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At the Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea

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“At the Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea” Storytime Kit

Cover Sheet – For the Presenter

The following storyhour program is designed for the 2010 “Make a Splash” Summer Library Program. This program is intended primarily for young preschoolers (4-5-year olds).
You don’t have to read the leader’s comments word-for-word, but try to include the information in your own words especially the asides to the parents. The information that is just for you is in italics – so don’t read that text.
The general outline of our storytime is:

  1. Opening Rhyme

  2. Welcome/Introductory Comments

  3. Rhyme

  4. Book

  5. Rhyme/Song

  6. Story

  7. Book

  8. Closing Rhyme

Feel free to substitute your own opening and closing rhymes. Repeating some of the songs and rhymes from previous storytimes is better than introducing all new ones. (For example, you may wish to select a set of opening, closing and quieting rhymes to use throughout your Summer Library Program.)

We have provided links to some props that we think will be helpful.
You might prepare copies of the songs and rhymes in large print to help the adults join in.
Craft ideas and take-home materials are offered at the end.


“At the Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea”
Opening Rhyme with Flannelboard

One fish
Two fish

Red fish
Blue fish

Big fish
Small fish

Fat fish
Tall fish

Brown fish

Green fish
Nice fish
Mean fish

This one swims deep in the sea

This one wanders wild and free
Hey! I’m coming – wait for me!
(Repeat several times using flannelboard pieces as the children settle in. You might omit some verses or add your own. After saying the same rhyme at several storytimes, the children should know it by heart. We’ve used a version of this rhyme based on the beginning of the book by Dr. Seuss in all of the storytime kits for the 2010 Summer Library Program. In other storytime programs the last verse will be different.
Who wants to follow the fish into the deep blue sea? Well, we are going to be sharing some books, rhymes and games today – all about the ocean.

To the caregivers:

Adults, please join in with all of our rhymes and actions. Our first rhyme is designed to teach some new vocabulary words.

You might want to hold up some pictures of the different kinds of fish mentioned. You might even show a few more pictures of unusual fish at the end of the rhyme. National Geographic has some posted at
Over the Sea

(To the tune of “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.”)

I love to look over the ocean

I love to look over the sea

But if I look under the water,

What will I be able to see?
Dog fish, starfish, maybe a crab on a spree - e - e

Clown fish, sea horse, maybe they’ll come swim with me.

I love to look over the ocean

I love to look over the sea

But if I look under the water,

What will I be able to see?

Big fish, small fish, swimming about wild and free - e - e

Sand shark, swordfish – oh, those I do not want to see.

To the caregivers:
Remember that children like to learn new words. Select books with only a few unfamiliar words so that you can explain what they mean. Try to find ways to use new vocabulary words again soon.
Choose any book that features several sea creatures. Some suggestions are Somewhere in the Ocean by Jennifer Ward and T. J. Marsh; I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry; What’s Under the Ocean? By Janet Craig.
Rhyme /Song Suggestions:

Choose one that fits your group.

  • There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea (lyrics online)

  • Tiburón Martillo (Shark Rhyme in Spanish) -- (scroll down to “3. Lenguaje y movimiento”)

  • “A Smack of Jellyfish” from the CD Beasts by the Bunches by A. Mifflin Lowe. A copy of this cute poem is available from SWILSA in the book Leading Kids to Books through Puppets by Caroline Feller Bauer (just contact us at 712-328-9218 or borrow through SILO interlibrary loan.)

  • “The Fish with the Deep Sea Smile” by Margaret Wise Brown (online at

  • Sing “Did You Ever See a Fishy?” by substituting the words “fishy” and “swim” in the appropriate places in the song “Did You Ever See a Lassie?” This one is great for younger groups!

Fish with the Swishy-Swishy Tail

(See separate document link.)
This is a great shadow theater script. Contact Marcia at for shadow theater patterns. Or, create simple flannelboard pieces or stick puppets – all you need are a fish with a swishy tail, the krill, and a big whale. This is a story that you might have the children help you re-tell a second time.



If you have time for another book (or wish to substitute one for the story above), some suggestions are Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen; Fish Eyes by Lois Ehlert; Baby Honsu’s Incredible Journey by Tammy Yee; Swimmy by Leo Lionni.
Closing Rhyme

You might want to pull a small towel out of your box or basket of props. Touch each body part as you say the rhyme. (Note: Practice saying the rhyme so that you develop a nice rhythm.)

Dry your ears

Dry your nose

Dry your fingers

Dry your toes

Now our story time is through

I had fun sharing books with you!

To the caregivers:

Feel free to stay a while and do a craft or check out some books to take home. Please join us again next week. (Point out any brochures or tip sheets that you have on display for parents, etc.)

We like the idea of providing a craft at the end of storyhour. Something simple is fine. This gives parents a chance to visit and it reinforces what the children learned. This also provides an opportunity for parents to browse your collection of brochures and so on. If you have older siblings who regularly “tag along,” be sure to provide something for them as well.

Tint softened cream cheese with a few drops of blue food coloring. Spread on any square or round cracker. Add a goldfish cracker to the center for a fish on the ocean.
Make dancing jellyfish from yarn. Take several pieces of yarn all cut the same length. Fold in half with the loop at the top. When you have a large enough bunch to make a nice jellyfish, tie a longer piece of yarn tightly around the bundle. Leave this last piece of yarn long to hold while making the jellyfish dance.
For a simple octopus craft: Cut construction paper circles (about 5”) and strips of paper (1/2 or ¾” x 8 ½”). Show the children how to fan-fold the strips for the legs of the octopus and tape them to the back of the circle. The children can add eyes, etc. Make sure that each octopus has 8 legs!
Crafts Online:
Turtle paper bag puppet –
Toy boat cards – print some of these for matching or concentration games (also vocabulary building!) -- -- pages 4-6.
Koi Kites --


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