Friendship Activities for The Rainbow Fish


Beginning of the year activity using The Rainbow Fish

This is a great getting to know you activity for the beginning of the year!  The students will see that everyone is special and has something unique to offer.


Lesson Plan:

  1. Read The Rainbow Fish to the class, discussing the ideas of sharing and uniqueness.
  2. Give each student a paper fish scale.
  3. Have each student decorate their scale with information about them using pictures and/or words.
  4. On the large fish, paste everyone’s scale. Keep it up throughout the year to reinforce the idea that they are a community with lots of wonderful differences.
By: Mo, 2nd Grade Teacher

The Friendship Fish – Rainbow Fish Book Activity

Uses Marcus Pfister’s The Rainbow Fish to teach children about friendship and ways you should treat friends.


  • The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  • 6 inch half circles cut out of construction paper (the scales)
  • A large cut out of a fish to put the scales on.

Draw a line at the top of the scale (the round part), so the children know where to write their quality.

Lesson Plan:

  1. Read the Rainbow Fish to the children.
  2. Go over the importance of friendship with the children, and make a list on the board of qualities that friends have or should have.
  3. Have the children go back to their seats and hand out a scale to each child.
  4. Tell the children to write a quality that they would like a friend to have, or something they do for a friend. It could be a sentence or a word. They can decorate their scale if they want.
  5. After they have finished with their scale, put the giant fish on the wall and add their scales to it.
  6. The children will love seeing the creation of their own giant Rainbow Fish.

* You can also put glitter on the scales to help create the Rainbow Fish’s sparkling scales.


I did this activity in my classroom and the children loved it. They were able to list many things that friends should do, and they came up with their own ideas on the scales. They loved to see the giant Rainbow Fish on the wall. I also made mini fish with each child’s name on it, so people knew who created this beautiful masterpiece.

By: Debbie Boyle, First Grade Teacher

Related Books…

The Rainbow Fish Friendship Activity

Read The Rainbow Fish. Discuss with students the meanings of friendship and how they will make many friends this year in school. I do this at the beginning of the year with the kindergarten students.


  • The Rainbow Fish book
  • Strips of construction paper in various colors cut into 12×3 strips.
  • Crayons
  • Stapler

Lesson Plan:

  1. I read the story to students and we discuss friendship and what it takes to be a friend.
  2. I tell students that we will be making a friendship chain (many do not know what that is, so they are quite impressed as it takes shape)
  3. Each student gets a strip of colored construction paper to color and put his/her name on.
  4. As they finish, I begin to make the chain by stapling each strip of paper into a circle shape and linking them together as I staple.
  5. All kindergarten classes in the school add to the chain and it is displayed in the library throughout the year.

By: Sandi Siemaszko, k-5 librarian

End of the Year Activity Idea for The Rainbow Fish

One of my favorite books to read each year is The Rainbow Fish. Instead of reading it to my K-2 language impaired students at the beginning of the year, I find it most helpful at the end of the year, when they are beginning to weary of the manners and kind attitudes they’ve displayed all year.

First we read the book, remembering to stop at each page to summarize and to answer why questions about the characters and actions. Then we discuss what we would do if we were the Rainbow Fish–share a scale or keep it? We vote on what our responses would be, discuss the reasons and then stop reading at that point to better build the suspense. Then we return to the book once more to complete the story.

After reading, we will critique the book using our star/skunk critiquing form, draw a picture detailing the story and our response to it. We also will role-play being friends. This is best accomplished if another adult is available to model the wrong behavior so that the children can explain how friends should act.

By: Mary Ann Stewart

Related lesson plans:

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