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"Swimmy!"Thematic Unit


This is one of my favorite books to read when doing my ocean unit.
I hope you will find some ideas you can use.

Activities and Procedures

After you finish orally reading "Swimmy", make this booklet.

  1. Let students trace a fish shape onto two sheets of red construction paper and three sheets of white paper.
  2. Staple the white pages between the colored pages and attach a fish eye (a tiny dark-colored fish cutout) to the front cover of the booklet.
  3. Engage students in a class discussion about the beginning, the middle, and the ending of "Swimmy"; then have each child summarize and illustrate the three story parts on the appropriate pages in their books.

Make Swimmy Jigglers

  1. Using strawberry or cherry flavored Jell-O and the directions on the back of the gelating box, prepare a batch of Jell-O jigglers.
  2. When the gelatin has set, have each student use a fish-shaped cookie cutter to cut out a fish shape.
  3. Arrange the gelatin cutouts on a large tray in the shape of a fish.
  4. Insert a fish eye-a dark-colored, fish-shaped cracker or cookie- and the creation is complete!

Bubbly Backgrounds!

  1. You will need a shallow bowl, some bubble solution, blue food coloring, straws, and construction paper.
  2. Pour the bubble solution into the bowl. Add food coloring until the mixture is the desired shade of blue.
  3. Use straws to blow bubbles until the bubbles begin to rise over the rim of the bowl.
  4. Place a sheet of construction paper over the bowl.
  5. Repeat the process until the background is complete.
  6. When the paper is dry, glue on construction paper and tissue paper scenery.
  7. Add red and/or black fingerprint fish to the scene.
  8. When the fish are dry, add details with fine-tipped markers.

Underwater Seascapes

  1. Read the story "Swimmy" to the class. Stress the beautiful underwater sea life-the starfish, sea urchins, fish, lobster. Have the children discuss the vivid colors.
  2. Have the children draw their own underwater scene. Give each child a large piece of paper and crayons. Encourage them to press hard on their crayons to produce vivid colors.
  3. Water down paint until it is a "watery" color. Blue or green produces a lovely, watery effect.
  4. Brush the watery paint over the entire picture with a wide brush. Be careful not to soak the pictures.
  5. The entire picture will be covered by the wash except for the parts colored with the crayon. These colors will resist the wash and remain vivid.

"Swimmy" Mobile

  1. Cut fish shapes for your mobile from black construction paper. Cut each one double so that you end up with 2 exactly the same.
  2. Cut large holes in each shape in the spots you want to see through. (Cut the holes at the same time on both papers so that they match!)
  3. Cut pieces of colored cellophane large enough to cover each hole.
  4. On one of the fish shapes, brush rubber cement around the outside edge of each hole and lay the cellophane pieces over the holes.(You will want to use a dark color for where the eye goes,possibly substituting tissue paper for cellophane) Press on them until they stick.
  5. After each hole is covered with cellophane, brush rubber cement around the edge of the fish shape. (The cement should be put on the same side that you pasted the colored cellophane.)
  6. Lay the second shape on top of the one with the wet cement, and press them together.
  7. Punch a hole near the top, and hang the shape from yarn or string.

"Swimmy" Ocean Collage Bulletin Board

  1. Have students create a beautiful mural with finger paints!
  2. Allow students to swirl blue paint over white bulletin board paper with their hands for the background.
  3. While the paint is still wet, students may press sand along the bottom to create the ocean floor.
  4. Add a little glitter and small shells to the sand for a pretty effect.
  5. Students may use scraps of construction paper to draw and cut out fish and other sea life. (Old nature magazine pictures can also be used.)
  6. Add seaweed and kelp by showing students how to tear wide strips of tissue paper and overlap them slightly on the background before gluing.
  7. Attach pieces of nylon net from an onion or potato bag.
  8. This collage can be used for your ocean life unit, not just "Swimmy"!

Order Swimmy Today!