This month, we are reading The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear, by Don and Audrey Wood, during our kindergarten readiness time. The teacher will read the book aloud as the children follow along with their copies. In this book, Little Mouse loves strawberries, but so does Big Hungry Bear. Little Mouse will do all he can to save his strawberry from the Big, Hungry Bear, even if it means sharing it with the reader.
Book Activities for Pre-Reading Skills and Literature Appreciation
Introduction to book (predicting)
Before opening the book, the teacher will tell the children the title and author. Don and Audrey Wood, who are married to each other, wrote the book together. The teacher will explain that Don drew the pictures, he’s an illustrator. As just the cover of the book is shown to the children, they will be asked: What do you think the book is going to be about? What kind of place do you think this is? What do you think is going to happen here? The teacher will record predictions. The teacher and children will turn through the pages, without reading them. She will then ask if the children have any new predictions.
Before opening the book, the teacher will tell the children the title and author. She will ask the children to look at the picture on the cover and then have each child tell her one color that they see.
Mouse: The teacher will explain that the book is about a mouse. The teacher will ask the children questions like: What do you think the mouse is thinking about? Where have you seen mice? What do they look like? How do they behave? What foods do they like? If you have a mouse (or similar animal) as a pet, how do you care for them?
Bear: The teacher will ask the children questions like: What do they know about bears? Where do they live? What do they look like? What do they eat? How do they act? How are bears different from mice?
Strawberries: The teacher will ask the children questions like: What do they look like? Where do they grow? What do they taste like? What are the different ways you have eaten strawberries? Sliced on cereal…in a cake…
What do you think? (classifying/feelings)
The group will read the book together. The teacher will ask the children questions: Would you like to be the mouse? Why? What would you do if you were a mouse? What kind of fruits would you eat? What kind of vegetables? Do you like the ending? Do you like the pictures? The teacher will read the title again. Can the children find a bear in the book? Do they think there really was a bear? Why or why not? The teacher will chart results.
The teacher will ask the children if they’d like to be a bear or a mouse. Why? The teacher will chart results under “I’d like to be a bear because:” and “I’d like to be a mouse because:”
Who said it? (listening)
The teacher will record the children reading the story. She will have each child read a page. She may also record any of the above conversations about the book and make it available for them to listen to during other parts of the day.
If you were a mouse (feelings/dictation)
The teacher will ask the children if they were a mouse, where would they like to live. Who would be their friends? What would they eat? What would their name be? Do mice have names? The group will look through the book together, closely observing the mouse’s varied facial expressions. In what pictures does the mouse look happy? Surprised? Afraid? Why? Which pictures did they like best?
The Bear Arrives (predicting)
The teacher will ask predicting questions: what would have happened if the bear had really come to the mouse’s house? What would they have said to each other? What would they have done? Would the bear have taken away the red, ripe strawberry? Would the mouse have figured out a way to keep it? The group will create a new ending to the story.
It weighs how much? (observing/weighing)
The group will read the book together. The teacher will give the group scales and fruit sorters. She will have one child put a certain number of fruits on one side of the scales and then ask another child try to balance the scales by placing animals on the other side. How many animals balance the scale? Everyone will get a turn.
The teacher will have the children draw a picture of their favorite part of the book. She will then ask them tell her about it and she will write their dictation on the bottom of the page.
After reading the book, the teacher will ask the children to think of all of the foods they know that use strawberries. She will record the answers on a large chart that reads “Strawberry Menu”. They might mention strawberry shortcake, strawberry ice cream, strawberry yogurt, strawberry pie, strawberry jam…
A Sharing Experience (feelings/social skills)
The teacher will have the children think of a time that they shared something with someone else. When did it happen? Who did they share with? What did they share? Did they enjoy it? Why? Why not?
Dear Little Mouse (Language/writing)
The teacher will label a large piece of paper with “Dear Little Mouse”. She will talk about the different ways the mouse tries to hide and protect the strawberry. She will ask the children to think of other ways they could have protected the strawberry. She will write their responses by dictating a letter, with the children’s names, to the mouse with their ideas.
The teacher will have one child be the bear. She will then have the rest of the children be the mouse. As she reads through the book, she will ask the “mice” to concentrate on trying to duplicate the facial expressions of the mouse in the story. She will then have the children trade to let someone else be the bear.
My favorite part is (recall)
The group will read through the story together. She will have each child open their book to their favorite page. She will ask them to tell her why it is their favorite. Toward the middle of the month, she can have them tell her what it says on that page.
Rubbing their tummy (listening)
The teacher will ask the children to listen to the story carefully. When they hear the word “strawberry”, they are to rub their tummy. When they hear the word “bear”, they will growl and claw the air. The children will make themselves small and squeak when they hear the word “mouse”.
Fruit Sorters (patterning)
The group will read the book together. The teacher will make a pattern with fruit sorters and then ask the children to make their sorters in the same pattern. She will pick a child to make a pattern for all to copy.
Fruit Sorters (sorting)
The teacher will place 20-30 fruit sorters in a container with a lid. She will shake, shake, shake the sorters and then roll them out on the floor. The children will scramble to sort.
The group will graph which foods in the book are their favorite. The teacher will put two fruit sorters on the graph mat and have the children choose which one they like best. They can use a beanbag to “vote” with by putting their beanbag by the red fruit, the yellow fruit, etc. The group will discuss which fruits are the most liked/least liked/no one liked (zero).
Alphabet Soup (letter recognition)
The teacher will lay out A-H foam letters in the middle of a circle and tell the group its alphabet soup. The teacher will then say a letter (A-H) and write it on butcher paper. The children will take turns finding the different letters in the “soup”.
Recognizing Site Words
The teacher will write “bear” in large print on tag board. As she reads through the story, she will not read the word “bear,” instead she will hold up the written word, pausing for the children to yell out “bear.” (Variation: The teacher may announce what level of voice the group will use on each page.).
The teacher will record someone reading the book. She will put the recording and book in reading area.