When the sun sets and it gets dark, Little Owl awakens and explores the night. He encounters his friends, including a hedgehog, cricket, skunk and possums. Little Owl loves the nighttime, and wonders if the daytime is just as magical. His mother begins to tell him about it, but the sun rises and he falls asleep.
This story may be a good choice for a nighttime family literacy event
Author: Divya SrinivasanIllustrator: Divya SrinivasanPublication year: 2011Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers ISBN: 978-0670012954Number of pages: 32 NAAEE: Strand 2: Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems Find At Your Library
Where Are the Night Animals?
When night time comes, a whole new world of nocturnal animals emerge, all with unique adaptations to thrive in the dark. This book explores the night behaviors of owls, skunks, raccoons, bats, and more. Full-color illustrations are present throughout the book.
The back of the book features some activity ideas to extend learning, as well as further information about where nocturnal animals sleep during the day
Author: Mary Ann FraserIllustrator: Mary Ann FraserPublication year: 1998Publisher: HarperCollins ISBN: 978-0064451765Number of pages: 32 NAAEE: Strand 2: Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems Find At Your Library
Narrate observations of animals discovered on a nature walk
Illustrate text to add meaning to a story
Combine and share illustrations with peers to complete a group story
In this activity, students will join the librarian/educator on a nature walk, and note animals they encounter as Little Owl did. As a class, they will then create a short story based on what they observed. Finally, each student will illustrate one animal to add meaning to the story, and put their illustrations together with their groups to make a storybook.
Copies of Little Owl's Night and Where Are the Night Animals?
Notepad for the librarian/educator
Photocopier (color if available)
Pencils and crayons for each student
Outdoor space that features animals to encounter on short walk, such as birds, squirrels, and insects. This can be as simple as a yard outside the library or school.
Librarian/educator will read Little Owl's Night and Where Are the Night Animals? aloud to students
Librarian/educator will identify outdoor space for activity
Librarian/educator will conduct circle time with students. Little Owl explored where he lives at night time, when he is awake, and met lots of friends along the way. What are some animals we might meet on a nature walk outside the library? Today we will be going outside, and taking note of the animals we meet. Then, we'll write a short story telling what the animals are doing, just like in Little Owl's Night. Finally, on the next day we meet, you will all illustrate an animal from our story to add meaning and make your very own storybook with your group!
The librarian/educator will lead the group on a short walk outside to encounter animals. Students will be encouraged to look and listen for animals. What do they see? What are the animals doing? Librarian/educator will make notes on what the group observes. The goal is to find at least 4 animals.
Once the animals have been noted, the group will head back inside, and the librarian/educator will help the group narrate 1-2 sentences about each animal as part of a story. This can be done on the whiteboard. An example might be "Robin hopped around in the grass looking for worms."
After class, the librarian/educator will transfer each short section to its own blank page of printer paper. This can be as simple as writing the sentence(s) on the bottom of the page, or using a computer to type/place these. Then, photocopies will be made of each page--enough for 1 page per student of the 4 animals narrated.
Students will be divided into groups of 3-4 each, and each given a page with the sentence of one of the animals featured. Each group will have a complete set.
Review the illustrations from Little Owl's Night and Where Are the Night Animals? What might we draw for each of the animals we are assigned? Discuss ideas as a group.
Students will illustrate and color their animals. They may use the books to inspire their illustrations.
When students' illustrations are complete, the librarian/educator will collect the pages, assemble them into group booklets (staple as needed), and make enough copies so that each member receives their group's complete story.
Groups will now review their books within their groups, as well as between groups in a showcase/gallery walk.
When everyone has had the chance to explore all of the books, the librarian/educator will regroup and facilitate a follow up discussion. Questions may include:
How are the other groups' books the same as yours? How are they different?
How do illustrations help us better understand the story?
Would you have liked to illustrate another animal?
Notes about this strategy:
This activity gives students the chance to create their own illustrations to add meaning to a story. The finished products will make a wonderful showcase/sharing item at a family event such as a literacy night or open house.
Dr. Arnone is a proponent of libraries helping to serve their communities with programming about their local environments. She has taught "Environmental Programming with Libraries" and "Literacy, Inquiry and Nature for Libraries" at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies. She is a certified environmental educator in the state of North Carolina.