Memoirs of a Goldfish

Episode #10

Memoirs of a Goldfish

Written by Devin Scillian

Illustrated by Tim Bowers

Read with Permission By

Sleeping Bear Press


Goldfish, Friendship, Time Together, Time Alone.


3 – 6 years


“A goldfish gives a personal account of his experiences while swimming around his bowl as it slowly fills with fish and other accessories, only to realize when he is relocated for a cleaning how much he misses them.”

Teaching Tips

Great for any age or time of day.

It pairs well with a sea life or underwater theme.

The two-year-olds appeared to enjoy it. I didn’t share it with a three-year-old classroom, but I imagine their response would be comparable to the four-year-olds.

The four- and five-year-olds seemed to love it. They empathized with the goldfish’s longing for solitude. During a reading, I occasionally asked how students thought the goldfish might feel. “Sad,” or “mad,” was the usual response. Then one little girl said, “Really mad.” Upon asking why she thought he was really mad, she replied, “Because he just wants everyone to get out of his face!” I thought that was hysterical, but held it together to ask if others may have felt like that sometimes. Unfortunately, that didn’t lead to an engaging discussion about regulating healthy social boundaries, so I continued with the story, but later in the break room, the other teachers and I laughed.

Activity Ideas

– Draw fish inside a printout of an empty fish tank.

– Decorate cut-out fish and glue them onto a popsicle stick.

– Fill a small empty fish tank (with toy fish or anything, really) and ask the class to guess how many items there are inside. Write the number each student guesses, and then all together, you can count how many there are.

– Use a paper bag they can inside out and decorate it to look like an octopus, with streamers and even silly eyes if you wish. Then you can have a sea life parade, where they can show off their new Cephalopoda attire, and march behind their teacher to something lively like, “I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside” by John Glover-Kind.

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