August 2001

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Finding & counting circles
Be A Mouse
Napkin folding
Write a story
Learn about mice
Build book
Assemble lapbook

This week we are doing activities for "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie", by Laura Numeroff. We read it several times in the previous days so Benjamin was already very familiar with it.

This is my first attempt at any kind of scheduled learning time so it is a total experiment.
 Monday: I read the book to Benjamin while he colored a picture from the book. I attempted to get him to color the areas of the picture in the same colors as the illustration in the book. He did a pretty good job once I pointed out what the picture in the book looks like. He got a little black-happy at the end, so it's an interesting artistic interpretation of what he saw. This picture will probably be included in our lapbook in some way. (Item 1 on pictures below.)

Next, we talked about the cookies being circle shaped. We went through the book again and I had him find all of the circles he could see. I didn't realize how many there were. I wrote them all down so we can include that in our lapbook at the end of the week. (Item 2) We then went back and I had him count circles in some areas: holes in the cleanser can, flowers, etc. He really enjoyed the circle activity and continued on to tell me that his Ritz Bits crackers are circles and they have circle holes on top. He seems to have circles down pat.
Tuesday:  Today we had "Be A Mouse Day". I made some (very basic) mouse ears for him to wear. We went through the book and Benjamin did the things that the mouse did (minus the hair trim). He had a cookie, drank milk, used a napkin, cleaned the mess, rested, colored, taped his picture to the refrigerator, had more milk & a cookie to go with it. He enjoyed being a mouse. Who wouldn't with all those cookies? I took pictures of each activity to include in our lapbook. It only took us about 1/2 hour to do everything, although he could have spent more time on the coloring. He was anxious to use the "sticky tape" so coloring didn't last as long as it normally does. He insisted on laying on the floor to color (like in the book) instead of in his usual place, which I thought was a good observation on his part. (Item 3)
Wednesday: Today Nathaniel had a Dr.'s appointment, so we weren't able to do any activities until later. The first thing we did was "napkin" folding. A real napkin would probably be too hard for Benjamin to fold, so we used square pieces of paper instead. First we folded a milk cup (that we could actually drink out of, but we didn't). Then we folded and colored a mouse. A very very primitive mouse. :-) He did pretty good pressing down the folds after I got them started for him. I wrote the word "MILK" on mine, so he wanted to write it on his, too. I helped him to write it out and he seems to be doing very well with his 'pencil grip'. The mouse fits inside the cup and will become a part of our lapbook. (Item 4)

Then we wrote a story called, "If You Give Benjamin a Ball." This was really too advanced for him (as I thought it might be) so I had to prompt him a lot, but he did come up with a couple of things without my help. He often rattles off stories on his own, but he was having some difficulty focusing on that today. We'll turn this into a small book to add to our lapbook. (Item 5) When we were done, he wanted to go and do everything we had said he would do in the story. This included an impromptu class on how to do jumping jacks, so we actually got a very small bit of Phys. Ed. thrown in. I never would have thought to plan that (P.E. was never my thing), so it was a nice bonus. The story must have made an impact because he was able to recite the whole thing back to Daddy later that night.
Thursday: Today we learned about mice using a simple printout from the Enchanted Learning website. I read the worksheet to Benjamin and we talked about what mice look like, how they live, what they eat and what eats them. Benjamin was particularly interested in the fact that mice don't have hair on their ears. He colored the picture of the mouse on the printout and we made a little booklet describing the attributes of mice. Benjamin then sorted pictures of things that eat mice and things that are eaten by mice and we glued these onto the corresponding pages in our booklet. (Item 6)

Since he was really enjoying the gluing, I went ahead and had him help me assemble the story book we wrote yesterday, "If You Give Benjamin a Ball." I had printed out pictures to go with it, so he glued them on the correct pages (with a little help). (Item 5) I'm starting to wonder if all of our activities will fit into the lapbook. It's probably a good thing we're a little ahead of my original schedule and can devote tomorrow to getting that put together.
Friday: Today we just did a lot of cutting and pasting for our lapbook. I had started on the harder items yesterday and Benjamin helped me finish up the gluing of the smaller items. He drew some circles on the circle book, which he did really well, but then he colored over them all and they're no longer recognizable as circles. :-) He really likes the lapbook, especially the story wheel (Item 7), which he saw for the first time today. I've added pictures of our lapbook below. 

Click on each picture for a larger version

"If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Numeroff lapbook cover
Outside Cover
(picture is laminated)

"If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" lapbook opened
(with left picture flap raised)

1) Colored pictures

2) Circle book (

3) Pics from "Be a Mouse" day

4) Napkin/paper folding (
cup & mouse)

5) "If You Give Benjamin a Ball" book

6) Mouse book

7) Story Wheel

"If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" lapbook under center extension
Under center extension

"If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" lapbook circle book opened
Circle book opened

"If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" lapbook Mouse book opened
Mouse book opened
(BBoB Lg. Question/Answer Book)