Night Lights Storytime Lesson Plan


How to Make a Night by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Tricia Tusa, Harper Collins Publishers, 2004.
Night Light by Nicholas Blechman, Scholastic, 2013
Flashlight by Lizi Boyd, Chronicle Books, 2014.
Night Lights by Susan Gal, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein, Little, Brown and Company, 2015.
The Bunny's Night-Light: a Glow-in-the-Dark Search by Geoffrey Hayes, Random House, 2012.
Flashlight by Betsy James, illustrated by Stacey Schuett, Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.
Night Animals by Gianna Marino, Viking, 2015.
Night Lights by Steven Schnur, illustrated by Stacey Schuett, Frances Foster Books, 2000.
The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Beth Krommes, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008.
Oscar and the Moth: a Book about Light and Dark by Geoff Waring, Candlewick Press, 2007.


"Fireflies" -- Laurie Berkner, Laurie Berkner Lullabies (1:50)
"Moon, Moon, Moon" -- Laurie Berkner, Victor Vito (1:56)
"This Little Light of Mine" -- Elizabeth Mitchell, You Are My Flower (2:04)
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" -- Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael, Outrageous Orange from the Learning Groove (2:04)

Fingerplays/Action Rhymes

"Two Little Fireflies" -- King County Library System, accessed 9-27-15

Four Little Flashlights
Four little flashlights
winking at me.
One turned off,
and then there were three!

Three little flashlights
With nothing to do.
One turned off;
Then there were two!

Two little flashlights,
Bright as the sun.
One turned off,
and then there was one!

One little flashlight
Beaming all alone.
It turned off;
No more light shone.

-Modified by Amy Commers from "Four Little Stars" --Preschool Education website, accessed 9-27-15


"Paper Circuits Folder Story: Five Little Fireflies" -- RovingFiddlehead KidLit website, accesssed 9-27-15
"Shadow Guessing Game" --Story Time Secrets website, accessed 9-27-15
"Ten Flashing Fireflies" -- Catch the Possibilities website, accessed 9-27-15

Art Projects

DIY Light-Up Fireflies, accessed 9-27-15
Starry Night Mixed-Media, accessed 9-27-15


Use a shadow bookThe Game of Light and The Game of Shadows by Herve Tullet, or make your own with a flashlight to tell a story or rhyme.

Use fluorescent or metallic paper to cut out the letters of the alphabet and hide them around the storytime space. With the lights off, use flashlights to find letters. (Modified from Growing Book by Book)

Every Child Ready to Read Practices/Skills

Talking & Narrative Skills-- Utilize the wordless book Flashlight by Boyd to have the kids tell you the story. Be sure to ask open-ended questions and encourage the kids' narrative skills by moving the story along with transitional and sequencing words (next, first, after, last, etc).

Playing & Letter Knowledge-- Practice children's letter knowledge by having them identify letters they find with their flashlights around the room. Play which stimulates the senses (in this case, sight) encourages open-ended exploration and sensory experiences are how our brains learn and remember information.

Possible ECRR Asides to Parents & Caregivers

For his book Story Proof: the Science Behind the Startling Power of Story, researcher Kendall Haven read more than 400 research articles from a variety of fields like neuroscience, psychology, and education theory. What he learned was that our brains are wired for story. The more stories we hear and tell, the better our brains are able to problem solve, engage in flexible and creative thinking, respond empathetically, learn math and logic skills, and remember and recall events. Wow, right?! All that from stories! So be sure to make time each day to listen to your child's stories, and as they grow, model how to narrate their stories with different elements like proper sequencing, setting, background information, etc. 

"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" is a simple song to learn, and familiar to many people. The basic structure of the verse-- how the lines relate to each other-- makes an easy pattern to follow. (AABBAA, if you want to be technical). While we just sang the traditional words today, try substituting different words to encourage your child to think of a rhyming word. When we rhyme, what we're doing is practicing different phonemes-- or language sounds-- that distinguish words from each other (cat and hat, for example). So you could sing, "Twinkle, twinkle little cat, how I wonder where you're at. Up above the world so green, like no diamond that I've seen, twinkle, twinkle little cat, how I wonder where you're at." Clearly that doesn't make much sense-- and it's okay-- that's part of the fun. The important part for your child is knowing which sounds should match and coming up with a "word," real or nonsense, that does.

Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress

Domain: Cognitive Development
-Scientific Thinking and Problem-Solving
     -Use senses to explore materials and the environment
     -Express wonder about the natural world
     -Use tools for investigation of the enviornment

If flashlights are used to identify letters/objects around the room:
Domain: Physical and Motor Development
-Use eye-hand coordination to perform a variety of tasks
-Develop small muscle control and coordination

Storytime Implemented

Mixed Ages
Welcome: Hand out felt letters, kids bring them up to the felt letter tree by color, sing Alphabet Song, letter of the day is F for Flashlight.
Book: Night Lights (Gal)
Flannel: Ten Flashing Fireflies
Song: Fireflies (Berkner)
Fingerplay: Two Little Fireflies
Book: Flashlight (Boyd)
Activity: Flashlight play
Song: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (Learning Groove)
Activity: Letter hunt
Action rhyme: Four Little Flashlights (kids turn flashlights on and off. Collect flashlights at the end of the rhyme because they are all turned off).
Book: The Night World (Gerstein)
Optional craft: Starry Night Mixed-Media art

Further Resources

"Developing & Cultivating Skills Through Sensory Play" --, accessed 9-27-15
Every Child Ready to Read
Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress
Story Proof: The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story by Kendall Haven, Libraries Unlimited, 2007.
Valuable Initiatives in Early Learning that Work Successfully (VIEWS2)

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