Stellaluna, by Janell Cannon

            When little Stellaluna gets separated from her mother, what will become of her?  This story tells about how two very different animals become friends and take care of each other.


  •  Several pictures or books about bats.
  •  Animals of Nighttime and Daytime
  • Mango
  • Toilet paper tube per child (optional art activity)


  •   Sultry ( hot and humid)
  •   Clambered ( to climb something and not be very good at it)
  •   Escape ( to get away from something)
  •  Symmetrical (where both halves are the same )

Before Reading the Book

            Show the back cover of the book and ask anyone if they can guess what kind of animal these are?  If a child says birds, point to the moon and say birds fly during the day.  If no one knows, tell them these are bats.  They fly at night.  Ask the children if they know anything about bats and record any information that they share. 

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, living things, materials, and natural processes. AND Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; grows in eagerness to learn about and discuss a growing range of topics, ides, and tasks.

While Reading the Story

            As you read, note how bats and the birds are different and alike.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, living things, materials, and natural processes.

After Reading the Story

            What do you think might have happened to Stellaluna if she had not made friends with the birds?  Ask many friendship related questions.  Do you and your friend always have to do the same things?  (Sometimes Kerry wants to color but I want to do puzzles). Do you and your friend have any things that are different? (Kerry likes peanut butter but I don’t).  Are there some people that you don’t know very well that you think you could be friends with?  (Next to my house there is a baby that I like to talk to but she can’t talk back to me). 

Social & Emotional Development;progresses in responding sympathetically to peers who are in need, upset, hurt, or angry; and in expressing empathy and caring for others. AND Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest and involvement in listening to and discussing a variety of fiction and non-fiction and poetry.


            Bring in pictures of real bats to discuss with the children.  The back page of the books has Bat Facts. 

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, living things, materials, and natural processes.

Bring in a mango for the children to taste. Make a graph of those who like mango and those who do not like mango.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; begins to make comparisons between several objects based on a single attribute.

Music and Movement

            Tell the children that you are going to sing a song about opposites. Explain that opposites are a person or thing that is totally different from someone or something else. Sing Everything I Always Say– to the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel

Everything I always say,                          

You always say the opposite.                      

When I say ____,  You say ____.

(Use opposites in-out, up-down, day-night, happy-sad, yummy-blucky)

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; uses an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.


  Show the children how to make a “bat” using a block in the center and making the wings exactly the same on either side.  Explain that when both sides are exactly alike it is called symmetrical.  Tell the children that a body is mostly symmetrical, a butterfly, and car. That a square shape and a circle are also symmetrical.   Ask them if they can build other symmetrical structures.

     Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; uses an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary. AND Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; progresses in ability to put together and take shapes apart.


            Give each child a piece of construction paper and ask them to fold it in half.  After they have folded it in half, have them open it back up and pour a tablespoon of paint onto one side of the paper.  Close the paper back up and have the child use the side of his hand to rub the paint about.  Open up and there will be a symmetrical design on their paper.  Add another color if they like.  Can they tell you what it looks like? 

Creative Arts/Art; begins to understand and share opinions about artistic products and experiences.

Make toilet paper bats and hang them from the ceiling. (See resources)

Sand and Water

            Fill the table with mud.  Add grass clippings.  Allow the children to mix it all together and pack into bowls.  These will be bird nests.  Put them out into the sun to dry.  The children can find small stones to make eggs.  You can add a paint station so the children can paint the eggs to go in their nests.

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in and complete a variety of tasks, activities, and experiences.

Library and Writing

            On an index card write the letters AT.  Tell the children that this makes the “at” sound like in bat.  Give them magnetic letters and ask them if they can make the new sounds by putting the magnet letter in front of the AT index card.  For children who are not familiar with blending words, begin with the letters B-C-F-H-M-P-R-S. 

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing awareness of beginning and ending sounds of words. AND Literacy/ Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating the names of letters with their shapes and sounds.

Dramatic Play

            Today is a good day for Parent and Child play.  Include food so the parent can feed their children. 

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex.

Math and Manipulatives

            Make a copy of the Nighttime and Daytime animal page.  Make a copy of the animals and cut them out.  Cover all with contact paper.  Put the animal pictures into a small basket and ask the children to sort them by animals that come out at night and animals that we see during the day. 

Mathematics/ Patterns & Measurement; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, putting in series, and regrouping objects according to one or two attributes. AND Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing abilities to classify, compare, and contrast objects, events, and experiences.

Outdoor Play

            Play Bats and Owl.  This is really tag with a twist.  The person who is “it” is the owl.  The other players are the bats.  To make it more real, give the bats each a scarf to use as their wings.  The owl tries to tag the bats.  When he/she catches one, the bat becomes the owl and the owl becomes the bat.

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping,hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.


            As you call a child off to the next activity, ask him to invite a friend to join him/her in the activity. 

Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; shows progress in developing friendships with peers.


Dear Parents-Today we read a book about two friends.  Ask your child to tell you about his day.  Whom did he play with, what did they do? 

Use poster board for the wings. Once assembled have the children paint their bat black or brown.

Bat Facts

  • Farmers like bats because they eat insects off their plants so they do not need to use as much pesticide which saves farmers lots of money.
  • Bats help pollinate fruits and flowers by dropping the seeds onto the ground.
  • Bats can fly up to 60 miles per hour, as fast as a car!
  • Bats love to eat mosquitoes.
  • Bats are nocturnal, they sleep during the day and come out at night.
  • Some bats carry a sickness called rabies so you should NEVER touch a bat.
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.