Skills Building: Mae Among the Stars (PK-2)

Unit 8 Mae Among the Stars

Written by Roda Ahmed and Illustrated by Stasia Burrington

Pre- Reading Questions 

  1. What is your dream job and why? 
  2. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  3. Did you ever want to achieve something, but others told you that it would be too hard to accomplish? If so, did you do your best at trying to accomplish what you wanted to do?
  4. Have you ever encouraged others to follow their dreams, if they wanted to achieve something?


Post- Reading Questions

  1. What did Mae want to be when she grew up?
  2. When Mae told her mother about wanting to see the Earth from afar, what did her mother say to her?
  3. Where did Mae go to learn more about becoming an Astronaut?
  4. Why do you believe that it was important for Mae’s parents to encourage her to follow her dreams? 
  5. When Mae went to school and shared her dream with her teacher, how did Mae’s teacher and classmates respond? 
  6. How did Mae take initiative, to pursue her dreams by becoming an Astronaut?

Creative Enrichment Activity: I’m a Star! Pencil Toppers and Growth Goals (PK-2)


In the books, Mae Among the Stars and Counting on Katherine, we saw two women who worked extremely hard to reach their goals. Both women showed initiative and work hard toward their goals. What do you want to be when you grow up and what do you need to do to get there? How can you take initiative in your life to reach those goals?

Download the Template


  • Pre-sharpened or mechanical pencils (1 per student to keep)   
  • Star template printed on cardstock (1 copy per student)
  • Color pencils 
  • Tape
  • Ribbon (optional)

Duration: 35 – 40 minutes (for staff: 5 pre-activity set up and 15-20 minute prep)

  • 5 minutes: Introduce the activity using the book and examples
  • 5 minutes: Finish cutting out star template if started by staff. 
  • 15 minutes: Write goals and what is needed to achieve goals. Color. 
  • 5 minutes: Tape star template to pencil. Add ribbon (optional). 
  • 5 minutes: Clean up activity
  • 5 minutes: Reflect


  1. Before the activity, the staff should print out the templates and cut the templates so that each student has a star template. For older students, do not pre-cut the template. For younger students, pre-cut templates or cut a square around the star to reduce craft time.
  2. Introduce the activity, use the book to have students start to think about their goal, what they want to be when they grow up, and what they need to do to get there. 
  3. Students cut out the star templates if not done by staff.
  4. Students draw what they want to be when they grow up
  5. Tape the pencil to the back of the star. 
  6. Tie a ribbon around the base of the star/top of the pencil (optional). 
  7. Clean up.  
  8. Reflect.

Reflection Questions

  • Have students share their stars and goals with the person next to them. Then share a few with the whole group. 
  • Was it hard to think of what you wanted to be when you grew up? 
  • What are some of the steps you will need to take to reach that goal? 
  • Who do you think can help you reach that goal? 
  • Did you notice any of your classmates with the same goal as you?
Star Pencil Topper Materials
Star Pencil Topper Example