Written and Illustrated by: Inga Moore
Explore Illustrations and Text:
Before you get started, look at the cover and the illustrations throughout the book. Ask your child questions about what they think will happen in the story by asking:
What do you notice on the front cover?
Do you think all of the animals on the cover are friends?
What do you think will happen in the story based on the cover and illustrations?
Activate Prior Knowledge:
This book, like many other children’s stories, takes place in the woods. Ask your child to tell you all about the woods. “Who/what lives in the woods? When have you visited the woods for a hike, or read about them in a book?” Follow up by , ask your child to name other stories that they know that take place in the woods. Some examples that may come to mind include “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, and “Hansel and Gretel”. If your child isn’t familiar with any of these stories, you can pick one of them to read for next time!
As You Read
As you read the book for the first time, consider going through the whole book and only stopping if your child asks a question or needs help with a word. On subsequent readings, stop to discuss unfamiliar words and encourage your child to identify a word’s meaning by using the illustrations and the words surrounding it. Examples of new words from A House in the Woods include:
Throughout the story, ask your child, “Does this part remind you of something in your life or something from another book that you have read?” For younger children, you might consider leading with, “This reminds me of XYZ, do you agree? What else does this make you think of?” For example: when the Moose, Bear and two little Pigs find themselves without a place to live, ask your child questions like,
Where do we live?
What do you think we would do if we did not have a place to live?
What do you think the little pigs and their friends are going to do to solve their problem?
Gauge your child’s comprehension of the story by asking questions like:
Tell me about what we read! What happened in this story? What was the big problem in this story? How did the characters fix their problem?
What was your favorite part of the story? Why?
Why did they animals have to hire the beavers to help with the house?
Did the beavers finish their work? How do you know if Moose, Bear, and the pigs were happy with their work?
Do the animals like their new home? How can you tell if they feel comfortable there?
What would have happened if the animals didn’t think to build their own home?
If you could be any one of the animals in the story, which would you be? Why?
The story highlights the importance of teamwork, sharing and friendship. The two Little Pigs take in Bear and Moose and they all work together to build a house for all of them. Allow your child to appreciate the message of the story by asking “What do you think it means to be a good friend?” and “How did these animals work together to build their new house?” This will demonstrate to your child that being a good friend means sharing what you have and that working together with friends is the best way to get a project done. Make sure to point out examples of when your child has been a good friend or worked with a friend to do a project or task.
Activity: Popsicle Stick House
Adapted from SheKnows
Supplies: 40 popsicle sticks, colorful pieces of fabric, one piece of cardboard, scissors, and glue
You too can build a house just like the little pigs and their friends... a popsicle stick house that is!
1. Trim pieces. Use scissors to trim the both rounded edges off of 23 popsicle sticks. Then, trim one rounded edge off of 16 popsicle sticks, leaving one rounded edge intact on each.
2. Assemble the Base. Glue together 7 straight-edged sticks (laying next to each other), with 2 of the straight-edged pieces glued perpendicularly as cross-support.
3. Assemble the Walls. Create 4 frames using 4 of the straight-edged sticks for each, glued into a square shape and covered in fabric. To create a fun and funky look, use different patterned and colored fabrics for the walls of your house.
4. Put it Together. Carefully glue each wall, one at a time, to the base. Then, glue each wall together at the sides.
5. Add a Roof. To create the eaves, cut out two cardboard triangles with bases the same width as the top of each wall. Cover them in fabric. Glue the long sides to opposite walls. Construct the remainder of the roof by gluing each stick first to the side of the fabric triangle and then to the top of the wall. As you add sticks glue carefully at each seam.