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Under the Sea and Summer Sun!!!

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Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale by Marcus Pfister

Big Al by Andrew Clements

Swimmy by Leo Lionni

Fishy Things by Rod Campbell (This is a tactile book).


Name Fish-I bought a fish poster from the school store, laminated it and then made different colored fish cut-outs. I used the children's assigned colors for easy recognition. I wrote each student's name on a fish and then taped it to the chart/poster. We sing this song with our chart.

*Swimmy, Swimmy, Fish--y,

The water is the place for me,

If your name is------,

Find a home for me.

This activity provides for name recognition and letter recognition.

*Five Little Fishies(fingerplay)

Five little fishies swimming in a pool,

(wiggle five fingers)

First one said, "the pool is cool"

(one finger up, then wrap arms around self)

Second one said, "the pool is deep"

(two fingers up, hands measure deep)

Third one said, "I want to sleep"

(three fingers up, rest head on hands)

Fourth one said, "lets dive and dip

(four fingers up, hand dives/dips)

Fifth one said, "I spy a ship"

(five fingers up, peer out under hand)

Fisherman's boat comes,

(Fingers form a V and move away from self)

Line goes ker-plash,

(Pantomine throwing fish line)

Away the five little fishies dash!

(wiggle five fingers away)

*Rowing by Pam Tims from her Preschool Fitness album-This song sits cross-legged, back-straight, and uses the arms to row, then switches to partners grasping hands to row.

*Three little fishies (boom di ata boom)from Cock-a-Doodle Doo and Mother Goose too album. We do a swimming motion, clap our legs with our hands, throw our hands out on the shoo part, then a shark fin for the shark!

*Sailing from Cock-a-Doodle Doo album. We use our body to make an angled sail for the sailing part, and then puff our cheeks, and bring arm down like tooting a horn. If you do not want to stand up and your children like to hold and move objects, try small plastic boats, we also do this.

*Rub a Dub Dub- You can use the song or just say the rhyme. We use the song to illustrate our flannelboard rhyme. The pieces, are a butcher, baker, candlemaker, and a tub with a slit to hold the three men.

*Walk the Bridge by Greg and Steve-I made a long slightly curved bridge, using masking tape at our circle area. We then let the children take turns walking the bridge, as Steve calls out in the song. It calls for a balance beam, so if you are lucky enough to have one, use it!

*Sailor by the sea by Wee Sings. This is a very short song, we clap our hands, until it comes to sea,sea,sea, then we clap our legs.

*Kiss the Girl by Disney Favorites. We use little stick puppets to dance along to this song, and then kiss the puppet accordingly!

*Oh, no... I am not sure of the name of this song. It sings of different animal creatures, each one being eaten before by another animal. I use laminated die cuts of the fish, octopus, tuna fish, shark, and whale, mounted on extra large craft sticks.


Sea Cookie-(This idea came from the book, Cookie Fun by Publications International). Need:Large Ready to Bake Cookie, blue icing gel, white frosting, assorted candies to make sea creatures, swedish fish, etc; Simply bake cookie then frost, then using the blue gel, create ocean wave swirls. Then add ocean animals to the top. I used gum drops, licorice, and swedish fish.

Dont forget the blue kool-aid and flavor rite freezum popsickles!!

Jello aquariums-Need: blue jello, clear plastic cups, shark bites gummies. Make jello as directed, pour into cups to cool. When chilled and ready to serve, give each child a few fish/sharks, and let the push their ocean friends into their aquarium.

Starfish Biscuits-Flatten can biscuit and cut-out with a star cookie-cutter. Add thin cheese slices onto each leg and then bake.

Goldfish Fishing-Using pretzel rods, dip one end into peanut butter. Then give each child some goldfish crackers in a small bowl, let them fish using the pretzel rod as a pole! Fun!!

Octopus and Sea shell soup-(I saw this idea somewhere but can't remember!) Need: hotdogs, shells and cheese (I bought Rice a Roni white cheddar shells). Make shells as directed. Split hotdogs in half, then for each one, cut into into 3/4 of the way, continue to do this until you have eight legs/strings. Then boil hot dogs and the legs will draw up to look like an octopus. Mix shells/cheese with hotdog octopuses for a great soup!!

Marshmallow treat fish-Make rice crispy treat mixture, only add a slight amount of blue food coloring to your marshmallow liquid. Then once cool, use a fish cookie cutter to cut out fish!

Sunshine Cookies-Use lemon cookies, yellow frosting, pretzel sticks, and licorice or gel. Use the frosting to attach the two cookies together, one on top of the other. Then dip each pretzel stick end into the frosting and attach as the rays of the sun. Then add a smiley face with licorice or icing gel.

Art Activities

Bubble Fish-Make large fish cut-outs on white paper. Then after reading the Rainbow Fish, let the children blow bubbles onto the fish. (Use small containers of bubbles, adding a little food coloring or diluted paint to each!). Or if you prefer, using containers, have your children use a drinking straw to blow bunches of bubbles over the rim of the glass, and lay your picture on top. Be careful that the children can understand not the suck the straw!!

Handy Octopuses-Using paintbrushes paint the child's hand, with the exception of the thumb. Press onto paper. Then repeat, overlapping the design on the paper.

Crunchy Starfish-Precut medium sized starfish on tagboard. Then in a small baggy, let the children crush corn flakes with a spoon. Let the child paint the starfish with glue and sprinkle on some crunchy corn flakes! You can also use cheerios and place small glue dots on the star, to place the cheerios on.

