Coyote Places the Stars Lesson Plan

Instructor: Frank Clint

Frank has been an educator for over 10 years. He has a doctorate degree in education with a concentration in curriculum and instruction.

Get your students excited about summarizing with a lesson about 'Coyote Places the Stars.' This lesson plan will help you teach student about character traits, evidence, summarizing, and the characteristics of myths and folktales.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Give evidence to support answers to questions
  • Summarize a myth and explain the lesson or moral
  • Describe a character based on actions in the story
  • Explain what a myth is
  • Create a graphic summary organizer


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.


Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.


Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.


Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.


Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.


Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events


  • place
  • roaming
  • launch
  • canyon
  • starry
  • skillful
  • clever
  • yelp
  • mysterious
  • decreed
  • crafty


  • Coyote Places the Stars by Harriet Peck Taylor
  • Large construction paper
  • Writing utensils, markers, crayons


  • To prepare students for the story, take a book walk with them. Allow students to make predictions about what they observe in the title and pictures of the book.
  • Activate prior knowledge by asking students what they know about myths and folktales. Explain that myths tell a story and explain some type of natural event in history. Folktales are similar but have traditionally been passed on orally.
  • Read the story to students one time for enjoyment. Then read the story again, but this time pause to explain vocabulary words as needed to students.
  • Also pause to check for comprehension, and ask the following questions:
    • How does the author describe Coyote before he goes up to into the sky?
    • How does the author show that Coyote is skillful?
    • How does Coyote change after he places the stars?
    • How did the animals feel about Coyote at the end of the story?
    • What evidence shows that Coyote is clever?
  • When you finish the story, lead students in a discussion about the most important events at the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Students should say something that resembles:
    • Coyote builds a ladder with a bow and arrow, and he makes pictures of himself and his friends by moving the stars in the heavens.
    • He howls to bring the animals together to view his work in the sky.
    • When the animals see the constellations, they decree that Coyote is clever and crafty.
    • Coyote makes a promise to them to be a friend to their children and grandchildren.

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