Starry River of the Sky: Art, Astronomy, Math, History, and Mythology Activities

Posted in Theme: Arts & Crafts, Theme: Chinese / Chinese American, Theme: Fantasy, Theme: Mathematics, Theme: Mythology, Theme: Science & STEM

Reader Engagement Project:

A Series of Activities from Art to Math to Engage Readers Post Read

Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) is the story of the boy Rendi, who runs away from his family only to find himself in a village where the moon has disappeared.  Each night, instead of seeing the moon, Rendi is troubled by mournful moans that only he can hear.  The only thing that distracts Rendi are the stories of Madame Chang.  Are there hidden meanings in these tales that will explain the moon’s disappearance?  Will Rendi discover them and restore the balance?

These activities from Art to Math play with themes and story to create a deeper experience for readers.

(All activities designed by Curious City in partnership with Grace Lin.)

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The Noxious Toad: A Lantern Craft Activity
The book features many of the moon myths and symbols that are celebrated at Mid-Autumn Moon Festival–a festival that is lit by paper lanterns.  As toads make appearances at many points in the book (both symbolizing the moon and other elements of the story), we designed a paper lantern craft that glows like a noxious toad!

DOWNLOAD The Noxious Toad: A Lantern Craft Activity
VIEW a Step-by-Step Guide to the Craft

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Half-Moon Well: A Math Activity
Some might say that math is also hard work or a chore, but others would tell you that math is an intriguing puzzle embedded in everything we do. Puzzle out how hard Rendi worked as a chore boy to lose those “tofu” hands.

DOWNLOAD Half-Moon Well: A Math Activity

 

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Carry Forward the Light: A Hidden Meaning Activity
Grace Lin was mesmerized by the hidden meanings of words, symbols, names, and even animals in Chinese culture. In creating her own stories, Grace hid meaning in her own words, symbols, names, and even animals. Even the names of her characters have secret meanings!  Figure out the meaning of each Starry River of the Sky character with this activity.

DOWNLOAD Carry Forward the Light: A Hidden Meaning Activity

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Palace of the Sun & Moon: An Astronomy Activity
Madame Chang tells many stories about the sun and the moon at the Inn of Clear Sky, just as people throughout history have told stories to explain the rising and the setting of the sun and the waxing and waning of the moon. These ancient stories combine excellent observations of the skies with wonderful storytelling. Can you use your knowledge of modern astronomy or read books from the library to explain what is happening in Madame Chang’s stories?

DOWNLOAD Palace of the Sun & Moon: An Astronomy Activity

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Day of Five Poisons: An Art & Symbolism Activity
The Starry River of the Sky opens on The Day of Five Poisons, one of the most dangerous days in ancient China. The day was observed on the fifth day of the fifth month and marked the beginning of summer when villagers were most vulnerable to poisonous animals, insects, and disease. A common protection from the Five Poisons were charms that were hung about your neck or nailed to the your house. Create your own Five Poison Charm!

DOWNLOAD Day of Five Poisons: An Art & Symbolism Activity

Tools for Engagement:

● DOWNLOAD The Noxious Toad: A Lantern Craft Activity
● VIEW a Step-by-Step Guide to the A Lantern Craft Activity
● DOWNLOAD Half-Moon Well: A Math Activity
● DOWNLOAD Carry Forward the Light: A Hidden Meaning Activity
● DOWNLOAD Palace of the Sun & Moon: An Astronomy Activity
● DOWNLOAD Day of Five Poisons: An Art & Symbolism Activity

• Download “Six Suns” An Interactive Read-Aloud and Game (PDF)

Best Users:

Booksellers, Public Children’s Librarians, School Librarians, 3-6 Classrooms, Chinese Schools, Cultural Organizations

Best Audience:

Children Grades 3-6

Based on the Book:

Starry River of the Sky
By Grace Lin
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Available in Hardcover & eBook
Ages 7 and up

Find a copy of the book:
Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Local Library

 

 

 


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