Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Theme-A-Week: Fish

This week we enjoyed learning about fish. Our fish collection was very sad. It consisted of about 5 books, one stuffed fish, and a Henry the Octopus plush. I could see a trip to the library was needed!

Fish books are wonderfully easy to find at the library. I thought it was interesting to watch the girls this week as they chose every single fiction fish book to read and then, and only then, did they get interested in the non-fiction ones.

Truthfully, these first 2 themes have been chosen by the 4 year olds so they haven't lent themselves to a terrible lot of new information for the older girls. But, oh! the information Little Bit has added to her concept of oceans has been great! On Monday I asked her "what lives in the ocean?" Her answer? "Fish and crabs." That was all she knew. Now, thanks to our theme-a-week, she knows a lot more. Sweetheart really did learn things once she opened the non-fiction books. My favorite observation of hers this week was, "Mommy? In real life, octopuses are NOT cute!"

I so agree.

We did a lot of art projects this week. My girls love art, so there should be plenty of great ideas to choose from here! Here are some boring old coloring sheets that we jazzed up with glitter pens. We talked about the difference between the ocean and life in an aquarium.

Then I printed off some heart fish. I didn't tell the girls what the hearts would make. Here is Little Bit sorting them by size as I cut them out. She's wondering what all these hearts have to do with fish!

Here is the finished product. LOTS of giggling during this one!

We kicked off the first night of fish week by watching Finding Nemo. Little Bit didn't remember this movie as she was too young the last time we watched it. It was a good way to expand her knowledge of what lives in the ocean.

Tuesday was cousin day again. We took a field trip to the pet store to buy some more fish for our tank. (Little Bit tried to take a picture of her new fish, but after yelling, "Hold still!" for a few minutes she gave up.) My nieces don't have fish at their house so it was very cool for them to get to go along. They all enjoyed watching the fish tank the rest of the day.

And here is what we had for lunch:

You can also put these little guys on a bed of Ramen noodles with green food coloring (for seaweed), but we knew our girls would eat mac-n-cheese better. I think we may have teased them a little too much about having octopus for lunch. My sister and I come from a family that loves to tease and we were able to convey this message to them all day long with a very straight face. The girls didn't really believe us, but then they weren't sure. And they knew it was just hot dogs, but they were still a bit scared to try them.

Being a mom is so much fun!

We also read The Rainbow Fish and made some beautiful fish afterward using circles cut from magazines and aluminum foil. One of the books we read prompted this shell sorting. I had these from back in my teacher days. They really enjoyed looking at all of the different shells. One thing we decided for sure this week: God really used his imagination when he made shells and fish!
One other thing we did not do yet is there are many Bible stories about fish and I plan to read those with them.

Our favorite fish book this week was Smiley Shark by Ruth Galloway. Very cute story. There were also two others, Tickly Octopus and Clumsy Crab by the same author.

We plan to top off the week with a trip to the beach this weekend. What better way to end fish week?


  1. Hello Brenda,

    I love reading about your theme weeks! Even though it sounds like fish week is at an end, I have an idea for you: find a recording of "Carnival of the Animals" by Camille Saint-Saens. Play "Aquarium" (you may recognize the music--it was used in the beginning of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast") while reading "Rainbow Fish" aloud. You'll need to play the song twice, but it fits really nicely. I'm a music teacher and this activity NEVER fails to have my youngest kiddos transfixed. Or the girls can just move about like fish to the music--whatever floats your boat!

    And I just LOVE the octupus-hot-dog lunch. What fun! :-)

  2. Well how convenient to just run on down to the beach this weekend! My poor boys have already been asking about our trip to the beach, and that annual event isn't happening until October! Oh well...I do know your beach is not too glamorous ;) but it is handy to have around for the kids!!! The fish unit looks very fun, and I might try some of this with the boys! Oh...and the picture of Little Bit sorting hearts sure reminds me of old pictures I have seen of her mother!

  3. Shh. They don't know there are better beaches.

    And GAH! I just looked at that picture again and she does look just like I used to!

  4. What a great mom and teacher you are. All the creative ideas just kept coming. Your children seemed to having such a good time! Kayce


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)