"How to Catch a Star" is a book by children's author Oliver Jeffers. It features a young, lonely boy attempting to catch a star to make a new friend. This book helps teach children about how to cope with loneliness and reaching for their dreams. Use a star-making activity to help reinforce these lessons in your students.
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Hand out a roll of strong string to each table of students, as well as multicoloured construction paper, scissors for each student, crayons, pencils, markers, lined paper, glue and paste. Create a star mobile to show to your students before they begin. Hang at least five to ten stars from a plastic coat hanger on each mobile. Use markers and crayons to colour the stars and decorate them any way you like. Don't give the coat hangers to your students until after they have made their stars. Each star should have text written on the front, outlining things that you liked about the story. Read these out loud to your students.
Give the students five to ten minutes to cut out all the stars they are going to use. Encourage them to cut out as many as possible. Get them to use different colours for each star as well as different sizes. Students then cut strings for each star. These strings should be at least 2 to 4 inches long but no longer or shorter. Show the students how to place a bit of glue or paste on the end of the string and then press it to the top of the star. Have them set the stars aside to glue before they move on to the next step.
Tell your students they have five minutes to brainstorm about what they want to put on their stars. After they have brainstormed, they then write something about the book they like on each star. They can use the markers or crayons if they like. Help them come up with ideas if they are struggling. Suggest they think about the lessons they learnt from the book, such as "always reach for the stars." Have them discuss if they understood how the boy felt. Encourage them to write down personality traits of the young boy, such as "dreamer" or "never gives up." You can even allow them to write sentences or words they enjoyed directly from the book.
Give each student a plastic coat hanger. These are safer to use than the wire coat hangers, as they have no point that can hurt the children. Each child takes the strings from her stars and ties it around the plastic coat hanger. She may also use glue if they like. She can arrange the stars on the mobile in any order or style she wants. Attach several strings across the top of your classroom using tape or tacks. Hang the mobiles from this strong to display. Leave them up until the class wants to take them home or until you do another art project that you want to display on the strings.
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