Goldfish Crackers Unite!

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SWBAT answer text dependent questions, citing textual evidence in their answers. SWBAT create a replica art piece of the little fish and Swimmy using teamwork.

Big Idea

Together we are better!

Prepare the Learner

10 minutes

This is the second lesson in a series of five.  Students are seated on the carpet with me as we preview vocabulary for the read.


Vocabulary Building

I show the students the picture and vocabulary word creatures.  We discuss this word because this story talks about all of the sea creatures that Swimmy encounters as he swims through the ocean.

We talk about what we see in the picture and I encourage students: As we browse the pictures in the book, I want you to look for creatures in the pictures.  

Interact with text/concept

45 minutes

I show the students the big book Teamwork and we look at the table of contents.  I ask: What does the table of contents show us? (what is in the book)  We find and read ‘Swimmy.’  I point to the page number and ask: What page is Swimmy on? (26) I remind students that this is the page number that the story begins on.  I ask for a volunteer to find that page, 26, in the big book.  I do this to reinforce the idea that we can find what we need in a book by looking at the page number. 


I ask for a volunteer to come up and point to the title.  I read it aloud as I run my finger under it.  I ask students to read the title.  I cue them by saying: I touch, you read.  Ready? This is a common cue that I use all year long.  The kids know that they are to read what I am touching.  I do this to reinforce tracking, spaces between words and pacing. 


I point to and read the name of the author.  I ask: What is the job of the author? (write the words)



Text Dependent Questions

Read pp. 26-29  I ask: Are all of the little fish alike?  (no)  Which one is different? (Swimmy)  How is he different? (He is black.  He is a different color)  Can you show me how you know.  (student points to illustration)


Read pp. 30-33  I ask: When the story began, Swimmy was happy and had lots of friends  How did he feel when he was alone? (scared, lonely, sad)  What made Swimmy happier? (wonderful creatures in the sea)  I ask: What makes you happy?  


 I say: Turn and talk with a partner about what makes you happy.  Partner A needs to ask “What makes you happy?” and partner B needs to answer.  How could you state your answer? (What makes me happy is… or ___ makes me happy.  Or ___ makes me happy because___)  I chart student answers such as these examples and leave these linguistic patterns up as a frame of reference.


Read pp.34-37  I ask: How is the lobster like Swimmy?  (lives in ocean, is alone) How is he different? (size, claws, etc.)  How are the large fish like Swimmy? (fins, tail, etc.) How are they different? (size, color, etc)


Read pp. 38-41  I ask:  How is the eel different from Swimmy? (long, no fins, etc.)  How are they the same? (color, live in sea, etc.)


Read pp. 42-43  I ask: Which animals are the sea anemones?  How do you know? (it saiys they “look like pink palm trees swaying in the wind”)

Extend Understanding

30 minutes

Swimmy Art

Students will create a teamwork fish art that represents Swimmy and the other little fish.  I say: Who can tell me how we see teamwork in our story, Swimmy? (the little fish swim together to make a big fish)  This question helps students make the textual connection to the activity.


I show students the fish outline and say: Today we are going to make their group!  And we are going to use fish to do it!  Any ideas on how we are going to do that? (take student responses)  Those are good ideas, but here (I show them a box of Goldfish Crackers) is how we are going to do it!

I have painted one black goldfish for each child and one for me.  I ask: How was Swimmy different from the other fish? (color) I have made Swimmy for you!  I take out one of the goldfish crackers that I have painted black and ask: Where was Swimmy’s spot in the big teamwork fish?  What was his ‘job?’ (eye)  That’s right, so I am going to glue my black fish where the eye would go.  I model gluing the black goldfish cracker where they eye of the fish would be.


I ask: Where are all the other fish going to go? (around the eye in the body and head of the fish) We are going to fill in the rest of the big teamwork fish with our orange goldfish to represent the other little fish who were scared to swim out in the sea.

I model gluing  several crackers into the fish pattern so that the kids see that they need to be placed close together.