Ms. Mills's Second Grade Class
Eastway Elementary School
Durham, North Carolina
Mouse Tales

We began the unit by having each child create a thinking map showing everything they knew about mice. We used the computer program Kidspiration for this. Here is an example of one of the thinking maps.

kidspiration diagram


We read a lot of Mouse themed books, but decided to focus on Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel. We read the book Mouse Tales during reading group. Upon finishing it, I introduced a stuffed mouse to the class, who was to become our mascot for this project. We decided to name him Whiskers. I told the kids that one person was going to be taking Whiskers home every night along with a journal, pencil, crayons, and a copy of Mouse Tales.

I explained that we were going to create our own Mouse Tales book depicting the adventures of Whiskers, as he visited everyone's house. While they had Whiskers for the night, they were to write about what happened when Whiskers was at their house. Later, we typed up the stories and scanned the pictures to create our book The Adventures of Whiskers. Here is one of our stories.

child's drawing of whiskers


After school we went to afterschool care. We had candy because we were wonderful. We did not get in trouble. We pretended Whiskers was the teacher who gave us candy because we were good.

Then we went to my cousin�s house. Whiskers and I went outside and played tag. My cousin came too. Whiskers got tagged and so we were it. We had to catch them.

Then Whiskers was tired, so he had to sit for a short time.

I love Whiskers!

We also made mice using Model Magic clay by Crayola. These mice were used as inspiration for additional mice stories.

clay mice

Each child wrote, published, and illustrated stories about their mouse. We also used the mice as a graphing activity. Each child was provided with an index card on which they were to draw their mouse. Then we created a pocket chart graph that showed the different colors of mice we had made. (Brown, black, white, and gray were the colors used--gray was the most popular color.)

We had a lot of fun with this project. I loved the way this project inspired their writing.

NC Standards

Language Arts 2.01
Read and comprehend both narrative and expository text appropriate for grade two.
2.02 Use text for a variety of functions, including literary, informational, and practical.
2.06 Recall facts and details from a text.
2.07 Discuss similarities and differences in events and characters across stories.
4.06 Plan and make judgments about what to include in written products (e.g., narratives of personal experiences, creative stories, skits based on familiar stories and/or experiences).
4.07 Compose first drafts using an appropriate writing process: � planning and drafting. � rereading for meaning. � revising to clarify and refine writing with guided discussion.
4.09 Use media and technology to enhance the presentation of information to an audience for a specific purpose.
5.02 Attend to spelling, mechanics, and format for final products in one's own writing.
5.03 Use capitalization, punctuation, and paragraphs in own writing.

Math 4.01 Collect, organize, describe and display data using Venn diagrams and pictographs.

�  Susan Silverman2006