little one learned about the various colors of the rainbow by pairing the visual color with the name of the color.


Sizes and shapes were also addressed, as everyone combined fish to create different structures within the rainbow.


We also discussed several vocabulary words, such as right, left, on top, and around. Lastly, your budding mathematician practiced several premath skills, such as patterning and sequence making.