Articles > In A Story > Blue Sky, White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus
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Story Activities for

Blue Sky, White Stars

by Sarvinder Naberhaus

With its stunning illustrations and poetic imagery, Sarvinder Naberhaus captures the parallels of the flag with the American spirit. As a second generation immigrant, the author shares American ideals with simple yet powerful text. Read this beautiful book for the American Independence Day (July 4), Flag Day (June 14), or other American celebrations. 

The illustrator, Kadir Nelson, showcases painting illustrations of diverse people and landscapes. In his commentary at the end, Kadir reminds us of the the resilience of American principals and that "strength lies in our willingness to embrace our differences". 

Check out these activities and visuals to use with this beautiful book. 


Building Background Knowledge

Build background knowledge about the American flag to support comprehension.

The American Flag by Mrs. P.


Before Reading

Introduce the story by looking at the cover and making predictions about the book. Document predictions with this resource.



This book with few words, provides visual imagery with vocabulary with multiple meanings. Review vocabulary before you read and discuss possible interpretations of the words. 




The poetic language of this book inspires a positive and interesting perspective of the flag and the nation. Before you read, have students draw what they feel the words from the book mean to them. (Don't peek at the illustrations!)



Homographs and Homophomes

Homographs are words that are spelled the same but have diffferent meanings. Some examples are, "swing" (playground noun, or swing a bat verb), bark (dog or tree?), and fair (fair play or carnival). Homophones are words that sound the same, but are spelled different: one/won, sea/see, etc. 

Before you read, listen to some of the phrases in the book and draw, write, or describe what they mean. Then read the book to see if you and the illustrator had the same idea from the text. 

Make a list of homophone pairs. How many can you think of?

Here is a puzzle matching homophones. 



Learn about the fl blend with these fun games and activities




Have students explore different poems and create their own. Review works by famous American poets such as Shel Silverstein ("Where the sidewalk ends"), Maya Angelou, and Jack Prelutsky. Check out this site of children's poets your kids should know

Turn your favorite poems into small books, framed works with illustrations, or on small trinkets for display. 



American Themes / Fourth of July

This is a great book to use for American celebrations like 4th of July and Flag day. Here are some activities to use with this theme. 




When Questions

Talk about "when" questions. Make a list together of holidays and seasons and place within a simple calendar. Ask questions such as "when do you see pumpkins?". Think of which holidays would this book celebrate.


Symbols of the United States

Make a list of symbols of the United States: flag, Washington Monument, Grand Canyon, etc.  A symbol is a thing that stands for something else. What symbols are in the book?


Or write a book about American Symbols. 


Here is a simple video showing symbols of the United States.


Fine Motor Fun

Cut out and color symbols of the United States.

Use various art materials such as paint, string, or paper to decorate the American Flag. 



Write and/or draw what it means to be an American in the first box. Interview a person and write/draw their answer in the second box. 


50 States

How many states can you name? Play games and activities that introduce the names of the states that make up the United States. Check out this video "The Fifty States that Rhyme" song:




Enjoy reading and celebrating together!