Teachers like making themed units centered around a book, character or animal for elementary school students. Some books work well for this process. One book that most kindergarten and first grade teachers love using for themed units is "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond. Teachers integrate the story into projects, class work and art activities.
Hubbard's Cupboard is devoted to the books written by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond (see Resources). It offers information on the authors, information about each book, stories, games, worksheets and ideas for the teachers. The audio stories online make great activities for transition times like after recess, during homeroom or while waiting for buses at the end of the day. If a child finishes their work early, let the student try the mouse's match game on the computer.
Let students create drawings, paintings or puppets of the mouse from the story. Students show their understanding of the story by illustrating part of the story or acting out part of the story with the puppet. Instruct students to make a mouse paper bag puppet. Give each student a lunch bag-size paper bag and place it with the folded bottom of the bag facing up. Put the open end of the bag facing the student. Tell the students to draw eyes on the folded bottom part of the bag on the side furthest away from them and to draw the nose and whiskers on the folded edge of the bag facing them. Instruct them to fold the edge up and draw a little tongue under the flap and to glue two circles about 3 inches wide on each side of the head beside the eyes. Tell them to color overalls on the section of the bag under the nose and mouth. They can slide a hand into the opening on the bag and put a hand into the head and mouth area. Then, when they move their fingers, the puppet's head moves. They can make silly voices and pretend it's the puppet.
Instruct the students to write and illustrate their own mouse book, write a poem about the mouse from the story or write a report about the book. If students write a book, give the book a title like "If You Give A Mouse A Pizza." Let the students write the book in your class, and illustrate the book. Stack several pieces of 12 inch by 18 inch manila, newsprint or white paper together. Fold it in half so the paper is 9 inches by 12 inches. Staple along the folded edge. Ask the students to fill the book with their story and illustrations. If students write a poem, let them work with rhyming words or free verse. When students write about the story, they show their comprehension of the story.
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