If You Give a Mouse a Cookie in Terabithia

So, if you have been following a long for the past month or so you know I have been reading Bridge to Terabithia in my classroom...and my students have thoroughly enjoyed it.  It really was a fabulous change of pace and I think the students benefited a great deal from it.  Well, we have come to the end of this book journey and, to wrap it all up I had the students create a response to literature that really had them thinking!

I was reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff to my 3 year old when it hit me that this would be the perfect response to lit for my students.  The cause and effect in it really lent itself well to the plot of Terabithia, and the cyclical nature of Mouse could also be applied to our Core Lit.  So I brought the story into class and read it to my 5th graders.

We then, after talking about cause and effect and why it was used in literature, made a list of the vocabulary that really pushed the cause and effect along.  Here is our list:

I then asked the students to create a circle map of as many events that occurred in Bridge as possible.  Now, there are SO many events that writing them all down would have been impossible.  I just asked them to write about the most important ones...the ones that stood out in their heads.  While the kids really did focus mostly on the death of Leslie, they did also come up with a lot of details that I had long forgotten.

Here is where it got tricky.  I asked the students to think of an opening line, starting with "If you go to Terabithia...." and that would apply to both the beginning of the story and the end of the story.  In keeping with the cyclical pattern Mouse, the event had to hold true throughout.  There were lots of great ideas (ie: If you go to Terabithia, you will learn about great friendship) and some not so good (ie: If you go to Terabithia, you will be with Jess and Leslie...since Leslie isn't there at the end of the book, it doesn't hold true) 

The students then set off to write a story, in the style of Mouse, that told the major events of Bridge, using the cause and effect words, and coming back to the main sentence at the end.  Yeah...hard.  But they LOVED it!  The kids really got into this assignment and really had a good time.  Here are a few examples:

As a side note, since we are also working on varying our sentences, I had them make a checklist of the three types of sentences and tally when each type came up.  If there were too many of one type, some revising had to occur. 

All in all, a fun project that had the students responding to literature in a different way than simply an essay (which we had done plenty of during the reading of the book.)  If you would like a copy of the templates, here they are.  They are in Power Point, and you can edit them to your liking.  Enjoy!


  1. I love using Laura Numeroff's books for cause and effect lessons! I absolutely love your spin on it :)

  2. This is a fabulous idea! I love how you tied together two books and worked so many writing and thinking skills into the activity!

  3. Bridge to Terabithia is a great book. The way you wove the cause and effect pattern of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie into to your response to reading is fabulous. It definitely requires some sophisticated thinking. Thanks for sharing the templates, Stacy @ http://new-in-room-202.blogspot.com

  4. I really like this idea. I will have to try something like this in our next novel or maybe even social studies.

  5. I really love seeing writing in action! Great post!
    The Moffatt Girls

  6. Wow! I love the way your mind works! What a creative idea...I can see where they would enjoy this greatly. I'm running out of ways to say how much I adore your blog, help!!

  7. This is such a good idea!!! I am pinning this one for sure!
    Third Grade Tidbits

  8. What a fantastic idea! Love the book mash-up! you always have such great ideas.

    Chickadee Jubilee

  9. This is a great idea, and you've got me thinking about how to connect this to character motivation/perspective taking, which is what we're discussing with our read-aloud (Wonder by RJ Palacio--so good!). I like the idea of thinking about how a character's point of view informs their choices, which sets off a particular chain of events. Hmmm... Thank you for sharing!

  10. get free wallpapers at http://dunyawallpapers.blogspot.com/


Please leave a comment! I love to hear what you think about what is posted :)