Fish - Tip Sheet

An image of the cover of the book "Fish" showing an underwater coral reef with large amounts of unique colorful fish swimming past


Fish - Teacher Tip Sheet

Purple Series - Book 10 - Fish

Grapheme/Phoneme Correspondence

Tips and Activities to Try

Introduced in This Book

  • <y >/ī/

Previously Introduced


  • all short vowels, <u >/o͝͝o/
  • <o >/ō/, <e >/ē/, <y >/ī/, <ee >/ē/, <ay >/ā/, <ai >/ā/, <y >/ē/, <a-e >/ā/, <i-e >/ī/, <o-e >/ō/, <u-e >/yū/, <u-e >/o̅o̅/, <e-e >/ē/


  • all single consonants and clusters
  • <ng >/ng/, <nk >/nk/
  • <s >/s/ and /z/, <c >/s/, <g >/j/


  • <th >/TH/ voiced, <th >/th/ unvoiced, <ck >/k/, <ff >/f/, <zz >/z/, <ss >/s/, <ll >/l/, <sh >/sh/, <ch >/ch/, <qu >/kw/, <-tch >/ch/, <-dge >/j/, <wh >/wh/, <wr >/r/, <kn >/n/

Additional Concepts

  • <al >(<a >as short /ŏ/ before <l >)
  • <wa >(<a >as short /ŏ/ after <w >)
  • <er >/er/, <or >/or/

Key Concepts to Understand

  • <y >can be pronounced many ways so ensure that you avoid absolute language such as “<y >says /y/”
    • /ē/ in final position of multisyllabic words ( baby , city ) when syllable is unstressed
    • /y/ in initial position
    • /ī/ in final position ( try , my - usually in single syllable words or stressed syllables)
    • /ĭ/ in medial position ( gym - from Greek origin)

Words and Phrases for Reading

Here is a list of words that can be used for phonemic awareness activities, reading, games cards, etc. These words demonstrate <y >representing /ī/, but include some other complex spelling conventions, so they are best used for reading only.

  • gym, syrup, crypt, symbol, system, myth, cygnet, oxygen, symptom, typical, syrup, calypso, pyramid, abyss, crystal, cyst, Egypt, syringe


Tips and Activities to Try

Introduced in This Book

  • prefix <re->- gives a sense of back or again
  • concept of bound base

Previously Introduced

  • suffix <-s >third person singular, plural, and possessive
  • suffix <-ing >as present participle
  • suffix <-ed >as past tense of a verb
  • compound words
  • suffix <-y >
  • suffix <-er >as comparative/as agent
  • suffix <-es >as plural
  • suffix <-ful >
  • suffix <-est >as superlative
  • suffix <-ly >
  • prefix <un->

Key Concepts to Understand (Prefix <re->)

  • prefixes can intensify, shift or nudge a base’s meaning
  • <re->can give a sense of back from , again , undoing (to name a few)

Note: prefixes can have more than one “sense” so ensure that you avoid absolute language such as, “<re->means again.”


Activity To Try

  1. Provide students with a suffix re- card (use red to differentiate from the base).
  2. Teacher reads base such as use (either written on the board or orally presented).
  3. Students repeat use , hold up suffix re- card and say the new word reuse .

Students are responsible for repeating the base and adding the suffix <re->, NOT independently decoding the base. Therefore, words with vowel teams that have not yet been taught can be used in this activity. The goal is to understand prefix <re->as a meaningful unit, not as something to sound out.


Suggested bases:

  • use, do, read, write, try, appear, build, act, heat, play, load, start, fill, call, claim, think, move, boot, count, fresh, wind, fuel, cap, name, cycle, arrange, wire, word, view

Here are phrases that can be used for reading and/or dictation practice. These phrases can be combined to create sentences. A good opportunity arises to address syntax if the resulting sentence is not grammatically correct.

Noun Phrase

Verb Phrase

Prepositional Phrase

the smallest foxes

reacted quickly

to the reused dishes

the relaxed mule

replayed the game

on the softest unknotted mat

her unlucky pal, Wren

can repay her mom

at the biggest bank

the recalled player

will refill the tallest cup

by the reclaimed benches


You can differentiate for your students by dropping some of the words in these phases (e.g., “by the fluffy, mossy water” can just be “by the water”).


Key Concepts to Understand (Bound Bases)

  • bases can be “free” → a base that functions independently/forms a complete English word on its own (e.g., play )
  • bases can be “bound” → a base that requires affixes to be an English word (e.g., con + struct + ion)

Refer to Pages 2 and 9 in Morphology Background Information Sheets for information on bound bases and activity ideas

High Frequency Words

Tips and Activities to Try

  • subject word “ocean”
  • We have not yet taught all concepts found in the word “ocean”. Support student as needed to read this word.

Comprehension Corner - Fish

Vocabulary Development

  • The author says, “Some fish have slime on their scales to help reduce the drag from the water and help them swim quickly.” What does the drag mean?
  • The base in the word react is <act >. How does <re->in the word react alter the meaning?

Making Connections

  • Have you ever swum with fish? Did you like it? Would you like to?
  • How are fish and humans alike?


  • Do you think fish and aquatic life that live in freshwater lakes could survive in saltwater oceans? Why?
  • Do you think fish and sea life that live in saltwater oceans could survive in freshwater lakes? Why?
  • What do you think fish think of humans swimming in their waters?


  • What fish facts did you learn from this story?
  • Did you have a favourite fish in the story?


Tip Sheet written by Shari Kudsia and Helen Maclean - April 2023 - © SyllaSense Inc.