Ocean Jars-Using baby jars, let each child fill their jar with water and drop in a tiny drop of blue food coloring. Then add some glitter and shells if available. On the outside of the jar, place ocean animal stickers. Make sure to hot glue the lid on (This is the teacher's job!!)

Paper plate jellyfish-Cut small paper plates in half and let the children paint one paper plate half. Then when dry, staple on crepe streamers, and glue on googly eyes.

Paper plate fish-Using a small paper plate, let the children paint or sprinkle with glitter. Then cut out two fins and do the same. Attach fins to fish when dry, and add googly or button eyes.

Goldfish in a bowl-Make goldfish bowls and cut-out. Then let the children watercolor them blue. Once dry, glue on goldfish crackers. Spray crackers with clear acrylic spray.

Sandpails-(I saw this idea somewhere!!)-Draw a sandpail shape onto orange paper and cut out. Then using sea animal sponges, or tagboard with paint, dab on painted shape. Then use colored sand to sprinkle over the painted impression. Finally, if desired, add glue dots to the middle of each shape/impression, and sprinkle on colored glitter. Attach a yarn handle, and enjoy!!

Learning Centers

Science Center-

*I put an aquarium with goldfish in my room to let the children feed and watch.

*I add a small magnetic fishing pole set in a small tub of water, which the children can use the pole to pick up magnetized fish. Amazing!

*Next, is sea shells of different sizes/colors to sort and observe.

*Wave bottle-I place water blue tinted, oil, glitter, and two small sea creatures plastic in a bottle. The children can shake it up to create waves, and sea the oil and water seperate; like the beach and water.

*Water garden-In a fish shaped plate, I place about a half-inch of water. Then I place vegetables such as carrots, radishes, and potatoes. I trim the tops to where only a little greenery is showing, and chop the bottom of the vegetable off, to where only a little head slice is showing. The children will be able to see the potato grow eyes, and the others grow shoots.

If you would like and can find them; grow sea monkeys. Buy brine shrimp eggs and let them hatch. Please just buy the eggs, and place them in a watered container. Don't show the kids the seamonkeys that are sold in stores, or they will be soooo disappointed that they don't have faces, and can't jump and play.


* I place lots of books about the ocean on my bookshelf, along with sea animal beanies. I also place a small intertube to use as a pillow. Also place a small plastic child swimming pool. I just dump my pillows in mine, makes for a great attraction to the book center.

Theme table-I placed: *1. Matching fish cards- I bought some neat larger fish erasers. I wanted to go up to number 5, so I bought 5 different types. I scanned the erasers into my computer and printed them up into cards, laminated, and then wrote the number on them. For example, for number 2 I placed 2 fish scans/pics on the card. The child will find the two erasers that looks like that particular fish and will place them on the card. Matching and number recognition.

*2. Sea Boat Matching-In the June Mailbox magazine I received this month, I found a cute pattern of two pelicans on a boat. The boat has circles all over the boat. I colored it, placed sea animal stickers on the circles, and then used egg carton pieces to stick the corresponding/matching sticker on. The child can match or make a memory game from it.

*3. ABC Sea game-This is a purchased game that has magnetic fishing poles and magnetic fish. You place the fish into the little sea decorated box and use the pole to catch a fish. Once you catch the fish, you can match it to your game card.

Dramatic Play-I placed sunglasses and visors for the kids to wear. In the puppet stage, I placed large fish puppets, a pelican puppet, a sea turtle puppet, rainbow fish puppet, etc;

Fine motor table-I placed a fish lacing card, and an under the sea coloring poster with skinny markers.

Sensory table-I placed salted water in the table, along with seaweed (a small amount of green easter grass), plastic ocean animals (floating/sinking), nets, and hook fish/ocean animals that uses a hook fishing pole.

Bulletin Boards

Sea Life-I purchased a border trimmer and bulletin board set called Ocean by Carson Delosa. I placed this on a blue background and it was beautiful! I had so many ocean animals left over that I used them on my outside door window.

Whale Words-I used the large whale from my set and placed it in the middle of the board. I then used die cuts of all kinds of ocean animals, shells, etc. I typed up the words to go on the die-cuts and placed them around the whale.

I made lots of the small die-cuts and hung them from yarn throughout my room and taped them onto the windows. Scratch that, I found something better!! While at the Dollar store, I found inflatable sea animals: A killer whale, a grey shark, a tropical fish, and a multi-colored beach ball. I replaced the die cuts with these cool 3-D inflatable sea animals; the kids love them!!! They all think that the killer whale is Free Willy!!!

Special Events

Water Day-On the children's last day of school, we wrap up our unit with an outside water day. All of the children wear their swimming suits and bring a towel. I bought an extra large plastic swimming pool, a funnoodle sprinkler, bubbles, and sea animal bubble blowers. I also bought lunch meat of various kinds and cheese. The children use our AAC device (if non verbal or limited communication)to communicate with me what type of sandwich they want to make, using each button for each part of sandwich (ex. slice of bread, mayonnaise, mustard, meat, cheese, lettuce, another slice of bread on top). Each child makes his/her own sandwich, chooses a chip(from 3 choices)and places the chips in a small ziploc. Then each child packs their lunch with a sandwich, chips, cookies, and a koolaid squeezum. We then travel outside for a picnic and to play in the water! This is a great way to end our unit!!

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