The Rainbow Fish

A WebQuest for 4th Grade Language Arts

Designed by
Robin Wheatfall

Introduction | Learners | Standards | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Student Page


Today children grow up in a society where competition is inevitable and often encouraged. Very often, however, competition undermines the joy of sharing, which is important for building a peaceful community. By discovering their own strengths and weaknesses, children will learn that we are all different, and that each of us has something important to share with others. By learning to value ourselves and others, we can teach children to accept the diversity in this world and learn that although we have differences, we are much more alike than we are different.

Teacher will read The Rainbow Fish aloud to students and facilitate a discussion. This lesson comprises one piece of an entire unit on Language Arts using The Rainbow Fish book.


This lesson is designed for 4th graders. It is based on Language Arts. Students will practice listening skills, reading skills, writing skills and response to literature. This lesson does not require any prior knowledge.

Curriculum Standards


Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text

  • 3.2 Identify the main events of the plot, their causes, and the influence of each event on future actions.
  • 3.3 Use knowledge of the situation and setting and of a character's traits and motivations to determine the causes for that character's actions.
  • 3.4 Compare and contrast tales from different cultures by tracing the exploits of one character type and develop theories to account for similar tales in diverse cultures (e.g., trickster tales).
  • 3.5 Define figurative language (e.g., simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification) and identify its use in literary works.


  • 1.9 Demonstrate basic keyboarding skills and familiarity with computer terminology (e.g., cursor, software, memory, disk drive, hard drive).

Evaluation and Revision

  • 1.10 Edit and revise selected drafts to improve coherence and progression by adding, deleting, consolidating, and rearranging text.
  • 2.2 Write responses to literature: a. Demonstrate an understanding of the literary work. b. Support judgments through references to both the text and prior knowledge.

Besides the standards this lesson addresses, students will practice critical thinking skills and interpersonal skills. Children will be asked to think more deeply about what they value, and will look within themselves to find their positive qualities. Students will also exercise teamwork as well as creative production of the finished product.


Day 1 - Teacher will read The Rainbow Fish aloud to the class. Students will be asked to work in groups to decide what they think the main idea of this story is. They will write their ideas on index cards and pass in to the teacher. Teacher will be able to assess what kind of understanding the children already have.

Day 2 - Students will be asked to remember the story of The Rainbow Fish. Teacher will read selected responses of students aloud from the index cards collected on Day 1. Students will be asked whether they agree or disagree. Students will be asked about sharing and asked to write down a time when someone shared with them.

Day 3-10 - Students will work on their WebQuests and have their choice to complete this assigment as a hardcopy book or multimedia presentation.

Resources Needed

1 copy of "The Rainbow Fish" by Marcus Pfister

Paper and Pencils

Crayons and/or Markers

Looseleaf paper

Construction paper

PC computers for students containing the following software:

  • MS PowerPoint
  • MS Paint


Students may come up with other items to be graded on, if the teacher is willing to open this up to the class.

When students have finished their projects, they will be graded on:

Neatness 20 points
Followed PowerPoint Model (if multimedia) 10 points
Teamwork (if multimedia) 10 points
Spelling 20 points (deduct 1 pt for each word misspelled)
Grammar 20 points (deduct 1 pt for each mistake)
Pictures - drawn neatly, colored nicely, used them in PowerPoint presentation 20 points
Use of voice ( if book) 20 points


76-100 points 4
51-75 points 3
26-50 points 2
0-25 points 1


Although many curriculum standards are addressed in this WebQuest, I believe the most important lesson the students will get from this exercise is that each of us is special, and we should celebrate and value ourselves and others.

Credits & References

Buy a poster of The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.

Buy a copy of The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.

Last updated on July 31, 2003. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page