‘Secret’ Rainbow Fish for Kindergarten

secret rainbow fish for kindergarten

Looking for a kindergarten art lesson? Try this line lesson based on the popular book ‘The Rainbow Fish’.

Kindergarteners create watercolor resist line art based on the book ‘The Rainbow Fish’. Allow two 40-minute classes.


  • white construction paper 12″x18″ (use paper sturdy enough for watercolor)
  • Sharpies
  • white crayons
  • watercolors: purple, blue and green (cool colors)

Day 1: Draw

Read the book The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister (or listen to it online for free!) Point out the cool colors and name any lines you see.

Using Sharpies, students draw the outline of the fish as a step-by-step. I tell students to draw a large ‘rainbow’ for the back, ‘smile’ for the belly, and triangle for the tail. We divide the body with a few vertical lines.

Kinds of Lines

Each section is filled with a different kind of line.  We use

  • spirals
  • diagonal
  • wavy
  • zig zag
  • vertical
  • horizontal
  • dotted
  • dashed

Add  SECRET (white crayon) lines

Now for the SECRET! Use the white crayon to add more lines around and in-between your black lines (the white lines are hard to see and therefore ‘secret’). For best results, encourage students to press hard with the white crayon. Tell students you will tell them the secret when we paint the fish.

Day 2: Paint

Paint with purple, blue and green watercolors. Listen to the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as the SECRET lines pop out from the watercolor. It is OK for colors to overlap (the cool colors mix beautifully).


Cool color watercolors and white crayon resist.

If you have extra time after clean up, read The Rainbow Fish again (or try another book in the series such as Rainbow Fish to the Rescue! or Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale).


Do you have a favorite story book for kindergarten art?

NOTE: This post was updated on 9/2/13.

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  1. Pingback: Best Art Projects of the Year: Kindergarten » K - 6 Art

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