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"Swimmy" Family Book Sheet


February 29, 2020 - Author:

A little black fish learns about the other creatures in the ocean. During his travels, he also learns how to work with others to meet a common goal.


  • Show the children the front of the book. Ask them to guess what the book is about.
  • Ask them to point to the different fish on the front of the book as you name the colors of the fish together.


  • Stop at any time if there is something you or the children would like to talk about.
  • Ask them questions so that they can connect what is happening in the book to things they already know about. Try some of these ideas:
    • Point to the different sea creatures and ask them what they are.
    • Where have you seen fish before?
    • What do you like to do with your friends?


  • Spend some time talking about the story. Ask the children things like:
    • What happened to Swimmy’s school of fish in the beginning of the story?
    • How was Swimmy different from the other fish?
    • How did the fish work together?


Read this book several times to the children. Hearing the same story again and again helps them learn new words and understand the ideas they hear better. Each day, pick a different activity to do with the children after reading “Swimmy.”


Read the book together and count the different sea creatures on each page.


Ask the children to retell the story of Swimmy for you. Start by asking them where Swimmy lived and who he lived with. Ask them what happened to the fish in the story, and what different sea creatures Swimmy met.


Practice fishing. Use a yardstick, a ruler or a wooden spoon for the pole, and tie or tape string on the end for the line and a paperclip for the hook. Cut fish out of paper and place rolled-up scotch tape on the fish and place them on the floor tape side up. Help the children to fish with the pole.


Sing the “Baby Shark” song together. Start out by singing “baby shark, do do do da do” and use your thumb and pointer finger to make a baby shark mouth. Next, sing “Mama shark” and use your hands to make a mama shark sized mouth. For Daddy shark, make a bigger mouth by using your arms.


Help the children learn new words they hear as you read the book together. Stop at words you think they may not know and ask them what they think they mean. For example, when you read the word “invisible” ask them if they know what it means. Tell them that invisible is something that you can’t see. Try to use the word later when you talk with them.


Swim like fish together. Cup your hands together and swim your fish around the room. Put your hands next to each other to create a small school of fish.

For more information, visit the MSU Extension early childhood development site.


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