The following ideas are designed to help you communicate the messages from You Are Sunshine in an effective and appropriate manner to your children.

It is suggested that you read the book three ways; scan the book viewing the pictures, read the book written for the child (blue print), and then read the teacher, parent or caregiver section (red print). Use the book throughout the year as situations arise in your classroom.

Below the number corresponds to the pages of the book. Use each # to help formulate ideas for that page.

  1. Self worth - What is wonderful and special about you? What do you think is your sunshine? (happiness, love, goodness )
  2. Kindness, respectful talk, dramatization - What is something you could do to be helpful to someone and make him/her feel good? Has someone done something nice for you? How did it make you feel? How can you tell that the two girls are friends? Is it okay to have friends who are different from you?
  3. Achieving success - What can you do? Build on the information to show what five year olds can do. We are all different and each of us has strengths.
  4. Being treated badly, teasing - When we feel like fighting because someone is mean to us, what else can we do? Has anyone done anything to you to make you feel bad?
  5. Angry Adults - When your parents are angry, what do you do?
  6. Divorce, living in two places, feelings change, adjustment - If your parents are no longer together, how do you feel about it? Divorce is a very sensitive issue. If this is an issue for any child in your room discuss it with the child. Be comforting and caring.
  7. Children are not responsible for adult behavior. - If your parents are divorced, draw a picture of your old family, then your new family. It may be different, but you are still loved and an important part of your family.
  8. Breaking rules, I'm sorry - Everyone breaks a rule occasionally. How would you feel if _______did ___________? (example) Susie knocked down your building blocks.
  9. Pride, selfworth, achievement - Display anything that the children have done to help them feel pride and self worth.
  10. Fears - Is there something that frightens you?
  11. Relating to animals, nonjudgemental - Do you have a pet? What does your pet or favorite animal do to make you feel good?
  12. Environmental, earth issues - What do you think about people who throw trash on the ground? What can you do to help stop littering?
  13. Share your smile with others - Where is your sunshine? How can you spread it wherever you go? You are sunshine.

Sunshine Foundation, Inc.

Language Arts

  • Make dot to dot pictures either using numbers, or the alphabet to form a sun.
  • Make a tape recording of You Are Sunshine for listening center in class.
  • Have children act out different scenarios from the book.
  • Make a class mural depicting the different issues in the story.
  • Make a memory game either with faces, matching sunshine pictures,simple sight words, etc.
  • Write thank you notes to someone you appreciate.
  • Use magazine pictures to make a collage of all the things the sun affects-
  • Draw something that makes you happy, sad, scared, or angry and have children dictate stories Make a poster or a book "All About Me".


  • Make a graph of favorite, scary, happy, sad feelings from class discussion.
  • Make a timeline.
  • Make a bingo game.
  • Make a sunflower wind sock. Color a paper plate, glue and count sunflower and glue long green streamers as stems.
  • Use a circle, count the rays to add to circle to make a sun. Add colored rice.
  • Paint paper plates yellow/orange then cut in 10 large pieces to make sun puzzles.


  • Discuss the sun, study its characteristics.
  • Put bags of chocolate chips in sunlight to melt. Observe and discuss, then use to drizzle on sun shaped cookies.
  • Discuss good nutrition using the food pyramid, and taking care of our bodies.
  • Make sun prints by placing items on colored paper and putting in the sun for several hours before removing items.
  • Use magazine pictures to make a collage of all the things the sun affects-
  • Plant butter beans in clear cup. Observe the effects of sun and shade on plants.
  • Spread out a white sheet and use prisms to see the sun produce rainbows through light reflection.
  • Make bubbles and observe the sun shinning through them to make rainbows.
Social Studies
  • Discuss taking care of the environment. Talk about ways we can help. Take a walk and pick up litter. Adopt an area for class to be responsible for cleaning.
  • As a class make a large sun pinata for a sunshine celebration.
  • Make a list of rules for school, home, neighborhood.
  • Make a list of ways the sun helps our world.
  • Make sunshine stickers using precut contact paper rounds.
  • Create masks that show different feelings.
  • Make puppets to use while telling the story.


  • Paint giant suns with tempera and large brushes. Use on bulletin board and place a child's picture in the middle. Each child will be "Sunshine for the Day".
  • Use paper plates, decorate with crayons or felt markers then cut to make sun rays.
  • Glue yellow paper pieces on a paper plate, then cut triangles, glue on back to form the sun 's rays.
  • Make a sun shaped potato print.
  • Cut out large sun circles, dip hands in paint and hand stamp around circle to make rays, label "You are Sunshine".

Gross Motor

  • Play sun ball.
  • Crawl through a maze that looks like the sun.
  • Throw, roll, or bounce the ball to a trash can that has a large sun pasted on it. March around a sun drawn on sidewalk.
  • Play hot potato. Decorate the potato to make it look like the sun.


  • Sunshine cookies or crackers
  • Sunmaid raisins
  • Sunny Delight Orange Drink
  • Sunkiss Orange Juice
  • Yellow gum drops
  • Friendship salad, each child brings a fruit. Combine all fruit to make friendship salad.

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