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Learning outcomes

Students will be able to see the importance of working together as a group to solve a problem.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

30 minutes


Technology resources

computer with internet access (optional)


Brainstorm with students the different ways that people solve problems.


  1. Have students trace one small fish pattern on red construction paper and cut out.
  2. Have one student trace the small fish pattern on black construction paper, cut out, and save.
  3. Have students place their red fish anywhere on the blue mural paper.
  4. Bring out the large, scary fish.
  5. Have students discuss what might happen and how they could solve the problem.
  6. Have the student bring up the small, black fish.
  7. Tell the students that you would like to read them a story about a little, black fish who helps the other fish in the sea to solve this problem.
  8. Read Swimmy by Leo Lionni. Discuss with the students how Swimmy solved the problem.
  9. Glue down the large, scary fish on the blue mural paper.
  10. Have students glue down their red fish on the light blue mural paper — the way Swimmy had taught them in the story — in the outline of a large fish.
  11. Have the one student glue the black fish, Swimmy, as the eye.


Brainstorm with students other things to add to complete the ocean mural. Observe students as they work together to solve this problem.

Supplemental information


This is a nice activity for the beginning of the school year. It enables the children to see the importance of working together and allows them to participate in a simple project.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 1

Guidance (2001)

Grade K–5