Activity to Go With Swimmy, by Leo Lionni
After reading the book Swimmy by Leo Lionni, students will use shapes to make their own fish. This is a great story to use early in the year when establishing your classroom community.
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
One large white square or oval, per child (for the fish's body)
- One large white triangle, per child (for the tail)
- One small black circle, per child (for the eye)
- Crayons or markers
Read the book Swimmy by Leo Lionni. Discuss the story and how all the little fish worked together so that they could swim in the ocean safely without being eaten by the big fish. If you are doing this activity at the beginning of the year, talk about how you will work together as a class throughout the year.
Introduce the three shapes - circle, square(or oval) and triangle - to the students. Ask the students what they notice about each shape: How many sides does it have? Does it have straight or curved lines? Does it have points? You might want to make a quick chart of this information.
Tell the class that they will be making a fish out of the three shapes. Show them an example of a completed fish.
Give each student one square (or oval) and one triangle. Have them color the shapes. After they have finished coloring, show your fish again and ask the preschoolers if they can figure out how to put their square (or oval) and triangle together to make a fish. Give them a minute or two to try this on their own and then demonstrate how to make the fish. This will give each student the opportunity to see if they have assembled their fish craft correctly. Show them where to glue the shapes together and then give each preschooler the small black circle to glue on for the eye.
When you first hand out the square (or oval) and the triangle, call out the name of one of the shapes and have the students hold that shape up.
This can make a really cute teamwork themed bulletin board. Arrange the little fish into the shape of one big fish and add the words "We all work together" underneath.