Week 7 - The pout-pout fish

by jessicaconlon23
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Activities Linked to the Australian English Curriculum - Foundation Year Level.1) Understand that language can be used to explore ways of expressing needs, likes and dislikes. (ACELA1429)The pout-pout fish contains an abundance of descriptive vocabulary for emotions and facial expressions, such as: glum, gloomy, pout, dreary, weary, grin, frown, scowl, grimace, mope, joy, hope, sulking, cheery. Students could discuss these words, and draw pictures of themselves feeling these emotions, and/or draw pictures of things that make them feel these emotions.2) Recognise rhymes, syllables and sounds (phonemes) in spoken words. (ACELA1439)The Pout-Pout Fish is a rhyming book. After reading the book with students once, the teacher could read it again but cover up the rhyming words, allowing the students to try to remember and guess what the words are.

Deborah Diesen

The pout-pout fish

Langauge FeaturesAnother major language feature of The pout-pout fish is repetition. Winch, Johnston, March, Ljungdahl and Holliday (2010) note that the use of simple, repetitive text is good for young readers, and enhances the effectiveness of the text. In The pout-pout fish, the refrain‘I’m a pout-pout fish,with a pout-pout face,so I spread the dreary-weariesall over the place’is repeated five times throughout the book. The repetition of these words enhances the text by engaging children and encouraging them to join in. Further, it increases children’s familiarity with the words, their sound and their spelling.

Language FeaturesOne main language feature of The pout-pout fish is rhyme. For example, the story opens:‘Deep in the waterwhere the fish hang outlives a glum gloomy swimmerwith an ever-present pout’The text consistently follows this ABCB rhyming pattern. This enhances the book by making it enjoyable for children, allowing them to experiment with words and sounds as they try to predict what will happen next that will fit with the rhyming pattern.

IllustrationsIllustrations support and enhance The pout-pout fish. Winch, Johnston, March, Ljungdahl, and Holliday (2010) suggest that pictures often provide the details of setting and characters even more so than the words. The opening line of The pout-pout fish provides the setting for the story - 'deep in the water' - however, the text of The pout-pout fish provides little more description. The illustrations are the main source of information for the setting of the book. Colour is one particularly significant visual feature in The pout-pout fish. Mr. Fish's surroundings are bright and colourful, inviting readers in to the story. However, for the majority of the book, Mr. Fish himself is depicted in dull colours compared to his surroundings, at times almost blending into the sea. This reflects his gloomy mood. After the silver fish kisses Mr. Fish and cheers him up, his colour is significantly brighter. Further, the colour of the words dramatically changes from black to red, providing for the ending of the story to contain the brightest pages in the book. Colour is used effectively in The pout-pout fish to convey the moods of Mr. Fish.

Diesen, D. (2008). The pout-pout fish. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Hear a reading of part of the book:

Hear a brief explanationof the book:

Quality Children's LiteratureThe pout-pout fish contains many language features, including rhyme, repetition, alliteration, tone and rhythm. These language features support vocabulary development, and also make the book entertaining for young children. The text is supported by colourful, detailed illustrations, which invite readers in to the story and add further meaning to the words. Importantly, The pout-pout fish has a heart-warming message for young children which encourages them to think about different emotions, and shows the importance of reaching out to make others happy. The language and visual features of The pout-pout fish, along with the great message it delivers, combine to make the book an excellent example of quality children's literature.

Jessica Conlon132131ESH151: Children's Literature Studies

Reference ListAustralian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (May 2013). English: Foundation to year ten curriculum. (Version.5.0). Retrieved from, D. (2008). The pout-pout fish. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The pout-pout fish [Images]. (n.d.). Retrieved from, G., Johnston, R., March, P., Ljungdahl, L., & Holliday, M. (2010).Literacy: Reading, writing and children's literature (4th ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.



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