Memoirs of a Goldfish Interactive Read-Aloud

Memoirs of a Goldfish Read-aloud for Kindergarten and First Grade

I absolutely loved ‘Memoirs of An Elf’ by Devin Scillian (and so did my students!). When I saw ‘Memoirs of a Goldfish’ I knew I had to have it as an interactive read-aloud in my class. Our class read-aloud time is simply my favorite time of the day, with guided reading a close second. I love watching the students fall in love with each book and eagerly raise their hands to answer questions about the story. I love seeing them apply what they learning during our read-alouds into their guided reading.


I read the story to them the first day and I knew right away they didn’t completely understand everything from the story, which meant it would be a perfect book for a close read.


The first time I read the story to my class I read the story all the way through so the students could enjoy it without any interruptions. I handed out the fishbowl graphic organizer and had them draw as many characters as they could remember from the story who joined Goldfish in his bowl.  After they were finished with their fishbowls I  asked the students text dependent questions about the key ideas and details of the story. We answered them together as a class, which led to a great discussion about the story. Then I had the students return to their seats to add characters to their fishbowl that they forgot the first time. Everyone had more to add after answering the questions. Then I paired students up so they could use their fishbowls to retell the story to each other. You can read more about how I get my students talking to each other throughout the day here. They LOVED this lesson and their fishbowls turned out so cute!


The second day is my favorite day in the read-aloud. It is the day where we focus on the author’s craft. There is always something clever that the author did, which isn’t obvious the first time you read the story. We discuss why the author chose to add ellipses where he did or why he bolded a certain word. We also discuss why the author selected specific words and we define some of the hard to understand words in the book. Sometimes we focus on the character traits or the character’s feeling on this day.

The craft and structure text dependent questions help us dive deep on this day.For ‘Memoir’s of a Goldfish’ I decided to focus on Goldfish’s feelings for this lesson. As a class we discussed the beginning and ending of the story and talked about how Goldfish felt at different points. I asked the students why they thought he felt certain ways. We talked about how his feelings changed and what it was that made him feel differently. The students completed this graphic organizer to finish up the lesson, which helped me assess their understanding.


The third lesson in the read-aloud focuses on how the illustrations work with the words to help you understand the story more. I asked my students integration of knowledge and ideas text dependent questions. To learn more about text dependent questions click here. After answering the questions I had students write their own memoir. I had them think of an event or moment they wanted to write a memoir about. They turned out adorable!


We wrapped up the read-aloud by thinking of the lesson the author wanted us to learn from the story.  We discussed some of the things we would miss if they were no longer around and we drew those things in our own fish tank. It was fun to see the various things the kids drew in their fish tanks. Then each student made their own fishbowl craftivity. They loved this craft!


Are you thinking I am crazy for spending 4 days on one book? I can promise your students will not get bored with these lessons. Each day is structured with a different focus as we read the story. Student love activities like this, chose from one of over 100 other read-alouds to choose from in our store!



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