Southwest Children's  Literature

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The Same Sun Was in the Sky

In the classroom/library:

The Same Sun Was in the Sky is most appropriate for students in second through sixth grades.

It integrates with classroom curriculum in the areas of social studies (native peoples of North America) and archeology.

The theme of respecting the culture of previous peoples and caretaking their artifacts is a important message for children.

I shared this book with third grade students who will engage in a year-long focus on communication (writing) and who were about to begin a study of inventions.

This was a collaborative plan between the classroom teacher, Jenny Himmelstein, and myself.

Core Curriculum (Tucson Unified School District)

Describe everyday life in the past and recognize that some aspects change and others stay the same.
Know the economies, symbols, customs, and oral traditions of a Native American community of Arizona.
Describe how people and cultures, past and present, have made important contributions to scientific knowledge.

Before reading:

  • Students examined reproductions of the Hohokam symbols used in the illustrations of this book and predicted their origin.

After reading:

  • Students worked in small groups of two or three students to suggest a meaning for each symbol.
  • Students worked collaboratively with AlphaSmart portable laptops to respond to the book.
  • These were our prompts: What did the book make you think about? What did you learn from the story or the illustrations? How did the book make you feel?


  • After observing how symbols/icons are used in today's culture, students used sand trays to rehearse possible symbolic representations for themselves.
  • They drew their symbols on brown construction paper using q-tips dipped in bleach.
  • The symbols were then mounted on styrofoam rocks in clusters representing the symbols of each member of their small group.


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