Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Give a Mouse a Cookie

Amanda Yates
Polk County Schools


Students listen to story and record progression of ideas onto a chart.


The student gives and understands written and verbal instructions, using known verbal patterns in the target language.

The student recognizes the use of story structure used in children's literature (for example, patterns).


-Chart for students to fill out
-Cookies (optional)
-Milk (optional)
-Numeroff, Laura Joffe. [If You Give A Mouse A Cookie]. Harper & Row: New York. 1985.
-Napkins (optional)


Create the chart
Purchase cookies and milk
Read the book
Create a key for the chart


NOTE: This is an excellent lesson to use with ESOL students or students who are having trouble organizing patterns in text.
1. Create a chart with 13 rows going down and 2 rows going across. One side says, -If you give a mouse a _____. The other side says, -He'll ask for a _____.-

2. Make sure you have a copy of the book, [If You Give A Mouse A Cookie].

3. Read through the book and fill out your own chart for a key.

4. Make copies of the blank charts for your students.

5. Buy cookies for your students if you plan on using this part of the lesson and send 2 students to the lunchroom to get cartons of milk for each student in your class.

6. Make sure you bring plenty of napkins.

Getting Started
1. Hand out napkins, cookies, milk, and charts to students. (5 min.)

2. Explain that you are going to read [If You Give A Mouse A Cookie] to them and that they need to fill in each square on their chart. They will hear you say, -If you give a mouse a cookie, he's probably going to ask for a glass of milk.- The first answer would be -cookie- and the second one would be -glass of milk.- The next one would be -milk- and then -straw (and so on). (7 min.)

3. Next, read the story to them and allow them to fill in the chart as you read. (10 min.)

4. After you finish reading, call on students and ask them what they put on their charts. (7 min.)

5. Go back through the story with them and explain why something is incorrect and let them find the correct answers for their charts. (5 min.)

6. Let students write their own story, -If you give a _______ a _______ he'll probably ask for a ________, and so on. Have them draw pictures and share their stories with the class. (25 min.)


The teacher will observe students, listen to student responses, and collect stories that students write.
If the students do not produce a story that follows the same pattern as the one read in class, the teacher will review the lesson and ask the students to write another story that follows the model story read in class.


This lesson was created for my ESOL class. The book that was chosen for this activity uses simple vocabulary and was easier for my students to understand. This lesson could be extended by using the same chart to break down other books or by giving the students another class period to construct a different chart, using the story they wrote.

Web Links

Web supplement for Give a Mouse a Cookie
Give A Mouse A Cookie

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