If you Give a Mouse a Cookie

By Laura Joffee Numeroff
Harper Collins
Lesson by Mary Suiter

Grades 1-3
Nebraska Standards: 1.19, 4.16, and 4.6
Economics: unlimited wants, goods, services
Language Arts: Cause/effect, sequencing, recall, making predictions

Synopsis: A little mouse shows up at a young man's house. The young man gives the mouse a cookie and starts a chain of events.

Materials: markers, crayons, pencils, drawing paper



1. Ask students if they have heard sentences like these: "If you finish your work, you may watch television" or "If you stop talking, you may go to recess."

2. Explain that the first part of each sentence tells something that might happen. It is called the "cause." The second part of the sentence tells what might happen because the first thing happened. It is called the "effect."

3. Ask students to identify the "cause" and "effect" of the sample sentences. Explain that because the work was finished, permission was given to watch television. Because the class stopped talking, permission was given to go to recess.

4. Ask students to predict how this sentence might end: "If you clean your room, you may..." Use student responses to reinforce the cause/effect relationship.

5. Introduce the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by reading the first line of the story, "If you give a mouse a cookie..." and ask students to predict what the effect might be.

6. Complete reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

Post Reading
7. To help students recall the events of the story, ask a student to name what the mouse wanted first.

8. Ask the next student to name the first and second things the mouse wanted.

9. Ask the third student to name the first, second and third things the mouse wanted. Continue this process until the students have named all the things the mouse wanted. (cookie, milk, straw, napkin, mirror, scissors, broom, mop, bucket, little box, pillow, story, paper, crayons, pen, tape)

10. Discuss examples of cause/effect statements from the story.

11. Read the last page of the story, "he's going to want a cookie to go with it." Ask students to predict a possible effect of wanting a cookie.

12. Explain that the mouse had many wants. Some of the things the mouse wanted were goods. Goods are things the mouse could touch and use. For example, the mouse wanted a cookie. A cookie is a good.

13. Ask students to name other goods the mouse wanted. (milk, broom, scissors, straw, napkin, mop, bucket, box, pillow, paper, crayon, pen, tape)

14. Explain that not all the things the mouse wanted were goods. One thing was a service. A service is something someone does for you. The mouse wanted the boy to read a story. This was a service.

15. Discuss:

a. What are some goods and services you would like to have?
b. Do you have all the goods and services you would like?
16. Explain that people have unlimited wants for goods and services. This means that the list of things they want never ends.

17. Explain that the class is going to write its own unlimited wants story. Begin the story by writing on the board, "If you give a teacher a dog, she will want ________________."

18. Ask a student to name a good or service that a teacher might want if she had a dog. Write the student's answer in the blank. For example, "If you give a teacher a dog, then she will want dog food."

19. Continue by writing on the board, "If she has (dog food), she will want __________."

20. Ask to name a good or service the teacher would want if she had the new item. Write the student's answer in the blank. For example, "If she has (dog food), she will want a dog dish."

21. Continue this process until there are ten or twelve sentences in the story.

22. Distribute drawing supplies to each student. Explain that students will create part of a story board for the class story. A story board shows pictures of what is happening in the story.

23. Assign each student two sentences in the story, instructing them to draw two pictures to go with the sentences and to write the correct sentence at the bottom.

24. Display the different story boards. (If there are twelve sentences and twenty-four students in the class, there will be four complete story boards.

From Economics and Children's Literature--Supplement 2 ($15.00), Copyright 1998 SPEC Publishers, Inc., 1006 Regency Manor Drive, Ballwin, MO 63011, Telephone 314-891-0043. For classroom use only; other reproduction is prohibited without written permission from SPEC Publishers, Inc. (order form)

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