This has been a household favourite for many years, and eventually I decided to test drive the following activity with my daughter’s pre-primary class. It went down a treat. This is a good one to link in with a food type theme, as well.
This one has a little prep work. Create little cards with pictures of all the items the mouse asks for: straw, glass of milk, broom, scissors, crayons etc. Laminate if you can so you can use this activity again and again!
This book automatically lends itself to a prediction activity. Begin by showing the cover and predicting about what the book could be about. As you read the book, ask the children to guess what the mouse will ask for next. This really tests logical thinking, and creativity. When you get an interesting suggestion, ask the student why they think that. It’s great to see the line of thinking.
Once the story has been read, ask the kids to sit in a circle. Hand out the cards you have made up. If there are more kids than cards, reassure them that they will still have a role/job to play. Choose a child to be the mouse, and one to be the boy. Then re-enact the story, side coaching. Begin with “If you give a mouse a …..” and then ask the child with the first card (they will need to remember) to hold it up and call out the item. The “boy” takes the card and gives it to the mouse. The mouse then asks for the next thing – with help from the child with the next card, This may sound difficult but it does all flow, as each child has a little reminder of what comes next. You can use the students who don’t have a card to get up and create things, like the bed, the fridge, the house etc.
A follow up to this could be to create a living picture of things from the book. All the students still sit in a circle, then one by one get up and assume a pose saying “I am a…..cookie, glass of milk……etc”. A round of applause when you feel like the picture is complete,
I also did a”Instead of” activity, taking the idea of food. I stood in the middle and said “I am a cookie”. Invite a student up to say “Instead of a cookie, eat me instead! I am a ……banana”. This can go for quite a while, with the teacher coming up with the junk food/not so healthy option. Kids really get into this – a lovely incidental learning activity that has sprung from a book!
Laura Numeroff has also published others in this series.
I have discovered “If You Give a Pig a Pancake”. The style and flow is the same, with different ‘things’ that the pig wants. I read my Grade 1 class the mouse version, and did the card activity. I then asked kids to get into groups of 4. I explained we were going to read another book similar to “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” but this time I wasn’t going to show them pictures as I read it, but instead I would stop and their group had to predict what the next thing would be that the pig asked for.
I encouraged them to have a couple kids play the pig and person. The others, objects or narrator. They simply presented their bit in the style the book is written. Takes a couple minutes to organise and a few seconds for each group to perform. This means you can allow a few opportunities to predict. Kids loved problem solving and coming up with new ideas – especially as they then got to see if they were right!