Laura Numeroff’s “If you … Stories”

Last week we were focusing on cause and effect.  The perfect stories for one thing leading to another are Laura Numeroff’s “If you”… stories.  We chose to stick to her food themed stories because we all love to eat right?  Not to mention all of the food is sweet and delicious.  Fortunately for me, I have the most amazing families and they are always willing to chip in and help out.  So, the week before, we asked for some food items to help us with graphing and also to give us a little extra inspiration!
Laura Numeroff's "If you ... Stories"
We began with the original story, “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie”.  I remember this story from when I was little.  I’m still curious why there was such a long break between some of her stories.  We began by predicting what else the mouse might want.  Then we wrote what we would want, a little text to self.  After reading the story we completed the cause and effect page.  They did really well with this concept.  After that, we surveyed our friends to see which kind of cookie they would rather have, chocolate chip or sugar.  They love walking around the room and gathering data.  We tally, count, and graph our data.  Finally we do the BEST part, eat the cookies.  I asked my parents to donate small cookies so we wouldn’t have too much sugar and they were perfect! In writing we also wrote about our favorite kind of cookie.  Mine is a peanut butter cookie dipped in coffee.  How about you?
Next up was “If you Give a Moose a Muffin”. We did the same activities for this story as well.  I feel repetition is sooooo important for young children.  Plus it makes them feel so successful when they are confident learners.  We also invented our own muffins.  They turned out really cute.
Of course we had to taste test a few muffins so we tried blueberry and chocolate chip.  I had the parents send in the mini muffins that come prepackaged and they tried one of each.  It was simple and effective.  We did our survey and tally graph as well.
Then we moved onto “If you Give a Cat a Cupcake”. In the picture below you can see the mini cupcakes we used for our graphing.  For writing we wrote about what kind of cupcake we would rather have.  I let them choose any kind but they had to tell why.  
After that, we read “If you Give a Pig a Pancake”.  This was the messiest of all but so much fun.  I usually make pancakes on my griddle but I got a little smarter this year.  We used microwave pancakes instead.  I have a microwave in my room so it works out well.  You can see they loved this activity.  
Last, we had a few more stories to read and we had our concepts down pat so it became choice time.  I read “If you Give a Dog a Donut” and then they chose what they wanted to work on and where they wanted to work. Below are a few samples of some things they completed. 
We also read Laura Numeroff’s newest story, “If you Give a Mouse a Brownie”.  We did the same thing with choice time and collaborating with others.   I love their little inventions and I was surprised to find that they all wanted to do the writing even after we had a whole group writing workshop that morning.   
To end the unit, I thought it would be fun to see which stories they liked the most.  So I quickly put together this graph.  I let them each choose two books that they enjoyed.  Then we completed the activity below to look at our data.  I was surprised to see that the original story got the least amount of votes.  I though it turned out pretty cute.  If you would like to grab ALL the goodies you will need to make this graph, click on the link below the picture.  We also split into groups and each group made a different character.  I didn’t think it was necessary to have all of them make each character and honestly I don’t have time in my curriculum for that.  
As always thank you for checking out our fun week in first grade!  Stay tuned for more to come!


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I’m Megan, a first grade teacher and a mother to 7 amazing children. I love to create and collaborate with teachers. When I’m not teaching, I love spending time with my family, baking and playing tennis.

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