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A Fish Out of Water Free Unit Study

A Fish out of Water

  Author: Helen Palmer
Illustrator: Philip Dey Eastman
ISBN: 0001713078
Summary: A fish rapidly outgrows its bowl, a vase, a cook pot, a bathtub...what will happen next?

Level 2 Unit Prepared by Helena Gosline and her daughter, Amanda
Lapbook prepared by Rose Ann Kuhns

Lapbook Templates

Community Helper Flap Book
Food Groups
Important Things Flap Book
Fish Art Folder
Math Matchbooks
Important Things (with room for photo)
Where Fish Live Layer Book
Rhyming Words Trifold
Saltwater & Freshwater Map
Label a Fish
God Created Matchbook


On the fifth day of creation, God made fish.  Fish live in many different places.  In nature they live in oceans, lakes, rivers, and ponds.  As pets they live in a fish tank like Otto.


Fish must have water to live.  Some need salt water and some need fresh water.  The fish that need salty water live in the ocean, and the fish that need fresh water live in lakes, rivers, and ponds.  Fish have a backbone.  They breathe through gills instead of lungs.  They have fins instead of legs.  Their bodies are covered with scales instead of skin.  Point out the following parts on Otto.  (Gills, fins, scales, eye, mouth)



Why was it not good to feed Otto so much?  How much should you feed a fish?  We were told that a fish’s stomach was no bigger then its eye.

What about you?  Does it matter how much you eat or what you eat?  Why?

What are the five food groups?  Milk (dairy), Meat (protein), Vegetable, Fruit, and Grain.

Information on the food groups (written by Amanda)


The food pyramid shows you good eating habits.  It helps you develop improved health.  The pyramid shows you what you need to eat to be healthy and how much you need to eat.  There are five food groups. 


Milk is one of the five food groups.  It is also know as dairy.  Milk has calcium, too.  Milk makes strong bones and teeth.  Milk is also used to make cheese, yogurt, and pudding. 


Protein (meat)
Protein is one of the five groups of food.  Protein comes from animals or plants.  Protein builds strong muscles.  Nuts, beans, eggs, and meat are in the protein group.


Vegetables are one of the five groups of food.  This food group comes from plants.  Vegetables have vitamins that help eyesight.


Another of the five food groups is fruit.  Fruit comes from plants.  Fruit is good for healing cuts and bruises.


Grain is one of the five food groups.  People need the most from this food group.  This food group gives you energy.

The five food groups are healthy for your body.  Stuff that is not healthy is in the others category.  The food pyramid shows you the right amounts of food to eat.  Too much sugar and fat can cause disease.  Remember the five food groups!




Meat group
Have your child make two categories-- one for foods that come from an animal and one for food that comes from a plant.  Cut pictures out of grocery store ads and past them in the correct category.


Fruit group
Rhymes - what fruit rhymes with:  fairy (cherry), bear (pear), beach (peach), gum (plum), etc…  For the older child you could have them write their own little rhymes. Examples from Amanda:


Cherries, Cherries oh so small

Have them, Have them it’s a ball


Watermelon, oh so red

You wouldn’t want them in bed


Five food groups
Make a category for each of the five groups.  Using grocery store ads cut pictures out and put them with the right category.

Food Guide Pyramid for Kids
My Pyramid Worksheet
My Pryamid for Kids (print this before you try to complete the coloring page)
Pyramid Coloring Sheet

Blast Off! Interactive on-line game using Food Pyramid


Social Studies 


Fish Map (learning where salt water/fresh water is)
Make small paper fish from two different colors, such as red and blue.  Using a map, glue the red fish in the oceans as you identify each of the following bodies of salt water (Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Artic Ocean).  Glue the blue fish to fresh water areas such as the Great Lakes.


Community Helpers
The boy called for help when he realized the problem was bigger then he could handle.  Teach your child 9-1-1 and when to call.


