Reading Together

Storybook Guide Based on Trudy Harris’s “Pattern Fish”

Explore math while reading and talking about this storybook.

Topic:

Activity Summary

Use this storybook guide with the book “Pattern Fish.” Many public libraries have this book.

Reading guide

About the Story

A group of fish swoosh, glide, swirl, and swish throughout the water as patterns surround them. As children hear patterns in the story, they can delight in finding those patterns in the illustrations: wiggle-jiggle-jiggle-float, wiggle-jiggle-jiggle-float. Children can continue looking for fun patterns until a shark appears and all the fish disappear!

Two jellyfish are underwater with a crab. Illustration from “Pattern Fish”.

Words to Learn

munch, stretch, spurt, glide, underwater, octopus, float

About the Math

While hearing and seeing the patterns in the story, children can learn:

  • Patterns repeat in predictable ways. If you listento the sequence in the pattern, you can predictwhat comes next.
  • There are different types of patterns, such asABAB (yellow-black-yellow-black) and AABB(chomp-chomp-munch-munch, chomp-chomp-munch-munch).
  • The color strips on the top and bottom of each page have the same pattern as the fish.
Four sharks swim in the ocean. Illustration from “Pattern Fish”.

Math Talk During Reading

  • EXPLORE THE PATTERNS IN THE STORY
    What pattern do you hear on this page? What pattern do you see?
  • PREDICT HOW THE PATTERN CONTINUES
    Listen to the pattern: Bubble-bubble-pop, bubble-bubble-pop. Bubble-bubble … What do you think comes next in the pattern? How do you know?
  • NOTICE HOW THE PATTERNS ARE DIFFERENT
    Yellow-black-yellow-black sounds different than stripe-dot-dot, stripe-dot-dot.
  • NOTICE HOW THE PATTERNS ARE EQUIVALENT
    What do these strips on the bottom and top of the page tell you about the pattern?

Try to come up with some of your own questions and comments, too!

Activity After Reading

  • AFTER READING THE STORY, CHILDREN CAN PRACTICE PATTERNS BY DRAWING THEIR OWN PATTERN FISH
    Let’s make our own pattern fish using different colors! What pattern should we make?
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