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Preschool Lesson Plan: Meet the Goldfish

written by: Sonal Panse • edited by: Jacqueline Chinappi • updated: 3/2/2012

This goldfish lesson plan introduces preschoolers one of the most common and popular varieties of pet fish, the goldfish! The children will learn where the fish came from originally, what they look like, about the different breeds of goldfish, what to feed them and how to look after them.

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    Goldfish are perhaps the most commonly known of all pet fish. They come in a variety of colors - yellow, orange, red, white and black colors mainly - and color combinations. They are usually easy to look after, live in harmony with other goldfish and seem to like human company too.


    This lesson acquaints preschoolers with goldfish and some interesting facts about goldfish.

    Notes to the teacher

    • Goldfish are related to the common carp and were first bred in China.
    • Goldfish are cold water, freshwater fish that do well in a subtropical to tropical climate.
    • Goldfish are omnivorous.
    • Goldfish should not be kept in goldfish bowls; they need larger spaces to swim about in.
    • Goldfish, if cared for well, can live for 6-20 years.
    • There are more than 125 breeds of goldfish in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Some of these are Shubunkin, Butterfly tail, Fantail, Oranda, Black Moor and Bubble eye.


    • A fish tank containing goldfish
    • Photographs of different breeds of goldfish
    • Videos of different breeds of goldfish
    • Drawing paper
    • Colors
    • Thin cardboard
    • Gold chocolate wrappers
    • String
    • Bamboo or stick pieces
    • Scissors
    • Glue
    • Google eyes
    • Small bells
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    Show the preschoolers a fish tank with live goldfish. Tell them that these are goldfish and ask them if any of them are familiar with the fish. Ask the children to observe the colors and body shapes of the goldfish. Some goldfish have an egg-shaped body and others have a flat body shape.

    Have the preschoolers observe how the fish swim and the way they move their tails and fins. Ask them to count how many fins a goldfish has - a goldfish has paired pectoral and pelvic fins, one dorsal fin, one anal fin and one caudal fin.

    Point out the way the goldfish open and close their mouths. Tell the children that goldfish, like most other fish, use gills to breath.

    Tell the preschoolers that goldfish hatch from eggs. The female lays thousands of eggs and these hatch within 3-4 days.

    Inform the children that they should never try to touch the goldfish as this can harm the fish. Goldfish have a slimy protective covering layer that can be damaged if touched.

    Tell the preschoolers that the goldfish sleep with their eyes open, and that, apart from regular fish food, they can eat peas, green leafy vegetables, brine shrimp and worms.

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    Take the children to an aquarium to see what the goldfish's relative, the carp, looks like.

    Show the preschoolers photographs and/or videos of different breeds of goldfish.

    Tell the preschoolers the story about how the carp was bred to become goldfish in Ancient China.

    Give the preschoolers drawing paper sheets and colors and ask to draw and paint an underwater scene featuring goldfish.

    What else to do: Make Goldfish Wind Chimes

    • Draw goldfish shapes on the cardboard and cut them.
    • Paste the gold chocolate wrappers on the cut cardboard.
    • Glue on the Google eyes at the fish head part.
    • Make a tiny hole on the upper edge of the fish back and thread a string through that.
    • Make several such fish and tie their strings to cross-tied bamboo or stick pieces.
    • Attach bells and hang it up in a window to catch the sunlight.

    Please also see the article "Fun Fish Crafts for Preschool".

    Videos which may be helpful:

    Goldfish (An Introduction)

    My Goldfish Tank