Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown

            Now it’s time to go to bed.   Mother rabbit helps her little bunny settle her head, saying goodnight to things in the home feeling safe for a cozy nights sleep.


  •   Several flashlights
  •  Alphabet line
  •  Star, moon, and rabbit shape for tracing onto manila file
  • Oil pastels


Before reading the story

            Open the book to the first page.  Ask the children if they can guess what the story is about.  Can you tell what time of day it is?  Where is the bunny?  Stretch and yawn.  Turn to the cover of the book and tell the children the book is titled, Goodnight moon.  Ask them if they can see where the moon is.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; develops growing awareness of ideas and language related to attributes of time and temperature.

Reading the book

            Read the book in a soft soothing voice.  Point to each object as you read the goodnight_____ and let the children help name the objects.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; uses an increasingly complex and varies spoken language.

After Reading the Story;

            Ask the children how night time is different from day time?  What types of activities do you do during the day?  What kinds of activities do you do at night?  How do you know when it is time for bed?  What gives us light in the day time?  What gives us light in the night?  What kinds of things are in your bedroom?

Science/Scientific Knowledge; develops growing awareness of ideas and language related to attributes of time and temperature.


            Put several flashlights into the center.  What can you find that the flashlight can shine through (color paddles, your shirt, paper, a plastic lid, etc)?  Does the flashlight shine through a book, a toy car?

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops increased ability to observe and discuss common properties, differences, and comparisons among objects and materials.

Music and Movement

            Sing Hey Diddle Diddle, The Cat and The  Fiddle.

Teach the children the following poem with hand actions.

These fingers are so sleepy,                                 Point to hand

It’s time they went to bed.

First you little finger, Fold down pinkie finger

Tuck in your little head.                                      

Ring man, now it’s your turn                               Fold down ring finger

Now tall man great                                              Fold down middle finger

Pointer finger hurry                                              Fold down pointer finger

Because it’s getting late!

Let’s see, are you all tucked in?

No, there’s still one to come.

 Move over pointer finger,

Make room for stubby thumb                             Fold in thumb

            Author Unknown

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.


            Use the blocks to make rooms of a house.  Add doll furniture and small people.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; begins to express and understand concepts and language of geography in the contexts of the classroom, home, and community.


Let the children draw with oil pastels onto white construction paper. When they are finished, wash over theri drawing with watercolors in a dark night type color. Using watercolors over oil pastels make the colors pop and give a night time effect. Encourage the children to draw something in their bedroom. You can then write,”Lee says good night stuffed elmo” and make a book with each child saying good night to what they have drawn on the paper.

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences trough pictures, dictation, and in play. AND Creative Arts/Art; gains ability on using different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation.

   Sand and Water

            Put magnetic alphabet letters into the sand.  Encourage the children to dig for the letters and match them to an alphabet line. Make a simple Alphabet line by tracing the magnet letters onto a piece of sentence strip. Cover with contact paper if you want it to last for multiple uses.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; kn ows that letters of the alphabet are a special category of visual graphics that can be individually named.

Library and Writing

Trace around the star, moon and rabbit shapes onto a manilla file and cut them out. SHow the children how to use the manilla folder shapes to trace around onto paper. Encourage the children to practice cutting out the shapes with scissors.

 Literacy/Early Writing; experiments with a growing number of writing tools and materials, such as pencils, crayons, and computers. AND Physical Health & development/Fine Motor Skills; develops strength, dexterity, and coordination needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, andhammer.

Dramatic Play

            Encourage a child to be the mother bunny.  She says good night to an object in the dramatic center and the baby bunnies repeat.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

Math and Manipilatives

Use the link to get a free bingo game download for Goodnight Moon.


As the children play on the slide or other equipment that requires going one at a time, play Categories. As each child prepares to go down the slide, they must name something from a category specified by the teacher. (EXample= name a stuffed animal you have at home, name a food you eat for breakfast, name something that you do in the night, name something you wear).

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.


Play I’m Thinking Of… Describe something in the room and see if the children can guess what it is. “I’m thinking of something that is made of wood and is in the dramatic center. We can pretend to cook meals on it and a real one gets hot”.


for tracing and cutting
About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.