The Rainbow Fish Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan will help students identify the central message of a story and describe the structure of a story as they read ''The Rainbow Fish'' by Marcus Pfister.

Learning Objective

Upon completion of this lesson on The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, students will be able to:

  • Determine the moral of the story
  • Describe the overall structure of a story


60 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.


Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.


  • admire
  • advice
  • coral reef
  • emerged
  • ordinary
  • possessions
  • scales
  • shade


  • copy of the book The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  • additional materials for the activities
    • craft paper
    • crayons
    • blue tempera paint
    • silver glitter
    • glue
    • chart paper
    • markers, paper, pencil, crayons

Reading & Discussion Questions

  • As a warm up, read the Diversity Lesson for Kids: Definition and Quotes as a class, discussing as you read:
  • What is diversity?
  • What is prejudice?
  • What should you do when you see someone acting with prejudice?
  • Ask if there are any questions, then give the students the lesson's printable quiz worksheet to assess their understanding of the lesson.
  • Check the answers as a class.
  • Read The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, pausing to answer the following questions:
  • What was special about the fish?
  • What does the blue fish want from the Rainbow Fish?
  • Turn and talk: What do you think about the Rainbow Fish's reaction to the blue fish?
  • How do the other fish feel about the Rainbow Fish?
  • Who does the Rainbow Fish go to for advice?
  • What does the Rainbow Fish do to make friends?
  • Turn and talk: What makes the Rainbow Fish happy in the end?


The Moral of the Story

Materials: craft paper, crayons, blue tempera paint, silver glitter, glue

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