Sunday, 27 January, 2013

Teach your pupils about the fundamental principles of acceptance through the story Rainbow Fish to the Rescue, which is about how one fish's conduct towards a less sparkly fish could hurt its feelings.

Purpose: To introduce and explore the 2013 theme
Target Audience: Early Years

Note to teachers
Please note, as this group are so young, there is no mention of the Holocaust other than it is Holocaust Memorial Day and that people were treated unfairly.  The focus is on the theme for 2013, Communities Together: Build a Bridge.  This is an opportunity for the children to think about how different we all may be, and that difference should be celebrated.  We shall share the story of Rainbow Fish to the Rescue and explore how the fish behaved and how they might have made the little striped fish feel, just because he was different and didn’t have the sparkling scale. 

This week it will be Holocaust Memorial Day.  Each year on or around 27 January we learn about events that have happened in the past when people were treated unfairly, so that we can learn from them and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.  This year the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day is Communities Together: Build a Bridge.

Key Stage 1 Assembly
Today, I would like to talk to you about the importance of everyone in the community working together.  It doesn’t matter that we are different in age or heights.  It doesn’t matter if we look different or celebrate different occasions with our families.  Imagine we are all individual pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. We need all the different pieces to join together to build the whole picture.  It is the same with our community - each and every one of us has an important role to play, each and every one of us is both completely unique and also an important part of the jigsaw.  We are all individuals who share this world together, and it is important that we support one another, treat one another fairly and celebrate differences.

I would like to tell you the story of a little fish … (either read from Rainbow Fish to the Rescue by Marcus Pfister or the synopsis below).

The Rainbow Fish lived at the bottom of the deep blue sea with a school of fish, each with a sparkling silver scale.

They did everything together and had no interest in other fish.  One day, a little fish swam by and asked to join in their game.

The others said no, as he didn't have a sparkling silver scale.  The little fish was sad and lonely as he watched the others playing.

Rainbow Fish felt bad for the little fish as he remembered a time when he had no friends.

From nowhere a shark appeared and all the other fish swam to safety, but the new little fish didn't make it.

The Rainbow Fish knew he had to leave the safety of the nook and go to help.  He called upon his friends to help too.

They worked together to confuse the shark and got the little fish to safety who was very thankful for Rainbow Fish's help.

The little fish was invited to stay and play with the others and they all had a lovely time.

Questions to ask the children

Was it fair that the little striped fish wasn’t allowed to join in with the game of flash-tag just because he looked different to the others?

How do you think that made him feel?

How should the other fish have behaved?

You would have allowed the striped little fish to join in your game wouldn’t you?

The Rainbow Fish and his friends behaved badly at the beginning of the story.  But they realised they were wrong and helped the little striped fish when they saw that he was in trouble with the shark.  Rainbow Fish no longer worried what the others would say – he knew what the right thing to do was – he needed to help the little striped fish.

The Rainbow Fish and his friends saw past the fact that little striped fish didn’t have a sparkling silver scale, and that he looked different.  They realised that he was just a little fish – he was just like them.

We are lucky to live in a community with people from all over the world.  We share our community with people from different places.  Each and every one of us is completely unique and we should celebrate the differences.  Everyone should be made to feel welcome in our community, in our jigsaw puzzle.  After all, it is all the different pieces that make the world so interesting.

You can download a printable version of the assembly here.

With thanks from North South Books for allowing us to include a synopsis.
Rainbow Fish to the Rescue by Marcus Pfister, translated by J.Alison James
English Translation Copyright 1995 by North-South Books Inc


  • 5-7


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