Gli studenti possono tenere traccia dei diversi temi, simboli e motivi presenti in The Stars Beneath Our Feet e creare una mappa del ragno per illustrare gli esempi
Lolly struggles with grief, guilt, and anger over Jermaine's death. He wants to keep Jermaine's memory alive and does not want to get rid of Jermaine's bed in his room as Mr. Ali suggests. However, the presence of Jermaine's bed also prevents Lolly from moving forward as it is a constant reminder. When Lolly makes the decision to move Jermaine's bed, it signals his willingness to come to terms with Jermaine's death.
The importance of family and different family dynamics are a recurring theme. Lolly is close with his mother but since Jermaine's death, both have been struggling with grief and Lolly has missed their closeness. Lolly loves his dad but he has been absent since the divorce and Lolly feels disconnected from him. Ma's girlfriend Yvonne is like one of the family and Lolly is appreciative of Yvonne's efforts, especially her bringing him the Legos that have helped with his depression.
Lolly's friendships influence him in different ways and the novel shows the crucial role friendships can play for better and also for worse. Lolly thinks about how Jermaine changed after he joined the gang. Lolly's unexpected friendship with Rose helps him work through his anger and depression as he discovers, “I had learned it was better to share your stuff. You get back more than you think you would.”
The Legos serve as Lolly's way of coping and symbolize his hopes and dreams. Lolly has always loved Legos. He prides himself on building to the directions. However, after Jermaine dies, Lolly is left without any instructions on how to go on. He begins creating worlds entirely from his imagination. He makes up characters, stories, and games. When Rose joins Lolly, the Legos become a coping mechanism and way of communicating. The positive attention they receive for their creations allows Lolly to visualize his future as an artist.
Lolly and his friends see a coyote in the city . It is out of place amongst the buildings and concrete. Lolly learns that coyotes have been displaced from their habitats and have been moving to the city in search of food, but are captured by rangers if found. Lolly thinks: "Our coyote was part of a species in danger. Hunted down and shot up. We knew how it felt." Living in fear of violence daily, Lolly identifies with the coyote's predicament.
Mr. Ali talks with Lolly on a regular basis to help him through his grief. He can see that Lolly is struggling with Jermaine's death and that it has made him angry and isolated. In giving Lolly the space to use his imagination and create with his Legos, he allows him to process his grief and come to terms with Jermaine's death. When Lolly realizes that it was not his fault that Jermaine was shot, he finally begins to heal.