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Owl Moon
By Jane Yolen
Illustrated by John Schoenherr
Summary: A young girl and her father take a nighttime stroll near the farm where they live to look for owls. It is a beautiful night, a moonlit winter night. Bundled tightly against the cold, they trudge through the pristine snow. A delicate tension builds as the father imitates the great horned owl’s call. Finally, from out of the darkness “an echo/came threading its way/through the trees.” Author Jane Yolen has given the very youngest readers an understated vignette, completely from real life. The young girl, in fact, is based on her own daughter.
Objectives: Utilizing the text Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, students will -
  1. demonstrate an understanding of simple metaphors
  2. make connections between concepts covered in the book and the world around them
  3. make sense of new vocabulary using evidence from the text
Pre-K  - 5  Writing Prompt Suggestions:
1. Exploring Themes of Quiet Times and Hope
  • In Owl Moon, the characters never speak to each other with words. Write about a time you had to be quiet? Tell why being quiet was hard or easy to do. Prior to writing have the students pantomime ways to communicate a variety of feelings (happiness, sadness, fear, anger, tenderness, etc.).
  • Ask: What do the characters hope for in Owl Moon? Create a new ending for the book in which the characters don't sight an owl. Describe how the characters in this new version might feel as they give up and start back for home.
2. Using one of the following prompts students can write a narrative story (real or make-believe) using metaphors.
  • Write a story (real or make-believe) about a day at the beach, the zoo, or a theme park. Be sure to include a combination of at least 5 metaphors.
  • Write a story (real or make-believe) about attending a birthday or another type of party. Be sure to include a combination of at least 5 metaphors.
  • Teacher could provide any other prompt which would be conducive for descriptive writing.

Owl Moon