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Laura Numeroff Book Group Discussion

Page history last edited by Cameron Price 14 years ago

*When you post to the wiki, please use your first and last name as the heading along with your unit plan/craft pause title.  Please also add a picture or graphics if available and a hyperlink to the page where we could order the book or resourses shared online if we choose to.


Laura Numeroff Website


If You Give a Mouse a Cookie


If You Take a Mouse to School


If You Give a Moose a Muffin


If You Give a Pig a Party


If You Take a Mouse to the Movies


If You Give a Pig a Pancake


If You Give a Cat a Cupcake


If You Give a Pig a Party


If You Give an Author a Pencil


Laura Numeroff's Ten Step Guide to Taking Care of Your Monster



Cammie Price   Unit Plan: Laura Numeroff Author Study  


mentor texts:


If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (If You Give...)If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

In Numeroff's If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, a tiny mouse ask for a glass of milk to go with his cookie. Then he continues to want more and more with each wish being granted. At the end of the story, he gets a glass of milk and in return wants another cookie.  This is a great story to use for teaching cause and effect and it's predictable pattern is great for beginning readers. Numeroff uses and If/Then pattern and circular structure in this story.


If You Give a Moose a Muffin (If You Give...)If You Give a Moose a Muffin

In this story, a silly moose begins with wanting a muffin. After he gets his muffin, he wants some blackberry jam to go with it. Once he is granted a wish, he finds something else he will need to go with it. Students think Moose looks very funny in his sweater in this story. This story is a sequel to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Numeroff uses text patterns and circular structure in this story to make it an easy read.

Product DetailsIf You Give a Pig a Party


Students will fall in love with this special Pig that Numeroff created.  She begins with getting a pancake which turns into wanting to throw a party. At her party she wants lots of balloons, guests, and a special party dress. This Pig needs several supplies. Students will be able to relate to this Pig and other characters having a street fair, playing games, and a sleep over.  Students are able to help read during  read aloud by recognizing the If/Then patterns that Numeroff uses.


Product Details  If You Give a Cat a Cupcake


Students had already been exposed to the Cat in this story in Numeroff's If You Give a Pig a Party. The Cat in this story begins with a cupcake and in return wants sprinkles to go with it. Sprinkles make a mess and that leads to a clean up. The Cat goes through the story with silly happenings and at the end of the story, she gets sprinkles and asks for a cupcake to go with it. This If/Then story also is good to use while teaching cause/effect and circular structure.



Class Noticings Chart: created whole group in class


*the same characters can be found in different stories (ex. the cat can be found in If You Give a Cat a Cupcake and in If You Give a Pig a Party)

*colorful pictures

*things happen that can't really happen with animals in real life

*pages alternate between If and Then

*characters in these stories are funny

*Numeroff uses circular structure: she ends the story the same way it begins

*each story has an animal in it

*each story has a problem

*the animals do make believe things that are funny

*the main character always gets their wishes granted

*the main character is an animal

*all of her titles in this series start with If You Give A _________________ a _______________________




We began our unit study by going to Laura Numeroff's website and learning more about her as an author. Her website is kid friendly and my students enjoyed learning about her. I then read If You Give a Pig a Party as a read aloud. Students chimed in throughout the story to help me read. Several heard this story in kindegarten and many were able to read this story on their own. We talked about things Numeroff did throughout the story/what we noticed. On days 2 and 3, students were in small groups and had various Laura Numeroff If/Then books to browse and read. Groups would switch books and write down on sticky notes things they noticed. On day 4, we combined our noticings from all books and completed a class noticings chart.

On day 5 we created our own class If/Then book, called If You Give a First Grader Recess. We began with when you give a first grader recess, they always ask for water. We continued the story with the first grader asking for more time at recess, sports balls, and complaining that it was too hot. Here are a few pages from our class book:


page 1 :If you give a first grader recess, he will want some water.

page 2: When you give him water, he will want a snack to go with it

page 3: After he eats his snack, he will be full and want to take a nap

page 4: After he wakes up, he will want to go outside and play with his friends

page 5: When he is outside with his friends, he will ask if he can play ball

page 6: When he gets hot playing at recess, he will ask for some more water.


For our culminating activity, students were given mini books to create their own If/Then pattern books. Students had to come up with their own title and many were ready to begin before I could even pass out their books.  In the books, I was looking for the If/Then text pattern and for the circular structure. Most of my students did this with ease and had wonderful stories. My struggling readers/writers had extra assistance from myself and my assistant to help with the circular story. We even had the principal come in and listen to our stories because we were so proud of them!

In students' stories, you could clearly see the close study between their work and Numeroff's. Here are a few examples of students' stories:



Student samples: 


student: Carter

title:  If You Give a Rhino a Scooter

page 1: If you give a rhino a scooter, he'll want to take a ride around the neighborhood.

page 2: If he rides around the neighborhood, he will ask for a helmet to go with it.

page 3: Then he will see the park.

page 4: When he's at the park, he will invite his friends to play.

page 5: After he played with his friends, rhino gets tired and goes home.

page 6: When he goes home he goes to sleep.

page 7: When he wakes up, he sees some wheels on a car.

page 8: Of course if he sees the wheels on the car, it will remind him of his scooter.


*I absolutely love when he used, "of course" on page 8. His illustrations go well with his story.



student: Zoe

title: If You Give a Moose a Lemon

page 1: If you give a moose a lemon,

page 2: He will want some tea.

page 3: Then he will want to go to the park.

page 4: He'll want you to push him on a swing.

page 5: He'll probably fall off.

page 6:  He will get hot and he will then ask for some water.

page 7: When he gets the water, he will spill it and slip!

page 8: The water will remind him of the tea...

page 9: and he'll ask for a lemon to go with it.


*Zoe ended her story the exact same was as Numeroff using, "it will remind him." She also used an ellipses to build up to her ending. I thought this was a very creative story!



student: Alex

title: If You Give a Penguin a Snowball

page 1: If you give a penguin a snowball

page 2: He'll want to have a snowball fight.

page 3: That will remind him of home.

page 4: Then he'll notice the tree in the yard.

page 5: When he notices the tree, you'll have to take him home

page 6: Then accidently you'll sendhim a list of things he did.

page 7: Then he'll see the snowball fight...and he will ask for a snowball fight to go with it.


*I thought this story was pretty interesting. Most children chose the typical farm animal, however Alex picked to write about a penguin. This is a student that is very bright but doesn't enjoy writing. However, when he was given this assignment, he had a little "glow" about him. He enjoyed writing this and was able to use his quirky sense of humor.


student: Shannon

title: If You Give a Pig an Apple

page 1: If you give a pig an apple,

page 2: she'll want a friend to eat it with

page 3: Then she'll want to take her friend to the park

page 4: Then they will want to play on the slide

page 5: She will want to take her friend on the swings with her

page 6: Then she will see a circus and she will ask for you to take her and her friend to the circus. 

page 7: At the circus, she will want you to get her some popcorn

page 8: After she was full of popcorn, she will want something healthy

page 9: and chances are... 

page 10: she will ask for an apple


*Shannon also used Numeroff's wording of "chances are." 



This was a great unit to do with first graders. I learned more about them as learners and they learned more about themselves. This was one of our first major units where students tried to write like authors. They enjoyed it and now have a keepsake that will help remind them about Laura Numeroff.






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