Lesson Plans for COYOTE AND THE STAR level P

Text Type:
Fiction / Tale

Reading Level:

Word Count:


Text Summary
Coyote and the Star is an adaptation of a Klamath Indian myth. Coyote falls in love with a star and tries many ways to get the star's attention. In the end, he gets her to notice him, but his foolish ways bring tragic results to the coyote. The text is accompanied by imaginative illustrations.

Suggested Lesson Focus
The following skills are suggested for the lesson focus and strategies will be provided for these skills throughout the lesson. Most likely, other skills will be addressed in the course of reading and discussing the book.
  • Using a story map or outline to summarize plot.
  • Thinking aloud to figure out what the text is really saying.
  • Putting the plot in your own words to understand and remember the meaning.

/oy/, /oi/ sound

Word Work

Figurative Language

Mechanics/Word Structure

Visual Learning
Visual learning is a very important comprehension strategy. Model this strategy through teacher think aloud, sharing with children what you see in your mind as you read through the text.

Targeted Vocabulary Words
High Utility Words
other, water, many, they

Content Words
resilient, gazed, impact, vowed

Before Reading

Introducing the Book
Show children the book and have them tell you what they notice (title, author, illustrator, pictures). Ask: What kind of story do you think we will be reading today? How do you know that? Look at the title page and the back cover and have children ask I wonder questions. List these questions on the board or chart paper.

Building Background
Begin a discussion about mythology with children. Ask: Does anyone know what the word myth means? Introduce children to myths and make connections with any other books you have read that are based on Indian legends or myths. Make sure that you either decide on a definition for the word myth, or that you define the word myth for the class. One definition for the word myth is: A traditional story that is passed down through generations in a culture that explains beliefs or events in nature. Ask children what they think might be a good subject for a myth. Brainstorm events or phenomena that might be explained using myths. If you have been keeping track of the books you read to the class, refer to the list. Read the inside information about the origin of this book. Locate Crater Lake and Oregon on a map.

Book Walk
Write these words on the board: resilient (page 12), gazed (page 4), vowed (page 20). As you walk through the book, have children look for these words and read the sentences. Have them talk about what the words might mean. Have children continue to make predictions about the story.

During Reading

Have children read the text with a partner. Before they read, review the reading strategies chart. Remind them of some of the strategies to use when they come to an unknown word (skip the word and read to the end of the sentence), and what to do if they do not understand what they read (reread for understanding).

Setting the Purpose
On the chalkboard, make a three-column chart with the words beginning, middle, and end at the top. Say: As you are reading today, I want you to think about the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Be prepared to discuss the story with the class. If children can focus on listening for specific elements in the story, they will be better able to listen to the meaning of the story. Having a focus while reading can help children with comprehension because they are answering questions that solidify aspects of the story.

After Reading

Comprehending the Text
Have children gather as a group and discuss the story. Make sure children are touching on the main points of the story during discussion time, and help guide them toward important ideas. Ask: What did you think of the ending? How would you describe Coyote? How would you describe the star? What would you have done if you were Coyote? How would you have felt about Coyote if you were the star? Have children work with their partner to complete the comprehension worksheet.

Building Skills

Review the /oi/ sound. Explain that there are two different spellings for this sound. The /oi/ sound can be spelled -oy, as in toy or -oi, as in boil. Have children brainstorm words with an /oi/ sound. Write them on the board and circle the letters that make the /oi/ sound. Make sure children have grasped the concept by having them complete the worksheet about the /oi/ sound.

Word Work
Have children turn to page 16. Read the sentence He was filled with butterflies, and his heart was beating like a drum. Ask: What do you think that means? Talk about why authors use figurative language when writing. Explain that sometimes readers can better understand what the writer is trying to say with figurative language than with ordinary language. For example: Anna’s head felt like a furnace, and she felt like she had been hit by a bus compared to she had a fever and her body hurt. Ask: Which of those sentences gave you a clearer picture of the way Anna felt? Begin a class chart of figurative language and encourage children to look for figurative language while reading. Have them add to the chart.

Have children look at page 4 and highlight all of the pronouns. For each pronoun, discuss the referent, or person to whom a pronoun refers. Write the words nail, woman, man, people, and house on the board. For each word, have children brainstorm three words to which the pronouns might refer. Continue working with pronouns by having them look at pages 16 and 19.

Expand the Reading

Writing Connection
Have children use this story as a model and write their own myths. The myths should follow the definition that was discussed in the Building Background section. They could also try to begin using figurative language in their writing. Have a brief discussion to remind children what figurative language is.

Social Studies Connection
Tie this story into a unit study of Native Americans or a unit study about the state of Oregon. Make sure that the lesson is historically accurate. Use the Internet or the library to research the history and customs of the Klamath people.

Alternatively, you can have children find information about the various cultures that have used mythology. They can use the Internet or go to a library to do their research. Have children write a paragraph about myths based on their research.

Reading Independently
Have children read the book independently or with a partner. You can also encourage them to read other books of their choice at the appropriate level. Try to find books that are based on myths to stay with the focus of this lesson.

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