Ms. Ireland's Second Grade Class
Duncan J. Schoular School
Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada

Assorted Books

I used the Mouse Tales project as the springboard for an international co-writing project that paired my grade 2 class from Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada with Debbie Tanner�s grade 2 class from Lake Worth, Florida, USA

Debbie and I each introduced the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff, to our classes. I used the book as a Read Aloud. I also read two other Numeroff books, If You Give a Moose a Muffin and If You Give a Pig a Pancake. During the reading of the books my students worked in pairs as detectives to find out why the main character asked for or needed things. We created Venn Diagrams to compare and contrast the three stories. Through these learning experiences we discovered the writing style of circle stories.

Once each class was familiar with the idea of a circle story we divided the students into teams of six, with three students from each class on a team. To familiarize themselves with their writing partners the writing teams exchanged digital pictures. Some stories were started in Canada and some were started in the United States and then the students emailed back and forth adding to the stories. The students were very exciting to read the emails to see what their counterparts had added to the story. I was very impressed by the cooperation among the team members while brainstorming the ideas and sharing the job of typing. When the stories were completed they hand illustrated their work and exchanged PowerPoint slide shows of their final product. Co-writing stories with peers from another country kept the interest level very high throughout the project.    

The students wrote seven stories altogether. Slide shows of these stories can be found at

If You Give a Hippo a Hamburger

By Romario, Chase, and Katherine, Nairn, Victoria, and Jessica

If you give a hippo a hamburger he�ll want some ketchup to go with it. The ketchup might remind of his grandma�s chili. So he�ll want to go see her and have some. On the way there he might notice the pictures on your refrigerator so instead of going he�ll want to send her a postcard. Then when you go outside to mail them he will see a huge tree. He climbed the tree and saw a little cat. That reminded him of a puppy in the pet store. He wanted to go buy him but when then got there the puppy was already sold. While at the mall he saw a fishing rod in the hardware store and that reminded him of fishing with his grandpa. On the way to his grandpa�s dock he saw a tomato tree, which reminded him of your ketchup so he�ll ask you for some. Chances are when you give him the ketchup he�ll want a hamburger to go with it.

If You Give a Monarch Butterfly Some Nectar

By Daisy, David, and Savannah, Stephanie, Allison and Max

If you give a Monarch butterfly some nectar she will ask for some honey to go with it. When she is done drinking it she will probably want some brownies. When she is done eating the brownies it will remind her of the colour brown. The colour brown will remind her of drawing pictures of her friends. She will want to add some flowers. It will remind her of her mother in a daisy field. So she'll want to send her a postcard. She wrote the postcard and on the way to mail it she saw her best friend Lady Bug flying home. Lady Bug invited her to have a cookie and some milk. When the butterfly was done eating the cookie she wanted to go to her grandma's house to get her car to go to the mall. When she got to the Gap she bought 2 dresses and 4 pairs of pants for her husband. When she gave her husband the pants she got ready for a party at Lady Bug's house. When they got there, they heard music and saw lots of treats. Next to the chips Monarch butterfly saw a jar of honey. Next to the jar was a bouquet of daisies in a vase. She took the bouquet and sipped the nectar from the flowers. Then the butterfly played cards with the ladybug. After that the ladybug took all her friends to the meadow where the flowers grow and the honey is. If the honey is there...she'll want some nectar to go with it.

If You Give a Rabbit Some Lettuce

By Robin, Kathryn and Reese, Oscar, Bobby, and Connor F.

If you give a rabbit some lettuce she will want salad dressing to go with it. When she is done eating she will probably think the tomatoes are a big red ball so she will want to play ball. When she sees the flowers in the field she will want to pick flowers and send them to her mother. So she will pick up all the flowers she could see. Then she put all the flowers in an envelope. After she�s done she will want to send something to her like some cologne to him. Then she will be tired. So you will have to put her in a cradle. When she wakes up from her nap she will be hungry so she will ask for some carrots. She likes to eat tomatoes and croutons with them. And of course she will want some salad dressing but it is not a very good salad without some lettuce.

