Forest Bright, Forest Night

It’s nighttime in the forest, but not all animals are asleep.  “Sun sinks, moon winks. Hello, forest night…Yip and yowl, foxes prowl.”

But when the “Moon goes down, sun grows round. Hello, forest day…Whittle and rap, woodpeckers tap.”

The book Forest Bright, Forest Night introduces children to animal behavior through catchy rhymes.
The book’s illustrations dramatically show the difference between day and night as reader actually FLIPS the book over—one way shows day, the other way shows night.

LESSON PLAN: Classify It!
In this lesson children first classify animals by their sleeping habits: nocturnal (awake at night) and diurnal (awake during the day). Then children sort ALL of the animals according to their family: mammal, bird, reptile, insect, or amphibian.

Suggested Grade Level: K-2rf


  • A copy of the book, Forest Bright, Forest Night
  • Chart/butcher paper or chalk board/white board with the headings: mammal, bird, fish, insect, amphibian, reptile


  1. Tell students that scientists often group objects, plants and animals by common characteristics so they can be more easily studied and understood.
  2. Show students the cover of the book Forest Bright, Forest Night. Discuss the title and the animals.
  3. Read the story aloud and ask children to identify the waking and sleeping animals on each page.
  4. After reading the story, refer to the chart created on butcher paper with the headings: mammal, bird, fish, insect, amphibian, reptile.
  5. Explain that each category has certain characteristics. Mammals have fur. Birds have feathers and beaks. Reptiles have scales. Insects have six legs. Fish live under water and have gills. Amphibians live near water and have moist skin.
  6. Go through the pages of Forest Bright, Forest Night a second time, and classify each animal in the book by the characteristics above.

Common Core Standards (ELA K-2)

  • Reading and Literature: Key Ideas and Details (K.3, 1.3, 2.3); Integration and Knowledge of Ideas (K.7, 1.7, 2.7)

Next Generation Science Standards (K-2)

  • LS1.D: Information Processing
  • LS4.D: Biological Evolution
  • LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems.


subscribe     Blog by Carol Malnor I love making connections: kids and nature, science and reading, fun and learning. I discovered the joy of connecting Dawn Publications' books with kids when I was a classroom teacher. Dawn's books were easy to incorporate into my lessons and the kids loved them. I used picture books with students of all ages, from primary school all the way up through 9th grade. Over the years, my relationship with Dawn changed and developed, and I authored Dawn’s Teacher’s Guides as well as writing books for children 4-14 years old. ARTICLE How to Use Creative Nonfiction Picture Books in Support of Common Core and Science ACTIVITIES Dawn Publications STANDARDS Common Core State Standards Next Generation Science Standards National Science Teachers Association Picture Perfect Science   OTHER FAVORITES Dawn Publications Children and Nature Network
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