One of my all-time favourite picture books is Coyote Sings to the Moon by Thomas King and Johnny Wales.
It is a delightful book that sounds great when read aloud. It tells the story of Old Woman and her animal friends who sing to the moon every night.
One evening, Coyote decides to join them but he is turned away by the group. They tell him that his horrible voice would scare the moon away.
Coyote trudges off. His feelings are hurt and he takes out his frustration out on the moon. Moon hears his insult and decides to teach him a lesson by diving out of the sky. The entire world goes dark.
When Old Woman and the animals can’t get Moon to go back up into the sky, they finally have to ask for Coyote’s help.
It’s a hilarious story and I absolutely love yelling out Coyote’s howls and screeches as I tell this story to my class. The students always get a kick out of my over-the-top performance.
Sometimes it is a great idea to share a story that you really enjoy with your class. They can see that reading is fun, that stories have something to offer, and that it is great to share things that you love.
That is why I don’t have any activity to go with this book. I don’t have a discussion or worksheet for the students to do after the reading. I simply close up the book at the end of my telling and say, “I so love that book.”
Go share your favourite story with your class or find a copy of this one at your local library. I had to buy this book because it is simply one of the best picture books I have ever read.
I also like how it exposes the students to another culture. Coyote is an important figure for the First Nations People. In the story, the moon is feminine and this ties in to other Aboriginal stories as well.
As teachers, we should make sure to include stories from a variety of cultures on a regular basis in our classroom.