The following are ideas for using
The Very Lonely Firefly in the classroom.
- Submitted by Karen
I had my grade one students create fireflies using tissue paper. We made the various parts for the fireflies in a step by step fashion. Students glued the parts together to make the firefly onto waxed paper. We painted a layer of white glue over the fireflies to make them stick better and to deepen the tones of the tissue paper. We then created frames for each of the pictures using black construction paper and hung them on the windows for a suncatcher effect.
- Submitted by Joy Falatovich
While student teaching, I taught a unit in kindergarten called “Let’s Be Friends!” I read The Very Lonely Firefly to the students and discussed how the firefly found friends. We then made firefly mobiles. I copied a picture of a firefly on oaktag. I then shrunk the large firefly to make four little ones. Each student recieved one big firefly and four small ones. They colored them in and cut them out. They glued the fireflies onto dark blue construction paper circles. We also put star stickers on the blue construction paper to represent the night sky. After each of the fireflies dried, we Put together our mobiles. The large firefly was the lonely firefly and the smaller ones were the friends he found! The kids loved them! They also looked great hanging in the classroom
- Submitted by Tracy Porter
After reading The Very Lonely Firefly, my second graders each made a firefly. Each child brought in a pine cone for the body. We dipped one end of the pine cone into a mixture of glue and water, and then into a cup full of gold glitter. We let them dry for one day. Next, we glued on green pom-poms for the head and used yellow and blue colored paper for the eyes. Finally, we added pipe cleaner wings folded in the shape of a number 8 and glued them on the back of the pine cone. I recommended using a glue gun for this part. Then we painted a huge Christmas tree and hung the fireflies all over the tree. To connect this activity with our writing, we wrote letters to elderly shut-ins who might feel lonely during the holidays.
- Submitted by Christine
Everyone will enjoy this activity! The lesson is actually a week long and it can be instructed to children from ages 5 to 15. Begin by introducing the word glow and how the firefly actually produces the glow through bioluminescence. Flex a light stick to activate the chemicals to glow. This will simulate cold light much like a firefly. Next introduce The Very Lonely Firefly. Read the book up to the point where the firefly sees the car lights. Ask the students what the Firefly might see next. Give each student a flashlight and randomly assign female and male roles to the students. Next, give each student a signal secretly written on paper. E.g. Click the light on and hold for two seconds, turn it off and back on for a quick blink. Each student will have a partner but will not know who it is until the blinking begins.
- Submitted by Lynn
After reading The Very Lonely Firefly, my students created their own firefly picture by using black paper, chalk and glow in the dark paint. They dipped their fingers into the paint and made thumb print fireflies on black paper. After they were dry, we put on some classical music, turned off the lights, and made our fireflies dance!
- Submitted by Elizabeth Lewis
My class enjoys Eric Carle stories every year. I use The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider, and The Very Lonely Firefly to discuss adjectives. We take magazines and cut out shapes from ads and create a new animal. The children may not cut out a face or body parts that are pictured. Instead, they rely on the shapes and colors to make the form and textures of their animals. Headlights of a car might become eyes, a dish of spaghetti might be fur, etc. Then they think of a title following Eric Carle’s form “The Very (fill in the blank).” They make a list of adjectives that will support their title and write a story about their critter.
- Submitted by Luana Collin
After studying Eric Carle for two weeks we watched the Eric Carle: Picture Writer video. My students were amazed at how much work went into a single picture. I told them I would let them create a scene from one of Eric Carle’s books using his techniques. They chose, The Very Lonely Firefly and created the last page where all the fireflies light up. We created a huge collage on butcher paper with 15 small fireflies and one large one. I cut holes in all the tails and we strung through holiday lights. The kids were shocked at how much it looked just like the book! More than anything it was a lesson on patience, appreciation of hard work,and working together. It hangs in the hallway with the caption, “and he wasn’t lonely anymore.”
- Submitted by Cynthia A. Spiess
After reading The Very Lonely Firefly to my first graders, we made a list of animals that weren’t in the book and told something specific that each animal can do. For example: a lobster can pinch. The students then made their own page of the book using their new animals. Instead of having them draw their pictures, I took a color photo of them acting like the animal they picked. The students really loved it and it made a cute book to share with families! It even won an award at our local fair!
- Submitted by Jo Anne Lane
After reading The Very Lonely Firefly and discussing the story, we then read another book about fireflies called Flashing Fireflies. It’s about catching fireflies and putting them in a jar. At the end of the story the fireflies are let go. We tied all this to subtraction (!) by making a class book called “Ten Flashing Fireflies.” We gave each child a sheet of gray construction paper, a jar shaped piece of iridescent wrapping paper, some gold sequins (for the body) and some gold glitter. They created some subtraction sentences using the fireflies, such as 10 fireflies in the jar, 3 flew out, 7 were left in the jar. Before gluing down the sequins and glitter, they first acted it out using beans. The book is beautiful!
- Submitted by Barbara
I teach a full-day combination Head Start/Day Care classroom of 17 3-5 year old children. We enjoy all of Eric Carle books. We had the children make fireflies out of small circles, triangles, and squares to reinforce shapes. The children then sprinkled them with gold glitter. To add to the final touch we strung a standard set of chaser white Christmas lights on the bulletin board and hooked the tail of each firefly to the lights. This was one of our most popular bulletin boards. We would leave the lights on during rest time and this actually was a stimulating way for the children to fall asleep.
- Submitted by Kim Bliss
I read my first graders The Very Lonely Firefly on the day we are reviewing the letter “f.” After reading them the story with the lights out and the shades drawn, we make firefly pictures by using a gray piece of construction paper to begin with. We dip our finger into some yellow paint and make prints on the paper. These fingerprints become the fireflies after we add wings, head and legs with fine tip markers. The children can then add other details to theirbegin with. We dip our finger into some yellow paint and make prints on the paper. These fingerprints become the fireflies after we add wings, head and legs with fine tip markers. The children can then add other details to their pictures using their crayons. When the pictures are completed, the children write a sentence about what their fireflies are doing.
- Submitted by Virginia Marion
I teach middle school methods to preservice teachers and I want the students to realize that books that traditionally have been viewed as early elementary stories are also very valuable in the upper grades.
I made a firefly out of cardboard, tissue paper and pipe cleaners. I made the tip of the tail (the light part) with tissue paper and a cardboard frame. It is small enough to allow me to hold the firefly and a small flashlight. I darken the room and read the story to the adult students. They really love the blinking light. It is a great anticipatory set for a science methods lesson on teaching light energy. I taught middle school science for ten years and believe the students would have loved this. I wish someone would try it and let me know if their students enjoyed the story.