My kids have all loved this whole series of books by Laura Numeroff. For some book club time with my middle daughter, nearly 4 at the time, this was a perfect match.
I had come across “lapbooks” and wanted to give it a try. There are dozens of websites and blogs with a jackpot of ideas and examples. Go exploring. A lapbook is a few file folders put together and used as a base to attach various components of learning.
We used a napkin to make our border to play on the cookie theme. I found a sequencing wheel for this story which was fun for her as she retold it. We also picked up a few books from the library about mice, both fiction and non-fiction, and looked online.
We included the diagram of a mouse…
Behind the diagram of the mouse we listed what mice really eat…besides cookies.
We read Nursery Rhymes that included mice.
We practiced reading words from the story with the word cards.
And, my daughter’s favorite part (and mine), was making chocolate chip cookies together and talking about sequencing. She was in charge of putting the pictures in ordering and numbering them. It’s been over 2 years since we did this and she still refers to it when we make chocolate chip cookies;)
We interviewed some family and friends to graph their favorite cookies.
I found this “game” online for the back of her lapbook. Sometimes we’d use dice and sometimes we’d just draw a number, then count the cookies.
And, this was my favorite part…other than the cookies. We made a “parallel” story, which means we changed the original story a little to make it our own. Ava was obsessed with granola bars at the time.
We did a few pages at a time throughout the day, which was fitting for her attention span. We talked about the pictures matching her words. Developmental Spelling is very appropriate for as they learn how to spell. You have to crawl before you walk. You babble before you speak. You developmentally spell before you learn how to use spellcheck;)
When she wanted to use a bigger phrase, I only asked her to write part of it, which was appropriate for her level. And, as we were reading we found a great “self-correct” moment (I blame lack of sleep for all mistakes from 2004-2009). We read the sentence as is…”Did that sound right? Let’s try it this way. Did that sound better?”Mistakes are opportunities to learn!
The important thing about home projects, whatever the subject, is that the child is in setting the pace and having fun. You can always come back to it. You always want children to think and feel that learning is fun. They’ll learn that sometimes learning can be more work than fun soon enough.
By the way, I need to mention that I am that mouse. My day is a rat race throughout my house, my brain, and my community. I’ll start a load of laundry and see a stack of clutter I was hiding. I’ll put 3 things away in the kitchen from the stack of 40, and decide to grab a snack. When I grab a snack I’ll think about how I should really make a grocery list. When I go to the computer to print out my grocery list I remember I need to email back so and so. I’ll email back so and so right after I edit that picture I want to post on Facebook. I’ll catch up with my friends on Facebook and someone’s status update will remind me of a book I wanted to buy on Amazon. When I’m on Amazon I only need one more item to fill my cart to $25 for free shipping. I’ll text my husband to see if he needs anything from Amazon and realize I need to charge my phone. When I plug it in the kitchen I’ll see my clutter stack and avoid it by running into the laundry ro0m. I’ll switch the clothes into the dryer. I’ll laugh about how I’m like that mouse in that book. I’ll walk past the clutter again and sit with my child to read some If You Give Books;)