Count a mouse story telling props and game

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As we continue our look at the “Mouse” books by Ellen Stoll Walsh, we read the book “Mouse Count” and had fun with a little mouse counting of our own…

“Mouse Count” by Ellen Stoll Walsh is about a snake who gradually, one by one, collects 10 mice in a jar with plans to eat them for dinner…

However, the mice outsmart the snake when they send him off to find what he thinks will be a great big mouse. While the greedy snake wonders off, the mice tip the jar over and all run away…

After reading the story, we used a few props to retell the story again.  We had a sock snake, a set of 12 cotton ball mice (that Mrs. Courtney made), and a clear plastic jar.

The snake was sly and sneaky as he slithered around picking up mice off the floor by their tails and then dropping them in the jar.  But just as the mice did in our book, the mice tricked this snake too and then tipped the jar so they could all get away…

When the jar tipped over, each of the children quickly picked up a mouse and hid it in their laps or hands before the snake came back…

The snake came back and searched each child to see if they had seen his mice, but the children were not about to tell that snake where the mice were…

Once the snake realized that he wasn’t going to be able to find the mice, he slithered off and then I invited each child to put their mouse in a little jar to take home with them…

A few things to mention…

  1. I told the children that the mice were made of cotton balls and would tear very easily so they had to hold them with gentle hands.
  2. The children had to keep their mouse in a jar and in their cubby until it was time to go home so the snake wouldn’t find their mouse throughout the day.
  3. The mouse in the jar is what I call a “Story Token” – it is a way for the children to remember the story after they get home.
  4. When the parents came for pick-up, I let them know about the jar in the children’s bags so the jars would not accidentally get dropped and broken on the way home.
  5. All the children did a great job taking care of their jars and mice and all the mice made it to their new homes safely!

Mouse Count at the table

To extend our book during center time, the children found more sock snake puppets, a pile of pompoms, and plastic jars…

The children used the sock snake puppets to tell their own stories and to pick up the pompoms (mice) to drop in the jars…

Making the mouth of the snake open and close to pick up and drop pompoms was a good workout for those fine motor skills. It was also a good chance for the children to dramatize their own snake and mouse stories.  Oh and it may look calm and quiet at this table but just so you know, this was not a quiet table – there was lots of silly snake action going on at that table throughout the morning!

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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