As I mentioned in a previous post, wordless books are a writing prompt I like to use with my students.
The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney is a beautifully illustrated text. The few “words” it uses to add additional meaning to the pictures are animal sounds. This version of one of Aesop’s fables provides a creative backdrop for students to build upon as they write the story they see.
- Provide pairs of students with a copy of the text and a stack of sticky notes. Direct them to write dialogue for the characters, placing the sticky notes at appropriate spots on the pages of the story.
- Scan and shrink each page of the book to create a story-board. Assign a page to each pair/group of students. Direct them to add a descriptive text block. (A discussion and/or exploration of picture book texts prior to this activity would provide students with some models to work from.)
- After sharing this and other versions of this fable, encourage students to write their own versions of the story. (Can they think of another pair of animals who would make good main characters – typically are enemies but would also have skills useful to each other? What other settings could this story work in?)
Additional Activity Ideas:
- Create a Venn diagram detailing the characteristics of the lion and the mouse.
- Identify the various cause-and-effect scenarios included in this story.
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