My House Has Stars Reinforcing Activity

Side note: This book can also qualify for this standard as well…

8. Individuals are unique but share common characteristics of multiple groups.

Objectives:
  1. 1. Students will be able to critically analyze parts of the book
  2. 2. Students will be able to determine the locations of each home using context clues
  3. 3. Students will be able to reflect on their own lives (culture)
  4. 4. Students will be able to write a chapter describing their own home

Materials:
  1. 1. The book “My House Has Stars”
  2. 2. Plain printing paper
  3. 3. Colored pencils
  4. 4. Notebook paper
  5. 5. Pencil/pen

Allotted Time:
  • 2 class periods of 50 minutes

Procedure:

First, the teacher will read aloud the book, “My House Has Stars”, to the class. Show the students the picture on every page, except he teacher should have some form of paper covering the second half of the last page. This will cover the small map showing where each of the houses discussed in the book are located.

While reading, the teacher should make comments about the unusual qualities of each house—this is modeling what students should be thinking about. For instance, if the house has animals living in it, the teacher can ask rhetorical questions aloud like, “I wonder why they would have animals living in this house?” This prompts students to think about what the culture is like in the region the child in the story is from. Pointing out details and asking questions will help to raise curiosity by the end of the story.

Discussion:

When the book is finished, have students split into small groups or work individually and put the book on a large overhead slide so students can see the large picture of the first narrator.

Have the students answer the following questions:
  • Where do you think this narrator is from?
  • What clues are in the picture that gives away this person’s geographic location?
  • Name some of the cultural differences you have with this person.

Give students about five minutes for each narrator in the story—ending with the narrator from the beginning of the story. Students should be writing in a group or individually and documenting what their thoughts are.

If there is time, have students share their thoughts, if not, save this for the next class period.

Project:

If the teacher did not have time for students to share their thoughts about each narrator, please do so now. After everyone quickly shares some thoughts, reveal each narrator’s location to the students. If the teacher chooses, they can reveal the locations as students share their thoughts.

After the book is discussed hand out a blank sheet of white paper to each student. They will now create their own narrative of their home. Since each home has an individual personality, family dynamics and appearance, they can talk about their lifestyle in a short paragraph. This page can then be decorated if students have time.

Side note: Some students may have trouble coming up with their own individual cultural differences. This could be simplified to draw the appearance of the home (with any special features or things within their home that they consider unique). Also included: who they live with (family members, pets) and whether they moved from another state or city. This lesson can be modified to the student’s individual needs.