If You Give an Elephant an Apple

By Jarett, Alex, and Natalia Stephanie P, Desarey, and Devin.

If you give an elephant an apple he will want some chocolate milk to go with it. When he is done the chocolate milk it will probably remind him of a circus. At the circus he sees some clowns. Theyneed a volunteer and the elephant got picked to juggle. When he was done he saw someone eating and that reminded him of salsa, chips and French fries. But then the salsa burned his tongue so then he would want to play outside. After he was playing outside he was really thirsty so he would want some chocolate milk. And of course he would want an apple to go with it.

If You Give a Horse a Cookie

By Stephanie M., Jayde and Eric, Kashina, Gabby and Olivia

If you give a horse a cookie, she�ll ask for some milk. And the milk will remind her of her baby sitter, so she�ll want to see her. Instead she will find some clay and she will want to make some flowers. When she makes some flowers she will want to plant some Daisy and some sunflower seeds. It�ll remind her of the beach she�ll want to bring the pail and shovel and the beach ball. When she is done playing at the beach she will want to go home. When she gets home she will want to take a nap. When she is done taking a nap she will want to go play tag. She will see a tree and want to build a tree house. She will want some glue, wood and nails. When she is done building the tree house she will want to go in side. When she goes into the tree house she will be too heavy so it will fall. She will be hungry so she will want some milk and a cookie to go with it.

If You Give a Pig a Hot Dog

By Mikey, Travis, and Connor B. Brianna, Zack and Melissa

If you give a pig a hot dog he�ll want some ketchup and mustard with it. Then he�ll want to take a bath because he�s all dirty. Then he will want to build a barn. That will remind him of his pig friends. Then he will want to have a Pig party. He will want to put some party wall paper up before the pigs get there. He will want to build a mud pool so he will make a diving board. So they could jump in. The mud will remind him of his dad. So he will want to visit his dad at the mall. He will see some pictures on the wall and he will want to buy them but they are too much money. He finds some money on the floor and decides to play some games at the arcade. After that he is hungry. He sees some mustard and ketchup sitting on the table at the food court. That will remind him that he wants a hot dog.

If You Give a Zebra a Cookie

By Shae-Lynn, Dustin and Keilan Kayla, Baylee and Declan

If you give a zebra a cookie he will want a glass of milk to go with it. When he is done it will probably remind him of his friend cow. On the way to see Cow, he sees flowers he decided to pick flowers for his mother. Then he picked up some milk and bread then he will go home. On his way home he saw his friend turtle. Zebra and turtle went swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. They saw a shark and swam out of the water very, very quickly. On the beach they had some lemonade and relaxed. Later in the afternoon they had dinner at turtle�s house and had a sleepover. In the morning Zebra asked if they could have donuts. Then they played outside and they rode their bikes. After that he went home and went to bed. When he woke up he asked for a drink of milk. And of course he wanted a cookie to go with it.

The Mouse Tales project aligned with Language, Visual Arts and Media expectations in the Ontario grade 2 curriculum:

use connecting words to link simple sentences use adjectives appropriately for description
use capital letters for proper nouns use a comma correctly
use words from their oral vocabulary, personal word lists, and class lists compiled through brainstorming
Visual Presentation
use words and pictures to create a message create simple media works (illustrated book)
Group Skills
 apply the rules of participating in a conversation, demonstrating a sense of when to speak, when to listen, and how much to say (when brainstorming ideas) use speech appropriately for various purposes (to influence others in the group)
Visual Arts: produce two-dimensional works of art that communicate ideas (thoughts, feelings, experiences) for specific purposes
Media Communication Skills
identify different technologies and understand that they serve different functions (use of computer for communication, email, and powerpoint presentations)

�  Susan Silverman2006