by: Janell Cannon
New York, NY
Level: Kindergarten - Third
Web Page created by: Kathryn Wallace
Stellaluna is a great story to share with young children and to use in the classroom. It is an opportunity to teach children about fruit bats and birds and to compare and contrast them. The book also deals with diversity, how animals that are different in some ways are still able to get along and become friends. This would be good to use in a culturally diverse classroom setting. The story is good and the illustrations are fabulous, containing great detail and a variety of facial expressions on Stellaluna, you can almost tell what she is thinking by them. Children of all ages will love it. It is especially useful in Kindergarten – Third grade classrooms.
Click here for a review of the CD-ROM version of Stellaluna.
In our classroom we do morning work each day at the beginning of school and it is usually writing in a journal. After reading this story, have the children write a couple of sentences about their favorite part of the story and draw a picture of that part.
To see some examples of children's work, click here.
Read the story to the children. As you read, ask the children about
the story: what is happening? What do you think will happen next? What
is Stellaluna doing differently than the baby birds? Use the pictures to
make predictions, what do you think is going to happen on this page? (and
then read the text). After reading the story, ask the children to retell
the story to you. Then, give each small group (2-4 in a group) a book and
have them “re-read” the story to each other, taking turns reading the pages.
Type out the following questions for each group to answer when they finish
re-reading the story with their group (or ask the students as a class to
answer the questions aloud when they are called on).
1. What is the baby bat’s name?
2. What are the baby birds' names?
3. What happens to the baby bat when her mother is carrying her through the air?
4. What attacks the mother bat?
5. Does the mother bird take care of the baby bat?
6. What happens when the baby bat’s mother comes back?
7. What happens at the end of the story?
8. What do you think happens next to Stellaluna, Pip, Flap and Flitter?
9. How do you think Stellaluna’s mom felt after she lost Stellaluna?
10. What did the baby birds think about Stellaluna living with them?
After this, have each of the students take a big sheet of paper and fold it into eight squares. In each square, draw one thing that happened in the story, in the order that it happened.
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After reading the story, have the children compare and contrast the differences between the birds and the fruit bats. Either have them write down these things or, if they are too young, write them down for the children on a big sheet of paper. The children can draw the birds and the bats doing different things (eating, sleeping, landing, flying, etc.) and place those pictures next to the comparisons of them. This is a good opportunity to bring up nocturnal animals. Talk about why they are nocturnal, why it is better for the bats to be out at night and how they see through the darkness (sonar). Talk about what sonar is and what other animals use this. If possible, bring in a fruit bat for the children to see and examine. On Guam, contact the Division of Aquatic and Wild Life Resources or the Department of Agriculture. .
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Since fruit bats live on Guam, discuss where they live, ask if the children have seen fruit bats before or if any friends or relatives have seen them before. Children can ask those people to tell them about or write down the story of when they saw the fruit bat The children can share these stories with the class. Discuss other islands around the Pacific, or other parts of the world that have fruit bats.
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Talk about how many bats were in the story and how many birds. How many flying animals were in the story all together? Read them the following questions and have them show you their understanding of the questions using either paper and pencils (drawing the equations) or any other way you choose (manipulatives).
1. How many bats were there? How many birds were there? How many bats and birds were there all together?
2. How many baby birds were in the nest? How many bats fell into the nest? How many babies were in the nest altogether?
3. How many babies were in the nest? How many hung upside down outside of the nest? How many were left inside the nest?
4. How many mothers are in the story? How many babies are in the story? How many altogether?
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Use the following spelling words throughout the week.
bat bird fruit fly nest
Monday – Introduce the words to the children. Tell them the meaning
of each word. Have them find the words in the story Stellaluna.
Tuesday – Have the children draw a picture using all of the spelling words.
Wednesday – The children write their own short stories using each of the spelling words. The stories should be at least three sentences long.
Thursday – Children receive a pattern of a bat, a bird, a nest, a piece of fruit and a square of paper. They are to cut these patterns out and write the name of each thing on the back of the paper. On the square of paper, they are to draw a picture of something flying and write the word “fly” under it. Then, they sit down with a partner and quiz each other using the patterns they cut out.
Friday – Quiz.
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About the Web Page Author: Kathryn Wallace is a first grade
teacher in Guam.