What is this?

This resource outlines an assembly for early years children which uses the book The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister to teach young children about the importance of sharing and friendship. There are also planners showing how the book can be used as a nursery to primary transition project.

Who is this for?

​Early years practitioners, primary staff and nursery to P1 learners.


PDF file: The Rainbow Fish assembly resource (33 KB)

PDF file: The Rainbow Fish resource pack (588 KB)

Word file: Rainbow Fish nursery transition planning (22KB)

Word file: Rainbow Fish primary transition planning (19KB)

​Explore this resource

It is recommended that staff read Tackling sectarianism: An overview of resources and use the Timelineprofessional learning resource  as preparation for delivering this anti-sectarian resource. 

How to use this learning and assessment resource to improve practice

Selecting books about being different or being excluded can open children's minds to playing co-operatively and accepting others. The character Rainbow Fish has shiny scales and is very clever, but he learns to include others who are different.

The Rainbow Fish can be bought as a giant book, which makes sharing it with a group of young children visually enjoyable.

For an understanding of anti-sectarian work and a context for this work please refer to the links at the bottom of this page.

The assembly

During the assembly, The Rainbow Fish is read and re-enacted with puppets. The concepts of sharing and friendship are explored.

After reading the story, an adult can lead a discussion with the group about a time when they were left out, how they felt about it and what they did.

This could involve talking about emotions and feelings, as well as developing strategies to deal with being left out and encouraging children to be more inclusive in their play.

Transition planners

The transition planners suggest a number of activities based on the story which can be carried out in nursery and then at induction days at the primary school and during term one.

They outline a number of learning opportunities including: exploring friendship, data collection, making puppets, creating graphs and sorting.

This resource allows experiences and outcomes within first level to be offered in numeracy, literacy, and health and wellbeing.

Improvement questions

  • How does this work link with the range of protected characteristics that are defined by the Equality Act (2010)?
  • As staff, do we model welcoming and valuing each person in front of us?
  • Do we challenge discrimination?