Ah! Summer! My kids and I just finished our school year. I spent the last two weeks working on our end of the year, PA required, portfolios and the kids just had their teacher interviews. She said they all passed \”with flying colors\”!  (*My sigh of relief heard here!*)  Well, now I\’m looking forward to summer and hitting my summer \”To Do\” list! (It\’s a loooooonnnng list.) But first I thought I\’d take this evening to sit and relax as I enjoy the awesome feeling of completion. While I relax I\’d like to share a fun project that my younger kids and I did this past school year.
Last October, my 4 youngest girls (ages 4, 5, 6, and 8) and my 9 year old son read the book \”Swimmy\” by Leo Lionni. It\’s a cute little book; and as the kids and I read it I couldn\’t help but see the symbolism of the Body of Christ which shown through this story. 
I\’m not sure if the author is Catholic or even Christian, but he hit the reality of being part of Christ Body very well in this story. 
If you are not familiar with the story here is a YouTube video which tells the story:
(Or you can buy the book here.)

Explaining the Story and
How it Relates to Us Being Part of Christ\’s Body
I found this book to be a great way to begin explaining the idea of the Body of Christ to children. It was a great spring-board for conversation with the kids.
If you notice at the beginning of the story Swimmy is playing with his friends and they are not working together. So as the big fish swims up to them he can easily gobble up the red fish and move on. Now Swimmy is left all alone. He begins to explore and sees many wonderful creations that God has made. When he stumbles onto an another school of fish he teaches them to work together as one body to create a more powerful force which other fish will respect. 
Just like Swimmy and his friends we are better if we stick together as one body, the Body of Christ. We are meant to work together, play together, and help each other. As the Body of Christ we are meant to go out in the world and not fear the world.  We are not meant to hide in the \”seaweed\” as the red fish did before Swimmy taught them to work together. Also, the more who join us the stronger we are and the better we can serve others and help one another. 
Being Creative After Reading the Story
I also created an art project for the kids to do after we read the book.  If you notice the illustrations in the the book are filled with texture, so I made a project that mimicked the texturing idea.

You will need:

  • the fish printable ~ printed on light blue or white paper
  • crayons
    Items to rub and show texture like:
  • pipe cleaners
  • cardboard cut-outs
  • small rubber bands
  • artificial leaves

First allow the children to color the fish red and/or orange.
(Click here for fish printable)

Then I laid a handful of small rubber bands on the table and laid the fish paper on top. The kids used the side of a blue crayon (without the wrapper) to rub the area around the fish. The rubber-bands should create a \”water-like\” texture.

I cut out several hilly ground shapes which were cut from stiff cardboard (from a cereal box). Then the kids placed them under the fish paper on the bottom and rubbed them with the side of a brown crayon to create the ground under the water.

We made seaweed shapes with the pipe cleaners and placed them under the paper to  rub and create seaweed on the pictures.  We also used the artificial leaves to create some of the seaweed, too.
That\’s it!

Hope you find this book as fun and fascinating as my kids and I did!
Now I\’m off to plan for the next school year. (I gotta order some books!) A homeschooling mom\’s work is never done! I\’m sure many of you understand! 😉
God Bless!

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  1. What an adorable idea! This looks like a great book…we've added it to our \”to do\” list!

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