Ruth Galloway's Fidgety Fish

Ruth Galloway, an award winning children's author and illustrator from the United Kingdom, has a fantastic series of books that have become absolute favorites of mine to use during therapy sessions.

One of her treasures is Fidgety Fish. This is the story about Tiddler, a fidgety young fish who has the energy of a playful puppy! He swims, and darts and wriggles and squiggles throughout his cave. His excess energy, spirit and liveliness are just too much for his mother, so she suggests he go swimming out into the ocean until he tires. But, she sends him out to the sea with a warning: “BEWARE OF THE BIG FISH!

Galloway takes us along Tiddler’s swimming journey as he meets his neighbors; through her words and drawings, she magically creates Tiddler’s feelings and emotions as he is presented with a problem. Then with suspense and humor, she describes how Tiddler’s problem is resolved.

I have addressed the following language goals and strategies through the reading of Fidgety Fish:

  • Semantics (Vocabulary): fidgety, darted, squiggled, wriggled, limpets, quivered, trembled, grumbled

  • Phonological Awareness: rhyming

  • Morphology: progressive -ing, regular past tense, irregular past tense

  • Figurative Language: similes, alliteration

  • Prediction: Will Tiddler enjoy his swim through the ocean? What do you think he will see when he goes swimming in the ocean? Do you think he will see the big fish? Will the big fish cause a problem? Do you think he will get out of the big fish's belly?

  • Story Grammar: Characters, Setting, Initiating Event, Internal Response, Plan & Attempts, Obstacles, Direct Consequence and Resolution

  • Sequencing Events: Click here for sequencing cards. Click here for an example of how to use the sequencing cards

  • Cause and Effect: Why did Tiddler's mom tell him to go swimming in the ocean? Why did Tiddler go into the "cave"? Why did the big fish's tummy feel funny? Why did Tiddler swim home?

  • Text-to-Self Connection: Seeing sea animals. Being scared. Listening to parents.

  • Drawing Conclusions and Inferencing: How do you think Tiddler feels when he is in the big fish's Belly? How do you think he feels when he swims home to his mommy?

Additional books by Ruth Galloway that are guaranteed to be enjoyed by all include:

Tickly Octopus

Clumsy Crab

Smiley Shark

Ten Busy Whizzy Bugs

Ten Gingerbread Men

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