Thursday, May 31, 2012

Little Mouse and the Big Red Apple by A.H. Benjamin - Teaching Ideas

This is a story about a little mouse but it has a BIG message. Mouse finds a BIG juicy apple and really wants to get it home so he can eat it for dinner. Throughout the story Mouse hits stumbling blocks that prevent him from getting this apple home, but luckily for him he has some friends that jump right in and help. Through the actions of these friends, the licking of lips, a loving stroke to the apple, and sniffing the big juicy apple, the reader can tell, and so can Mouse, that these friends would really like some of  the apple in return for helping out. But being polite, they don't say a word to Mouse and let him hurry off without getting any of the apple. When Mouse finally gets to the base of his hill, he is all alone to roll and heave this apple up the hill to his house. He pushes and he heaves and after a lot of hard work he makes it to the top of the hill, right in front of his house. Mouse was so excited for the meal that he was going to soon enjoy, but when he let go of the apple it started rolling down the other side of the hill! It rolled so fast and so far Mouse had to run as fast as he could to try to catch up with it. The apple made it to the bottom of hill and soon Mouse caught up with it, only to find Mole, Tortoise and Frog, eating the apple. They thanked Mouse for sending the apple back down to them and instead of getting mad at his friends Mouse said, "Don't mention it, isn't that what friends are for?"

Lesson learned:

1. you don't need to "get"something in return for helping someone else
2. being stingy or selfish, in the end, doesn't always get you what you want
3. some things are so much easier when you have friends to help

I really love this book {actually I think I say that about all the books I put on here} but this one is just special. I have listed all the reading skills and strategies with examples that I feel work great and because this book has so much to offer I created a packet to go with it. It includes many wonderful activities and practice for your students.

Reading level: 2.3
Theme: sharing, helping others
Genre: animal stories

Suggested Vocabulary: feast, wailed, thorn bush, prickles, crept, stroking, longingly, heave, wobbled, scrabbled,

