Activities to use with the Book The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

Teaching Ideas for The Goldfish Boy

In The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson, twelve-year-old Matthew suffers from OCD. He is afraid to leave his bedroom where he has complete control over how clean his space is. Matthew spends his days looking out his bedroom window at the neighbors in the cul-de-sac, cleaning his room, and recording what the neighbors are doing in a notebook.

One day two small children come to stay with his next-door neighbor, their granddad, for the summer. The young girl, Casey, calls Matthew the goldfish boy because he stays behind his glass window watching but never interacting with the neighbors.

Matthew is the last person to see the toddler next door before he disappears. The police search for Teddy, but he can’t be found. Will Matthew be able to leave the safety of his room to help find Teddy?

Ideas for the Book

Learning about OCD 

  • OCD stands for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
  • When you suffer from OCD, your mind gets stuck on a certain thought or image. The thought plays over and over again. Along with the repeating thoughts, you feel anxious. You want to respond, to react, to do something to protect yourself.
  • Approximately 2.3% of the population between the ages of 18-54 suffers from OCD. In the United States, this is 3.3 million people. 
  • In children, OCD is more prevalent in boys. Typically OCD is reported at age 6-15 for males and 20-29 in females.
  • Some common obsessions of OCD include:
    • worries about contamination
    • fear of hurting others or yourself
    • being responsible for causing something terrible to happen such as fire

Lesson Plan

This free nine-page printable from Scholastic provides ideas to use with the book.

The Goldfish Boy Book Unit

Free Book Unit Samples from The Goldfish Boy Book Unit

If you would like to try out The Goldfish Boy Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains free samples including:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructed Response Question – Inference – The Neighbors
  • Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like

Teaching Ideas to Use with The Goldfish Boy

The Goldfish Boy Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, comprehension, constructed response writing, and skill practice.

Gay Miller

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