This week, we were supposed to talk about Rhyming. However, I’m super tired from all the traveling I’ve done in the last three weeks, so I just whipped out the Mice kit and used it instead. We have many books in this kit, but I tried to pull the most classic. Kids love to see books at storytime that they’ve heard before and might even own.
Our letter was M for Mice, but my alphabet set has no M, so we used the W and turned it upside down. It actually provoked some nice conversations about what starts with W in addition to the M words.
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stohl Walsh
The classic tale of three white mice who learn about primary and secondary colors using three jars of paint.
Mice by Rose Fyleman and Lois Ehlert
The classic rhyme about mice being nice set to Ehlert’s humorous collages of mice acting very naughty, indeed. In the end, you find out that the tale is narrated by the crazy-faced yellow house cat. I love this book because so much is going on in the pictures that’s not described in the text. The story itself is totally visual.
Concept: Visual literacy
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood
The classic story of the mouse who tries to hide/guard/disguise a strawberry from a big, hungry bear who loves them.
Concept: Problem solving
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
The classic circular tale of the mouse who gets a cookie but then wants milk and then wants a straw and so on until he’s cleaned the entire house, made artwork, and started the entire cycle all over again.
Concept: Sequence, cause/effect
The Mousey Pokey
It’s the Hokey Pokey, but with: mouse ears, front paws, back paws, mouse tail, and mousey self.
Little Mouse, Little Mouse
Here’s my version of Little Mouse, Little Mouse. The mouse is freehand, the “houses” are really die cut barns. If you don’t know the score on this one, it’s like this: You hide the mouse, then have the kids pick houses color by color and check for the mouse. The chant is, “Little mouse, little mouse, are you behind the (color) house?” There are tons of variations on this one: cat/hat, fly/pie, kitten/mitten, et cetera ad infinitum. Kids love them all.
The head is a die cut triangle, the nose is a die cut heart, the ears are die cut hearts cut in half, and the whiskers are strips of black paper from the shape bugs a couple weeks ago. They echo the mice in the Ehlert book nicely.
How It Went:
I think mice are rather nice, especially if they’re going to help me tie four excellent books together so neatly. I had two terrific sessions with this kit, which I used last year but didn’t blog about because I’d gotten hopelessly behind. I’ve used the Woods’ book several times, but this time, someone actually had a suggestion for keeping the strawberry away from the bear that wasn’t “hide it” (incorrect) or “eat it” (usually from someone who knows the ending.) One little boy said that you could hide it a thousand miles away from the bear! He can only smell strawberries a mile away, so if it’s a thousand miles away, it’s safe! Yes! Great job, kid! Everyone loved the mischievous mice in Mice, one of whom can be seen using a toothbrush to groom his bottom, which caused so many giggles. And as predicted, most of the kids had seen the books other than Mice multiple times, and they were so excited to have them at storytime. I’m not a member of the “repeat the same book every week for six weeks in six different ways” school of thought. I like to expose kids and parents to a variety of books so they can find favorites to use at home. However, bringing out a book once in a while that many of the kids know can give you the opportunity for deeper conversations. Today we talked about whether the big hungry bear even exists! Maybe the narrator just made him up so the mouse would share his strawberry.
Great sessions. Next week: probably Rhyming!