I just love Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter books! They are full of funny illustrations and are great for young readers. We use a few Mercer Mayer books throughout the year, but I Was So Mad is perfect in August or September. We dive into this book for an entire week and answer a variety of reading questions, learn to draw Little Critter, work on math and literacy skills, and have fun with a STEM activity.
The book begins with a cute little monster (Little Critter) wanting to keep frogs in the bathtub and of course, his mom wouldn’t let him. Then, he wants to play with a dollhouse that belongs to his little sister but Dad wouldn’t let him do that either. After a few more pages of Little Critter not getting what he wants, he decides he is going to run away. He packs his wagon and heads out the door of his tree house, where he runs into his best friends who were headed to the park to play ball. After that, things get a little better for a special critter. There is a video with fun sound effects if you’d like to share it with students. I like to show students a video of the book after I’ve read it a couple of times earlier in the week.
Mercer Mayer I Was So Mad Lesson Plans
The first time I introduce the book to students, we practice making predictions. Early in the year, kindergarten students will respond using pictures. We will have plenty of time to work on written responses as the year continues.
Together, we create an anchor chart to display our predictions.
By day 2, we are ready to work on retelling the story. Kindergarten friends will need a little help and that is absolutely okay! The retelling cards really help anchor the students visually so we can work on retelling the story orally. We place the events of the story in order as a whole class. Then, I like to have students get knee to knee with a partner and practice their oral retell.
After whole group and partner work, students are ready to independently retell the story. You can see the student retelling cards on the green strip and since we love art activities, we added a directed drawing of Little Critter. I love these!!
The week continues with making connections, talking about the problem and solution, and sharing our opinion of the story. Each day, there is a lesson plan and response to reading printables that make our reading workshop instruction simple and effective.
There are also journal-style templates to use in reading notebooks.
Mercer Mayer I Was So Mad Lesson Plans: STEM
STEM activities are so much fun! Students get to join Little Critter and make their own wagon to hold toys and snacks.
If you have classroom buddies that are big kids, this would be an awesome activity for a special day with them.
Mercer Mayer I Was So Mad Lesson Plans: CENTERS
In the extension unit, you will also find math and literacy center activities. The centers are differentiated, you can select the version that makes the most sense for your class. Perfect for kindergarten or first grade.
Do you love Little Critter books? Check out our lesson plans for Just Going to the Dentist. A perfect book to share with your students during Dental Health month!