The famous little mouse from the children’s classic If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is back in another irresistible tale full of holiday antics. This time, if you take him to the movies, he\’ll ask you for some popcorn. If you give him the popcorn, he\’ll want to string it all together. Then he\’ll want to hang it on a Christmas tree.
Prior to reading the book, complete a picture walk. Do this by talking about the title and photo on the cover. Then flip through a few pages, talk about the pictures and have your child make predictions about what the book is about and what they think will happen.
Pre-teach those words which you think your child may not currently have mastery of. Provide real-life examples and ask them to repeat the word three times.
- fort: (n) a strong building where soldiers live
- string: 1 (v) to put things together on a string or thread; 2 (n) a long, thin piece of twisted thread
- movies: (n) a recording of moving images that tells a story and that people watch on a screen or television
- ornament: (n) a small, fancy object that is put on something else to make it more attractive
- neighbors: (n) a person who lives next door or near another person
- Christmas carol: (n) a song sung during the Christmas season
Challenge your child\’s expressive language and continue to build on their vocabulary while using their senses to describe the experiences of Winter. If they get stuck, flip through a few pages in If You Take a Mouse to the Movies or just look around your home.
While reading the story, be sure to ask Wh- questions. Differ the questions based on your child\’s age and abilities.
PreK and Under
Ask simple and obvious questions based on the current illustration and page you are reading (i.e. What did mouse do with the popcorn?)
Kindergarten and Up
Ask more complex (i.e. Why do you think the mouse wants a blanket?) and prediction-based questions (i.e. What do you think he is going to do with the ornaments?).
Here are examples of other questions which can be asked while reading:
- p.2 Where are the little boy and mouse going?
- p.3 What happened when they got to the movies?
- p.5 What happened when the little boy gave the mouse some popcorn?
- p.8. What happened when the mouse saw a snowman in the neighbor’s yard?
- p.10 What does the mouse do when he decides to build a fort?
- p.12 Once the fort is built, what does he want to do with the little boy?
- p.14 What does the mouse ask for when he curls up on the couch?
- p.16 What does the little boy have to find when the mouse wants to listen to carols?
- p.20 What all does the boy have to get for the mouse to make ornaments?
- p.23 What does the mouse do when he is finished making the ornaments?
- p.29 What happened when the mouse realized the popcorn was missing from the tree, and he asked the boy for some popcorn?
If your child struggles to answer any of the questions presented, allow them to point (if possible) and you model the correct verbal response and wait for them to imitate. Don\’t forget to use story grammar and ask basic questions such as the setting, characters, problem, etc.
Most children who are three years or older should easily articulate the target sound in each of these words.Be sure to emphasize the pronunciation of the identified phoneme(s) in each word. Don\’t forget to clap out the syllables in each word!
Allow your child to use their creativity by providing the writing prompt If you take me to the movies, I will ask for… Need help cutting out the mouse craft shapes? Try using First Grade WOW’s templates (pg 17-20).
Other Creative Activities
- String popcorn and allow your child to add their creation to your family’s Christmas tree
- Make a Christmas ornament using this DIY
- Build a fort somewhere in your home
- Arrange the events in the story in sequential or alphabetical order and talk about cause & effect relationships using this visual print-out (here\’s another sequencing activity)
- Create a popcorn sensory bin to work on fine motor skills
- Play with your food and create a mouse themed cheese and cracker snack
We used these resources:
You can find more Beyond the Book activities for other diverse titles via Maya’s Book Nook.