SUNY Geneseo’s Fish In A Tree Activity

This is an activity that the SUNY Geneseo teacher candidates created for chapters 38-40 of Fish In A Tree. This activity would be appropriate for upper elementary students. The activity entails creating a campaign slogan, speech, or poster.

SUNY Geneseo Activity – Fish in a Tree

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Week 5 – Fish in a Tree

Shelly Sanchez Terrell aka Ms. Sanchez

Shelly Rosco hearts


I am a teacher who has taught learners 2 to 80 years-old in over 20 countries. However, my greatest joy is in being the mama of Rosco the pug. You can find us on social media #RoscothePug and @ShellTerrell.


1. Students take on the role of one of the characters and tell what happened before or after the story. The students recreate their stories using


2. Students draw one of the characters and have the character retell the events of the story from that character’s point-of-view using or a free app like, YakIt for Kids (iOS), Toontastic, and Chatterpix for Kids (iOS).


Fish in a Tree, the Chapter!

If the author chose the name of this chapter (29) to be the title of the book, it had to be an important chapter! We were alert for Reading Signposts from the start!  Here are some that we spotted:

  • Again and Again: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Ally running out of rooms
  • Memory Moment: remembers swinging with grandpa
  • Tough Questions “Why can’t I read?”
  • Kiesha’s Words of the Wiser: “Hunched over and silent is no way to meet the world.”
  • Albert Einstein’s Words of the Wiser:  “Everyone is smart in different ways.  But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life thinking that it’s stupid.”

Character Hot Seat gave us a chance to ask these characters the hard questions we have been wondering about.  After making a Character Wheel, texting in character for a couple of weeks, and much discussion as we read, we were ready to become Ally or Shay or Albert…or a Halloween character, perhaps!

Character Hot Seat!
Character Hot Seat!
Questions for the Characters


5SK – Skyping with Miss Wagenhauser




We were super lucky this morning to Skype with Miss Wagenhauser in New York State. She read chapters 30 and 31 from Fish in a Tree and participated in our Character Hot Seating. Both Miss W and the students asked many deep questions that really made our ‘characters’ think about how they behaved in the story towards others.

5SK and I look forward to Skyping again in Week 6 with Miss Wagenhauser.