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.

Materials

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

Vocabulary

  •   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.

Discovery

            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 https://nurseryrhymescollections.com/lyrics/pop-goes-the-weasel.html

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.

Blocks

  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.

Art

            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.

Transitions

            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.

Resources

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.

It’s Mine! by Leo Lionni

Fighting frogs quarrel and quibble all day long. When a heavy rain storm forces them to work together as a team. This book is a good lesson on friendship and cooperation.

Materials

Circles cut in 3-5 sizes

Vocabulary

  • Quarrel and quibble ( to fight and argue)
  • Bickering (another word for fighting and arguing)
  • Definitely (to show that I don’t have to do what you say with your voice)
  • Subsided (backed off and went down)

Before Reading the Story

Begin a discussion about friendship. That having friends is a nice thing. There are many things that you can do better with a friend than all by yourself. Ask the children if they can think of anything that they enjoy doing with their friends? (I like when my friend pushes me on the swing. I like when Jamie helps me put on the dressups and zippers me. I like Frank cause he helps me draw my name).

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

Explain to the children that friends cooperate with each other. Ask them to help define what cooperation means. (When me and Jose play together in blocks. When I asked Raya for the red crayon and she gave it to me).

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; shows increasing abilities to use compromise and discussion in working, playing, and resolving conflicts with peers.

Introduce the book and explain that this is a story about some frogs who did not want to cooperate.

Reading the Story

On the page where there is only one rock left and there the frogs huddled together, ask the children what they think will happen next?

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates 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.

After Reading the Story

Play Thumbs up-thumbs down with the children. Make up scenarios or things that you have seen the children in your class do. If it is a positive cooperative act, the children give a thumbs up. If it is a negative act, the children give a thumbs down. (Barney asked Alfred for a car and Alfred gave him one. Kerry grabbed the crayon from Lee and said “I want this now” Kim asked if she could paint at the easel and Ann said she could be next.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; increases in sustained interactions with peers by helping, sharing, and discussion.

Discovery

Show the children the page in the story where the toad appears before them. Explain to the children that frogs and toads are similar but different. https://kidzone.ws/lw/frogs/facts8.htm. Show the children pictures of frogs and toads to look at and compare. If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where a frog or toad can be caught, bring one in for the day for the children to examine.

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

Music and Movement

Sing 5 Little Speckled Frogs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziGG_L9C12o Let the children take turns acting out the frogs.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Sing Mmm ah Went the Little Green Frog https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwU3beZ9kcw.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; progresses in clarity of pronunciation and towards speaking in sentences of increasing length and grammatical complexity.

Sing You Sing a Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTmoAobX5mY. Children can help make up actions to do with the song.

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

Blocks

Have the children build a pond using the blocks. Can they make the pond in a pattern? Encourage them to add blocks to be a speckled frog and they can pretend to be frogs jumping.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games or using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

Art

Put paper on the easel and tell the children that they are to do cooperative paintings where they work with a friend to make something beautiful.

Creative Art/Art; begins to understand and share opinions about artistic products and experiences. AND Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; increases abilities to sustain interactions with peers by helping, sharing, and discussing.

Library and Writing

Write each child’s name on an index card. Put the cards on the table along with markers. Encourage the children to find their name and to practice writing the names of their friends onto a piece of paper.

Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from using scribbles, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas, to using letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their own name. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; progresses in abilities to use writing, drawing, and art tools, including pencils, markers, chalk, paint brushes, and various types of technology.

Sand and Water

Water in the table and rubber frogs. Add a stick that floats or a plastic lid that floats along with a rock for the frogs to sit upon. How many frogs can float on the log or sit on the rock? If you do not have frogs, use green one-inch cubes as frogs.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates 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. AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increased abilities to combine, separate, and name “how many” concrete objects.

Dramatic Play

Math & Manipulatives

Cut out circles in 3-5 sizes. Remind the children that in the story the pond got bigger and fuller of water when the thunderstorm began. Put one of the largest circles on the table and ask the child if he/she can put the next smaller circle on top and then the next smaller and then the next smaller and then the smallest. Do with squares and triangles also.

Mathematics/ Geometry & Spatial Sense; shows progress in matching, sorting, putting in series, and regrouping objects according to one or two attributes such as shape or size.

