Creating activities that help stories come alive will encourage students to gain a greater love of reading.
Use the activities in this lesson to involve your students in hands-on activities and fun interaction as they read ‘Night of the Moonjellies.’
Activities for Night of the Moonjellies
Engaging in fun activities in your classroom will help Mark Shasha’s Night of the Moonjellies come alive for your students. After reading it to them, use one or more of the activities below to help your students relate to the story and have fun creating projects that help them connect to it. The activities are designed to be used with the entire classroom; however, many of the activities can be adapted to be completed in groups or teams of students.
Elements of the Story
Where Is New England?
Help the students determine where New England is on a U.S. map.
Talk about what life is like in that part of the world. Bring in additional pictures of the shore, food stands, etc.
Create a Menu Board
Have the students consider what types of food they would sell if they worked at Grandma’s food stand. Give each student a large piece of construction paper and have them create a menu board that would sit outside of the hot dog stand. They can list foods, prices and draw pictures of the items.
Plan a Surprise
Grandma comes up with a fun surprise – a boat tour out to see the moonjellies in the water. Have the students pick someone in their life they care for, such as a parent or sibling, and plan a surprise for that person. Where will they go? What will they do? Why is this a special surprise? How will they invite their special person to go with them for the surprise? Have the students share their ideas with their classmates.
Draw a Moonjelly
Have the students draw what they think the night view of the moonjelly looked like. Have them draw the jellyfish style creatures that were visible the night that Mark and Grandma went for their special surprise. Show pictures of moonjellies to give them a visual of what they look like.
Create a Piñata Moonjelly
Using a balloon, piñata paste and orange tissue paper, create a moonjelly.
Simply mix some water, flour and glue to create a paste that will dry and create the upper part of the moonjelly. Blow up a balloon, dip the orange tissue paper into the piñata paste and attach it to the top half of the balloon. The goal is to create a half-circle shaped image, similar to the top of a moonjelly. Once the top half of the balloon is covered with several coats of orange tissue paper, allow the paste to dry overnight.
The next day, attach string or strips of paper to the top of the moonjelly to create the tentacles of the fish. Hang the moonjellies from the ceiling to simulate the fish that were in the ocean the night Mark and Grandma went for their boat ride.
Get a large tub of water and put many small, glow-in-the-dark tubes in the water.
Turn off the lights, close the shades, and see the glowing moonjelly in the water, similar to the experience of Mark and Grandma.