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Overview and Lesson Purpose
Grade Level and Duration: Elementary grades; about 30 to 60 minutes.
Materials Needed: You'll need a copy of Papa Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle.
Purpose: This lesson teaches guided reading, and language arts. The following concepts are taught: the cycle of seasons, goal setting, fatherly love, and predicting events. The children hear the story; learn about the waxing and waning of the moon; and answer open-ended discussion questions.
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Show the book cover to the class and let the kids take turns calling out guesses about the story. Point to the title and say it aloud, and then repeat with the author’s name.
Tell the kids to raise their arms over their head, fingertips touching like a moon, each time they hear the word "moon." Read the story to the class and praise them when they raise their arms, whenever they hear the word moon.
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Discussion Questions During the Story
Try these discussion questions after reading the story, and encourage the kids to retell the story in their own words:
- Why did Monica want the moon?
- Could Monica reach the moon – why or why not?
- What object did Papa use first to try to get the moon?
- How did Papa reach the moon?
- Why couldn’t Papa carry the moon to Monica?
- What did the moon say to Papa?
- How did Papa finally get the moon for Monica?
- What did Monica do with the moon?
- What happened to the moon and why?
- Was the moon gone forever?
- How big was the moon when Papa first climbed up to it?
- Was the moon bigger or smaller when Papa took it home?
- Was the moon bigger or smaller when it reappeared in the sky?
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Gross Motor/Science Activity After the Story
To conclude the lesson, prepare large cut-outs of a full moon, half-moon, quarter-moon, and stars, and make them large enough for a child to stand upon.
Scatter the shapes across the classroom floor.
The kids form a single-file line, and then follow the teacher's directions for specific motions while moving from shape to shape.
For example, say something like:
“Let’s all hop to the first star. I like the way you follow directions. Now, let’s all take baby steps to the full moon."
This large muscle exercise develops gross motor skills and let the kids exert some energy. When this activity is finished, have the kids sit at their tables and give them some paper and crayons or markers. Review the shapes. Encourage them to draw and label the phases of the moon and the stars.
Like the cycle of seasons, kids learn best by interaction and observation. They may have so much fun; they won't realize how much they are learning.
- Teaching experience.