Touch the Brightest Star
With Daylight Savings Time ending, and the largest full moon in years, I thought it would be a good time to get your little ones outside to look at the night sky. What child has not wished on a star? Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson brings to mind all of that magic! While a beautifully illustrated bed-time story for younger children, there are the beginnings of good science here. A good extension would be to observe the stars for several nights to find some of the items mentioned in the story: meteors, the moon, the big and little dippers, stars, owls, and more!
Some good questions might be:
- Does the moon look the same each night?
- Do we always find the moon in the same place?
- What do you think the brightest star really is? (usually it is Venus, or another planet)
- Find the Big Dipper; do you see any other stars that make a pattern? (Orion is another good constellation to look for this time of year.)
- Sit in silence for a moment. What do you hear? (frogs, crickets, an owl, traffic, motorcycles, etc.)
Go to www.spaceweather.com to watch for interesting sky events. They report meteor showers, aurora borealis, comets, and more.
Then tuck your child in bed and read this story. Don’t forget to have your little one participate! Each page requires their action. “Touch the brightest star you see…” And have sweet dreams!
Coral: I want to go look at the moon! If I wake up later, can I still see it?
Rosie: I want to see the moon, too. Maybe we can look at the moon and have a midnight snack!
It is suggested for ages 4—8, but I think even a young toddler would love the book (if they don’t tear the pages), and I’ve read reviews of children as old as 10 enjoying it! On the publisher’s web site there are suggestions for four activities to accompany the book. Enjoy the starry night!
Matheson, Christie. Touch the Brightest Star. New York, NY: Greenwillow , an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2015. Print. ISBN-10: 0062274473
1-ESS1-1: Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.