As the darkness deepens o'er us, lo, eternal stars arise. — "Now on Land and Sea Descending," Hymn 47 in Singing the Living Tradition
IN TODAY'S SESSION . . . the theme was "wondering about the stars." According to religious educator Sophia Fahs, contact with the natural world is one of the 12 main types of experiences connected with natural religious development in young children. Today, we celebrated the beauty of stars and the awe we feel when we look at the stars.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER . . . Read some of the suggested books for this session:
- Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle, 1992. An artist's drawing of a star begins the creation of an entire universe; the book includes a star drawing activity.
- How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers, 2004. Once there was a boy who loved stars very much—so much so that he decided to catch one of his very own. But how?
- Stargazing Sky by Deborah Kogan Ray, 1991. A little girl and her mother stay up late to watch a shower of shooting stars.
- Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jerry Pinkney, 2011. A curious little chipmunk leaves his nest to greet the twilight and gazes at the glittering sky above him.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try . . . creating shooting stars from cardboard and silver streamers, then putting on some music for a dancing stars night.
A Family Adventure. Take a night walk and look at the stars. Share what you wonder about.
A Family Discovery. Enjoy this version of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" on YouTube, or try this simpler version. You might also use this hour-long version as background for free play. You can also check out "The Most Astounding Fact" and hear astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson discuss our connectedness with the universe.
A Family Game. Play and sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" together as a finger play:
Twinkle, twinkle, little star. [flutter fingers in the air]
How I wonder what you are? [put one finger on your cheek, nod your head]
Up above the world so high, [stretch arms way up]
Like a diamond in the sky. [touch index fingers and thumbs of right and left hands to form a diamond shape]
Twinkle, twinkle, little star. [flutter fingers in air]
How I wonder what you are? [put one finger on cheek, nod your head]
A Family Ritual. Before bedtime, sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" as a bedtime lullaby and then talk about the day.