As a teacher, I loved working with Laura Numeroff’s books. The kids loved listening to her books and the antics of the different animals. My second year teaching I got a stuffed animal of her Mouse from the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie books. Now that I have my own kids I was inspired to create a writing unit inspired by Laura Numeroff. It’s a great way to get a writing lesson in for your reluctant writer.
(This post contains affiliate links)
Creating an ‘If You Give’ inspired writing prompt
I actually don’t have pictures of my kids working on this because I designed it to be completely independent work to do while I’m at Bible study and they are in childcare, so I’ll show you pictures of Superman’s work. The great thing about this project is you can easily adapt it to either early writing or still just drawing pictures student.
There are four pages of writing prompts. First, they’ll pick one of her books and write/draw a review of the book. Next, they’ll brainstorm an animal and something their animal might do. The last two pages are planning out your steps, first the thing they’ll choose to do, and second how they think of it (describing words).
Superman’s version of the If You Give writing prompt
First, he went through and wrote out what happened in the story he read, he chose If You Give a Pig a Party, and got the highlights of the steps in the circle.
For those who are not familiar, the “If You Give books” are circle books. They end the same as they began.
Next, they chose an animal and they were supposed to think of words that started with the same letter. You can see not all of Superman’s words start with the same letter, and that’s okay. The goal was to get him thinking.
Next, he took the storyboard sheet and planned the sequence of events for his story. He gave me a very long explanation, but I’m guessing his dog drove a car, rode a skateboard, and had a lot of fun.
The final step was to brainstorm words to use in your story. Superman went through and chose some words that looked promising from the story he read, which wasn’t my intent, but it’s a good way for early writers to get some confidence and move forward in their writing, so I’m not going to complain at all.
This process gets your kids closer and closer to having a rough draft without it being a scary process. They all really enjoyed coming up with story ideas and gave me some great stories.
If you’d like to get the printable I made, click on the link:
I’m joining with several other great bloggers to share our takes on a different theme each month, check out how the other bloggers approached this theme and then create your own version:Enchanted Homeschooling Mom – Life with Moore Babies – Teach Beside Me – The Usual Mayhem – Growing Book by Book – Adventures in Mommydom – Afterschool for Smarty Pants
How fun! I love how your assignments always allow for so much creativity from your learners. We loved this series when daughter was a little younger…
Pure survival I assure you. A simple matching activity results in large amounts of line drawing. It really cracks me up, and I also now feel sorry for the teachers I did that too.
Very cute, and it is nice that it is open ended to allow creativity! We love those books too!
Those books just make me smile.
I love the If You Give books, and so do my kids. Kate is obsessed with them and asks for them all the time!
I saw that you mentioned Wayside School in a comment on Natalie’s post — funny, Collin is reading that book right now! He’s enjoying it!
I ADORE that series. It’s one of my absolute favorites. There’s a parallel series about an exchange student who is trying to figure out Wayside math and it is a lot of fun.
I love the idea of drawing a story. I think T11 would enjoy that as he would still struggle with fiction writing. Thanks Ticia, another great idea!
You’re welcome. You gave me a bit of hope because your guys know so much and are learning so much, but if you’re guys are still not big on writing, then I can relax a little.
Lula B says
I think my 8yr old would like this format. I often mind-map before I write too. Thank you for the printable 🙂
You’re welcome! I go back and forth on mind mapping, sometimes I do, but then sometimes it’s more of the drawing or whatever that inspires me. I’ve discovered very rarely do things I write stay the same as I thought they would in the start.
Wonderful idea to promote creativity! Our family loves that entire series. Printing out this unit to use with my children 🙂