Outdoor Play

Play Leap Frog. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj0JBiknaPg Have 2 or 3 children spread out and hunch down very low. The other children then jump over them using their back as support. Take turns being the frogs and the rocks.

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

Transitions

Ask the children of things they enjoy doing with a friend. Write their responses and hang it on the wall.

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

Resources

Sam and the Firefly, by P.D. Eastman

            Sam is lonely until he meets a new friend who can write words.  But sometimes words can lead to trouble. 

Materials

  • Jar and fireflies (10-15)
  • Glow in the dark paint (you can buy jar at craft store for around 1.00)
  • Small laser light (ask a friend who owns a cat if they have one)
  • Several flashlights

Vocabulary

  • Firefly (a kind of insect with a bottom that glows like a little light in the dark)

Before Reading the Story

            Tell the children that you are going to play a word game.  Bring in pictures of animals, about 8-10.  These can be from a book.  Tell the children that you are going to write a word and they are going to practice reading it.  Write the first letter of the animal name and make the letter sound.  Continue slowly writing each letter and sounding out the letter name.  When the children have guessed the word, finish writing the name, have all the children repeat the word and then show the children the picture.  When you are finished with this activity, tell the children that the story today is about a firefly that can write words with his glowing bottom.

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows increasing ability to discriminate and identify sounds in spoken language.

Reading the Story

            When you get to the page where Sam is trying to figure out how to get Gus out of the jar, stop and ask the children if they have any ideas.

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

After Reading the Story

            Ask the children why Gus got in trouble?  Tell them that sometimes playing jokes on people can hurt their feelings and make them mad.  Talk about all the good things we use words for (words tell us the story in the book, words help us ask someone to play with us, words let people know what you want or like).  Ask the children if they know what words are made out of (letters).  Use your flashlight/laser to point to letters on your word wall or alphabet chart.  Ask them to name the letters.  Point out as you sing the alphabet song.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; identifies at least 10 letters of the alphabet, especially those in their own name.

Discovery

            Put several flashlights in the discovery center for the children to try being fireflies and flashing out the syllables of each others names. For more of a challenge, take the flashlights apart and have the children put them together.

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing ability to hear and discriminate separate syllables in words. AND Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to uses senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

            If you live in an area where there are fireflies, catch them the night before and bring them in for the children to observe and record.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods;develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means, including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts.

Music and Movement

            Have your children recite the following poem with you.  Each time you say blink they can open and shut their hands to make a blink motion.

Fireflies

Fireflies come out at night

Blink blink, blink blink

Showing off their shiny light

Blink blink, blink blink

In the summer sky

Blink blink, blink blink

Language Development/Listening Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

Blocks

            Gus the firefly made a traffic jam.  Ask the children to make a road and add traffic signs.

Literacy/Early Writing; develops understanding that writing is a way of communicating for a variety of purposes.

Art

            Put out glow in the dark paint and Qtips for the children to make small fireflies onto dark paper (print up and down) or to write their names.

Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from scribbles, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas, to using letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their own name.

Library and Writing

            Put out yellow or neon markers and paper. Encourage the children to write their names or copy words from the book.

Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from scribbles, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas, to using letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their own name.

Sand and Water

Put a very small amount of sand mixed with water to make a mixture that you can form into castles. Give the children alphabet cookie cutters or other shape cutters to make letters/designs in the sand.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating the names of letters with their shapes and sounds.

Dramatic Play

            The story takes place at night.  Encourage the children to act out night time rituals.

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

Math and Manipulatives

            Make several copies of the jar and firefly page.  Play an adding and subtracting game with the children. (Catch one firefly and put it in the jar.  Now catch two more.  How many fireflies do you have in the jar?  Oops, one flew away, how many are left in the jar?)

Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increased abilities to combine, serarate, and name “how many” concrete objects.

Outdoor Play

            Play firefly tag.  The teacher is the light flasher.  The children run around the playground and try not to get tagged by the flashlight/laser light.   If they are tagged, they must go to the “jar” a designated spot on the playground.  The other children can free those in the jar by touching it/the designated spot (ie- a tree).  All the children continue to run until the laser light lands on them.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance physical fitness.

Transitions

            As you dismiss the children to the next activity use a flashlight to blink out the syllables of their name.  Ask them to count the syllables. (Ker-ry=2)

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing ability to hear and discriminate separate syllables in words.

Resources