Saturday, April 9, 2011

Only One You

Last week I read this marvelous book,
Only One You, with my 2nd graders. The fish in it are so cute, shaped like little rocks or Easter eggs. We made our own fish in the style of the fish in the book, using Sharpies and watercolors, with lopsided sideways heart-shaped mouths and big circular eyes. When we were done, we felt badly for the fish, having no tails and fins, so we glued on tissue paper scraps and added them on even though they weren't in the book.

Then they needed an ocean to swim in, and what fun my 2nd graders had on Friday painting the ocean! I gave each table a sheet of paper to paint (the paper was 16"x24"), varieties of blue and white tempera, giant bristle paintbrushes, and sponge squares on clothespin handles, and by the end of the morning the tables were blue, our hands were blue, the sun was shining and it was actually above 50 degrees and I opened the windows, and everyone was smiling and happy! The kids scrubbed the tables shiny clean, and a couple of nice 4th graders in my room for lunchtime washed all the brushes.
My fingers still seem a little blue...

At the end of the day, I took all the painted papers and stapled them end-to-end on a bulletin board and finally stapled on all the fish. Here's the bulletin board:

The book has all these wonderful words of wisdom in it, and it was my original intent to get those words on the bulletin board as well, maybe inside bubbles? I ran out of time, but I will re-hang the bulletin board for our art show in mid-May, so by then we should have the bubbles and words to complete the board. Here's a sampling of the text:

And if that wasn't all enough to accomplish in three of art classes, we have now also completed step 3 of our teddy bear chairs (gluing on the backs), and they will be ready to begin painting in the next 2nd grade art class! So the chairs should be complete in time for any Build-a-Bears purchased when the 2nd grades take the ferry over Lake Champlain on their field trip to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory in May.


  1. I love that book, too , Phyl, and your fish look wonderful. Sounds like you had a busy day!

  2. I think I'll have to get that book!! I love projects like this!!

  3. Great project, love the colors and the variety of lines.

  4. This book is so darling!! I just bought it on Amazon. Thanks for sharing such a great book and project Phyl!

  5. I think I am going to have to find this book. It looks adorable.

  6. Love this book and it is a great alternative to the "Rainbow Fish." I always find it annoying that the Rainbow Fish gives away the one thing that makes him special, HIS BEAUTIFUL SCALES. Isn't there another way to be a friend besides making everyone equal? I know this interpretation is a little wacky but it is ONE way to look at the story:)

    I have boycotted the Rainbow Fish this year. . . in hopes to find another fish story! Fish make great models for art work. I will have to get this one.

  7. Hey, by the way, did you run out of Sunday comics? I'm seeing you are such a trendsetter:)

  8. Love it Phyl! That will be a great, colorful one for the hall!

  9. That book looks so sweet...adding that to the list of books I need! That could be a whole post in itself...children's art books we all love!

  10. Your watercolors are SO BRIGHT and fabulous! We tried fish in this style (I blogged about it and linked back to you) but ours don't look nearly as bright and bold... I did use crayons instead of markers, and my watercolors have seen better days. I'll have to try again or tweak it for some other classes. Thanks for a(nother) great project idea!

    1. It really depends on the type of watercolors I think. Washable watercolors are pale and dull. These were probably done using a combo of Crayolas sets and Prang sets, with small brushes so the kids don't overload with too much water.


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