Empowering Writers

October 2017 K-1 Lesson of the Month

October K-1 Lesson of the Month:

This month, the K-1 lesson is also based on a haunted house theme. The book Haunted House, Haunted Mouse by Judy Cox is the inspiration for this activity. Teachers will read the book to the class, but when the author ends the page with a question (which is often), the teacher will stop and let the students predict what will happen next.


After a rich discussion about haunted houses (share photos, images or drawings of a haunted house) the teacher will read Haunted House, Haunted Mouse with the students. As the teacher reads questions the author strategically left at the end of a page (must turn the page to find out what happens next), the students will explain and/or draw what happens next.

Here’s what you’ll do:

1.)   First, show the students some photos and cartoon images of haunted houses. Let the students share reasons they think the house looks scary (dark, old, falling down, no one lives in it, has snakes/mice inside, creeky noises, etc.) and let them share what they think might be inside.

2.)   Next, read the book, Haunted House, Haunted Mouse with the students. Each time the author, Judy Cox, ends the page with a question, have a discussion about what they think might happen next. You can even stop for a time (or even for the day) and have the students draw what they think will happen next, based on the question in their mind. If students are developmentally ready, have them write a sentence or two about their drawing. See samples below.

3.)   After stopping several times throughout the book and letting students express their own thoughts (and drawings) about what they think is going to happen, compile the student samples together and reread the book, using some of the students’ ideas instead of what the author depicted. Students will enjoy being “authors” for a day.

Sample excerpts/questions from the book:

Mouse wandered into the trick-or-treat bag and began to eat the candy. “Just then, the bag swung high in the air. Where were they going?” Stop here and have the students predict where the kids and the tucked-away mouse are going. Then have them draw a picture of their prediction.

Mouse gnawed a hole in the candy bag and found his way out. It began to rain. “Where could he find shelter? He was lost. He was wet. He was cold.” Chart different scenarios of where mouse might find shelter/what happens next. Then let students draw their response.

Mouse found his way into an old abandoned house. A door slammed shut. “Was that the wind? Or was the house haunted?” Chart their predictions and let them draw and/or write what they think.

*Note: There are several more pages in the book that end in a question. Continue charting children’s predictions and letting the students draw and/or write in the same manner.