Take home book bag: 1 copy of Mouse Count, a blue journal booklet, one plastic jar, 10 small mice (I bought cat toy mice at the dollar store, making sure they didn’t have catnip in them), one snake stuffed toy ( I used “Hissy” the TY snake) and a small rock. I then put it into a bag and sent it home with instructions glued into the journal booklet. I also designed a cover for the journal. The list of the instructions were to manipulate the materials – either to recreate the story, count the mice in or out, make another ending, etc. Then the students were to draw a picture response to the book and the parents were to ask “What words do you want me to use to tell about your picture?” Then I invited the parents to make a response. also. The journal has been returning with wonderful pictures and thoughts in it. When everyone has had a chance to take the book bag home, the journal will become another class made book in our library.
This idea works well with nursery rhymes as well as time. For “Hickory Dickory Dock” – Draw a large grandfather clock onto brown construction paper add clock face with regular numbers and laminate. Make two clock hands (hour and minute). Attach the hands to the clock face with a paper fastener (brad) so that the hands can be moved. Make a mouse out of gray paper and laminate Make a small hole a both ends of the mouse and at both ends of the clock. Run a length of heavy string through holes on the clock and through the mouse (so that the mouse can run up the clock) Tie the string ends together at the back of the clock. Children can put clock hand to any time on the clock and run the mouse up and down the string. Put an original copy of the rhyme on the clock but encourage kids to make up new rhymes with other times.