…And the Big, Bad Shark!

This week I have chosen The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark for everyone’s reading and dining enjoyment. I have this book memorized. Seriously. Memorized. I have read it and read it and read it again. However, this is not due to the two little girls toddling around our home. This book was a popular title in the preschool that I ran in Virginia. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it to the preschoolers – so many options for fun, silly voices. I am not sure if it was a class favorite because the children loved the book OR if they loved the book because I adored reading it. I assume the latter. Either way, it should be a winner for your family!

“Let’s Start with the Side”

Book: The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist

Age Level: Approximately age 4-8 (but, I believe it is best suited for 2-4 year olds).

Side Dish Reading for Mom & Dad:

This article may likely be a review of items you already know as a parent. However, it is always nice to have a refresher regarding these important home literacy ideas: Conversations That Count

In addition, below, you will find reading check-up lists specified by age that you can review with your child(ren) in mind. A great, user friendly, resource(s)!

Literacy Activities (given the age level of the book the majority of these activities are targeted for Pre-K children):

Before Reading the Book:

  • Read the title, author and illustrator aloud and discuss. Set purpose for listening with this guiding question: Why do the three fish need to build new homes?

While Reading the Book:

  • Periodically ask you child what they think will happen next in the story. Be sure to look at illustrations or foreshadowing clues.
  • As always, try to focus on a few new vocabulary words when reading this book with your child. These new words may include:
    • Gather (to bring things together).
    • Tremble (to shake and feel scared).
    • Worry (to feel upset).
    • Munch (to chew something).
    • Ship (a large boat).
    • Destroy (to smash and break apart).
    • If you followed my previous Dragons Love Tacos post, you could add some of these words to your word wall at home.
  • As you read the story ask questions like the examples listed below:
    • What did the mama say to her children?
    • What do you think will happen next?
    • What are Jim and Tim doing?
    • How is the ship different from the seaweed house and the sandy house?
    • Why do you think the shark wants to come in?
    • How does Jim feel?
    • Why did Jim and Tim swim away?
    • How is the ship different from the seaweed house and the sandy house?
    • Why did the shark’s teeth fall out?
    • Why do you think the shark can only eat soft foods like seaweed now?
  • Try to move beyond just having your child name objects in the pictures – ask them what is happening in the pictures.

After Reading the Book:

  • Try to lead your child through the process of retelling the story in their own words (you could use the shark clothes pin family fun idea listed below to aid in this activity).
  • Ask your child: Why did the three fish need to build new homes?
  • Ask your child: Which home was best for the fish and why?

Parents, Add  A Side Dish of Literacy to Your Home:  The last two weeks I have challenged you to add a word wall to your home and to add visual literacy strategies to your daily literacy routine. This week I would like you to consider: Visiting the library on a regular basis. Your family may already do this – good for you. Or, it is extremely possible given the craze and busyness of life, you simply don’t get to the library like you know you should. Start small. Make a goal to go every month, then twice a month, then maybe every week. The research shows repeatedly that visiting the library with child(ren) makes a large impact upon their literacy development.

Family Fun Activity:

“For the Main Dish”

The Recipe: Angel Hair Pasta with Scallops and Tomatoes

Our household loves Skinnytaste.com. Loves! I don’t believe we have made one recipe from this website that is not stellar. Gina’s recipes are not only yummy – but healthy! Bonus.

Obviously, I wanted to find a dish that little ones would enjoy and also incorporated some “seafood” to correlate with your underwater theme this week. We have made this dish for our toddler and she approved. Eh, I mean, it’s a dish with pasta – what kid wouldn’t approve? Full disclosure: we told her the scallops were turkey pieces. She bought it. #parentsoftheyear

Remember, this blog is about literacy, reading AND cooking as a family at least one night a week. So, please allow your little ones to help with the dinner preparation. A messy kitchen is a happy, family kitchen!

I am not a Pinterest Mom. In fact, I am extremely far from it. However, if you are in to that type of thing (good for you!), below are some cute Pinterest shark snack ideas. I don’t have the time to be this adorable, but if you do, rock on! J

Keep Munchin’ and Crunchin’ (Like The Shark!),



Anderson, M. (2012, August). How to draw a cartoon shark – tutorial. Retrieved April 8, 2015 from https://www.andertoons.com/cartoon-blog/2012/08/how-to-draw-a-cartoon-shark-tutorial.html.

Bozman, N. [Nicole]. (n.d.). Kid fun [Pinterest post]. Retrieved April 8, 2015 from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/494762709032797004/.

Buskirk, K. (2012, July). Feed the shark alphabet game for kids. Retrieved April 8, 2015 from http://www.toddlerapproved.com/2014/07/feed-shark-alphabet-game-for-kids.html.

Catch my Party. (n.d.). The little mermaid birthday ideas [Pinterest post]. Retrieved April 8, 2015 from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/187884615679470735/.

Catch my Party. (n.d.). Under the sea birthday party ideas [Pinterest post]. Retrieved April 8, 2015 from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/479422322805142807/.

Duff, M. [Molly]. (n.d.). First birthday [Pinterest post]. Retrieved April 8, 2015 from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/138133913544949233/.

Get Ready to Read. (n.d.).  Promoting family literacy: raising ready readers. Retrieved April8, 2015 from http://www.getreadytoread.org/early-learning-childhood-basics/early-literacy/promoting-family-literacy-raising-ready-readers.

Homolka, G. (2013, February). Angel hair pasta with scallops and tomatoes. Retrieved April 8, 2015 from http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/02/angel-hair-pasta-with-scallops-and.html.

Koralek, D. (n.d.). Conversations that count. Retrieved April 8, 2015 from http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/articles/conversations-that-count.htm.

McInerney, M. (2014, January). Don’t wake the shark – matching pairs. Retrieved April 8, 2015 from http://mollymoocrafts.com/diy-matching-pairs/.

Neary, L. (2014, December). Talk, sing, read, write, play: how libraries reach kids before they can read. Retrieved April 8, 2015 from http://www.npr.org/2014/12/30/373783189/talk-sing-read-write-play-how-libraries-reach-kids-before-they-can-read.

Reading is Fundamental. (n.d.). Reading check-up lists. Retreived April 8, 2015 from http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/articles/reading-checkup-for-babies-and-toddlers.htm.

Sandoval, M. [Meghan] (n.d.) Birthday inspiration [Pinterest post]. Retrieved April 8, 2015 from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/139963500889895708/.


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