Reading skills and strategies:
  • asking questions - {possible questions before} Where did little Mouse get that apple? What is little Mouse going to do with that apple? {possible questions during} Where did the apple come from? How will Mouse get the apple home? Why is frog wearing a bathing suit? How come Mouse does not want to share his apple with Frog? Why won't Mouse share his apple with Tortoise? Why is Mouse not sharing his apple with Mole? Why does Mouse live up such a steep hill? {possible questions at end} Did Frog, Mole and Tortoise save any apple for Mouse? Was Mouse mad a Frog, Mole and Tortoise for eating his apple? Were Frog, Tortoise and Mole mad at Mouse for not sharing the apple with them? {included in packet}
  • author's point of view - third person point of view
  • author's purpose - entertain {evidence} Mouse is wearing a sweater, Frog is wearing a bathing suit and Mole is wearing a hard hat. Animals don't talk. {included in packet}
  • beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning} Little Mouse found a big juicy apple and wanted to take it home for his dinner. {most important event from middle} Mouse needed the help of Frog, Tortoise and Mole to get his apple home. {most important event from end} The apple rolled down the hill and Frog, Mole and Tortoise had a delicious dinner. {included in packet}
  • cause and effect - Why was Mouse rolling the apple over and over? because he was trying to get it home so he could eat it for dinner. Why did Frog kick the apple out of the pond? because Mouse couldn't get it out of the pond by himself. Why did Frog lick his lips? because he wanted a bite of the apple. How come Mouse didn't give Frog any of the apple? because he wanted to eat the apply by himself. How come Mouse couldn't get the apple out of the thorn bush? because the prickles kept hurting him when he tried. Why did Tortoise help Mouse? because he had a shell to protect him from the prickles. How come Mole dug a tunnel under the log? because they couldn't lift the apple over the log. Why was Mole sniffing the apple? because she wanted some of the apple. Why was Mouse pushing the apple up a hill? because his house was at the top. Why is Mouse going to have to start rolling the apple up the hill all over again? because the apple rolled down the hill after he got it to the top. How come Mole, Tortoise and Frog were eating the apple? because they were hungry and they thought Mouse gave it to them. {included in packet}
  • characterization - describe Mouse, Frog, Mole and Tortoise {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character} {included in packet}
  • compare & contrast - compare Mouse to one of the other characters {Tortoise, Mole or Frog} {included in packet}
  • connections - {included in packet} {possible text-to-self connections} Having something you didn't want to share. Needing help from someone.  Wanting what your friend has and your friend not sharing it. {possible text-to-text connections} Adventures on Klickitat Island by  Hilary Horder Hippely. In this story all the animals worked together to keep everyone safe. They shared with each other without asking for anything in return. The two books connect because it is animals {or friends} helping animals {or friends}.
  • drawing conclusions & inferencing - What kind of "person" is Mouse? {text clues} Mouse won't share his apple with anyone. {what I know} When someone doesn't share and they have enough to share with everyone they are being stingy. {my conclusion} I think Mouse is stingy because there is enough apple to share with all of his friends but he won't. What kind of "people" are Tortoise, Frog, and Mole? {text clues} Tortoise, Frog and Mole all help Mouse with the apple without asking for anything in return. {what I know} when someone helps me and doesn't complain about it they are being very kind and helpful. {conclusion} I think Frog, Tortoise and Mole are very good and kind friends. {included in packet}
  • main idea & details - {main idea} Mouse was trying to get his apple home so he could eat it for dinner. {details} The apple landed in the pond and Frog helped him get it out. The apple landed in a thorn bush and Tortoise helped him get it out. The apple bumped into a log on the path and Mole dug a tunnel under the log so they could get the apple to the other side. Mouse rolled it all the way up the hill to his house by himself. The apple rolled down the other side. {included in packet}
  • plot - the turning point in the story was when the apple rolled down the other side of the hill. {included in packet}
  • predict - How do you think Mouse will get the apple out of the pond? How do you think Mouse will get the apple out of the thorn bush? How do you think Mouse will get the apple on the other side of the log? Do you think Mouse will share his apple? {included in packet}
  • problem & solution - {character's problem} Mouse is having trouble getting his apple home. {solution} all Mouse's animal friends help him get his apple home. {bigger problem} Mouse doesn't want to share his apple with his friends that helped him even though they would love to have some of the apple. {solution} in the end when there is no one there to help Mouse, he looses the apple and it lands in front of all his friends he wouldn't share it with. They ate and enjoyed the apple while Mouse ran after it. {included in packet}
  • sequencing - Mouse finds an apple. Mouse starts to take the apple home. It lands in the pond and Frog helps get it out. The apple rolls into a thorn bush and Tortoise helps get it out. The apple bumps into a log and Mole helps Mouse by digging a tunnel. Mouse rolls the apple up the hill to his house. They apple rolls down the other side of the hill. The apple rolls right to Mole, Frog and Tortoise and they eat it. Mouse catches up to the apple and there is nothing left of it. {included in packet}
  • story elements - list title, author, character's, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution. {included in packet}
  • summarize - {someone}Mouse {wanted} wanted to get the apple home to eat for dinner {but} but he kept needing help {so} so his friends were there to help. {then} Then when he {finally} finally got it home, it rolled away from him and he didn't get to eat it for dinner. Alternate summary {someone} Tortoise, Mole and Frog {wanted} wanted some of Mouse's apple {but} but Mouse wouldn't share it {so} so Mouse tried to hurry home to eat the apple himself {then} then when he was almost home the apple rolled down the other side of the hill and the Mole, Tortoise and Frog {finally} finally got some apple. {included in packet}

Here is a comprehension FREEBIE for you, let me know what you think!
Click this picture to download the comprehension freebie.
Featured on

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

The packet can be purchased from either my TpT or Teachers Notebook store. If you click here you can download a PREVIEW of what is in the packet.

You can get this packet from either of my stores.

 Please let me know what you think of this book!

Happy reading!


  1. I haven't read this book, but now I really want to! Thanks for sharing! I love books with wonderful lessons learned!
    Rowdy in Room 300

    1. Hi Nicole,
      It makes me so happy to introduce new books to people. I hope you can find it, I think you will really like it!

  2. Great comprehension/assessment tool. Thanks for sharing:)

    We are ALL Special!

    1. I hope you have the book and can get some use out this.

  3. Replies
    1. Fern, thank you so much! I have been a follower of you blog for quite a while and really enjoy what you have to share too!

  4. I love this! I have an apple and tree theme in my class, and this goes along perfectly. I really enjoy your blog and all the resources you provide. I'm a happy follower! I have also nominated you for an award. Come to my blog to claim it :)

    Look Who's Teaching


Thoughts and comments are always welcome!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...