Police:  A policeman helps to keep us safe by making sure that people obey the laws.  What are some laws that we should not break:  speeding, stealing, not throwing trash on the road, etc.  Why do we have laws and why should we obey them?  Discuss how to safely cross a road – right, left, right. (Look and listen before you cross) 


Fireman:  A firefighter helps us by fighting fires and keeping people safe.  Sometimes a firefighter is called to accidents as well as fires.  They have special equipment to help keep them safe.  The equipment may make them look scary but don’t hide from them because they are there to help you.  They ride on a large truck that carries equipment they need. 


Draw a blue print of your house and plan an escape route. Decide on a meeting place outside.  Discuss stop-drop-and roll, crawling on the floor, and feeling the door handles. 

Note from Helena: PRACTICE your plan.  We discussed our plan many times but never practiced it.  One night the alarm went off and my daughter sat up in bed and screamed.  Later that day my daughter told me she was sure glad she knew what to do in case of a fire, but she hadn't done anything but scream.  That is when I realized talking was not enough-- we must practice.




Paint a water scene.  Make a fish out of paper and decorate it with chalk.  Then add it to your water scene.


Fish Prints
Something fun we did one time was fish prints.  After some friends went fishing, we used some of the fish for an art project.  You paint the fish then press it down on a paper to get a fish print.  The children had a great time with this.  (We did wear gloves.)


Language arts


Learning your address
When you call 9-1-1, you need to know your address.  Make sure your child knows his/her address plus the following things: full name, parents' names, address, and phone number.  Draw a picture of your house and put your address somewhere on the paper.


Phonics: Letter F
Letter of the week “F”.
Letter F Pattern
Letter F Activities -- includes fun idea for fish (see below-- idea from Preschool Express; visit their website for more great Fish ideas!)
Give your children medium sized fish shapes
Let them cover their fish with water using a paint brush.
Then, have them paint the fish using water colors.

Variation: Make FAT FISH by stuffing and stapling two large fish shapes
Variation: Make FUNNY FISH by adding funny features to fish shapes.
Variation:  Make a FLYING FISH by handing it from your ceiling.


Think up words that rhyme with fish!


Real or Pretend?

Do you think this book is true?  Could it really happen?  If you feed a fish too much what would really happen?  This book is considered fiction because it is make believe.




Fish Manipulatives (and a snack!)
Get a box of goldfish from the grocery store.  Have your child count them or use them as a manipulative for adding and subtracting.


Tally Marks
Introduce tally marks and count how many times Otto has to be moved.

Introduce tally marks and count all the fish in the book.


In the front cover there are 12 fish.  In the back cover there are 12 fish.  Introduce a dozen.  If you bought goldfish crackers from the store, have your student show you one dozen fish crackers.



Gen 1:20 – 23 Talks about how God made fish on the fifth day of creation.


Gen 1:26
Let man rule over the fish in the sea


Bible Story: Jonah
Read the story of Jonah to your child.  Emphasize how God always knows where we are and He is always with us.

Jonah Activity Ideas:
1. Finger paint-- using a package of instant vanilla pudding with a few drops of blue food coloring.  Show your child how to paint waves like the big waves that crashed over Jonah’s boat. 
2. Using dress up clothes-- pretend you are going places: work, school, store, church, etc… Remind your child that no mater where we go, God always knows where we are and what we are doing.

3. Act out the story in the bathtub.  Using a cup as the whale and bath toys.
4. Watch the Veggie Tales movie, Jonah


Just for Fun


Learn to swim “like a fish”.


Go to a pet store or aquarium to see the fish.  Consider buying a pet fish and teaching your student how to care for it.


Make a fishing pole and put string on it for the line.  Add a magnet to the end of the string.  Draw a fish and place something on it that the magnet will attach to.  On each fish draw one of these parts of a fish: gills, fins, eyes, mouth.  When your child goes fishing see if he/she can identify the parts.


Go fishing (for real!)


Take a field trip to a police station or fire station.

Fish Coloring Pages
Funny Fish

Two Fish
Tons of fish!  Includes color by number and dot-to-dot
Two fish in a fish bowl


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