Posts Tagged ‘literature’

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Re-enactment!)

Monday, February 27th, 2017


My kids and the small red-headed girl next door re-enacted the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar. You can make a simple caterpillar sock puppet by hot gluing some google eyes onto a sock. Then have your kids draw, color, and cut out the many foods that the caterpillar eats throughout the book.

One of my sons filmed and edited the video. The small red-headed girl next door read the story, and my daughter played the part of the caterpillar puppet that chewed through lots of food because it was so hungry. At last the caterpillar became a cocoon, and then he emerged as a butterfly!

Take a look at our cute re-enactment of this classic children’s story:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Unit Study

If you are making this into a unit study, you can also do the following hands-on activities:

  • Make a tissue paper butterfly craft (with free printable)
  • Create stained glass window bowls
  • Tie dye coffee filter butterflies
  • Read other books about butterflies
  • Chase butterflies with a butterfly net and identify them
  • Watch a butterfly drink nectar from a flower

You can find instructions on how to make each of these crafts here:


If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (film & parody!)

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016


My daughter and I filmed If Your Give a Mouse a Cookie. It was my daughter’s idea; she wanted to film each scene in the same rooms as the book. To get ready, we collected the book and a mouse finger puppet.These are the activities we did to have fun with this classic children’s book:

Bake some chocolate chip cookies.

While reading the story, treat yourself to some milk and cookies.


Draw and color the mouse family.

While the chocolate chip cookies are baking, you can draw the picture that the mouse draws in the book, because you will need it for the scene where the mouse tapes the drawing to the refrigerator.


Film your version of the book.

If your kids want to film their own version of the book, you can film a “response” to our 2-minute YouTube video:

Here are some scenes we photographed. The first is the mouse drinking the milk with a bendy straw.


Here is a photo of the mouse and the “box” with a blanket and pillow. My daughter reads him a bedtime story.


If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Parody for Older Kids

If you have older kids (junior high and high school), you can do a parody of a classic work of literature, using the basic story structure of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. For example, here is a parody we wrote using Romeo and Juliet:

If You Give Romeo Juliet

If you give Romeo Juliet,
hes’ going to freak out when he realizes she’s a Capulet.
When he freaks out,
he will be too hormonal to care, so he’ll ask her to marry him.
When he asks her to marry him,
she will go to a friar who will give her a fake poison to drink.
When Juliet drinks the friar’s fake poison,
Romeo will think she is dead, so he will stab himself.
Shortly after Romeo stabs himself,
Juliet will wake up from her fake death.
When she wakes up and realizes that Romeo is dead,
she will fall on her sword.
When both families hear of their deaths,
they will decide to reconcile.
So… when a future Romeo loves a Juliet,
he will not have to freak out when she’s a Capulet!

If you would like a great deal on Early Childhood workshops, take a look at this Early Childhood Mega Pack.

If your kids are older, you will love the Romeo and Juliet Unit Study!


Humorous Summary of Paradise Lost

Monday, January 11th, 2016


My son Bryan wrote a fun summary of Paradise Lost by John Milton:

It all started when the #1 angel, Lucifer, made the most monumental miscalculation in the history of the universe. Somehow the most intelligent finite being ever actually thought he was more powerful than God! Next to infinity, all finite numbers look identical, so it blows my mind that he thought this. Not only that, but he got one third of all the other angels to believe him and tried to get a rebellion going.

This part of the poem is kind of silly. The good angels and the evil ones fought fiercely, until they realized their wounds healed almost instantly. They decided to call a truce to go back to their… tents? They slept through the night, because there’s nighttime in Heaven? I guess? Except team evil decided to spend the night inventing gunpowder. In the morning, they all got ready for battle. Team good drew their swords and team evil shot them with guns. But this turned out to be just as pointless, so they threw mountains at each other. Wait, there were mountains in Heaven? Jesus eventually grew disinterested in the aimless conflict, so He went to the middle of the battlefield and opened a trapdoor in Heaven under team evil, and they fell down into Hell.

In Hell, the demons built a large capital city called Pandemonium. From there, they decided to send Satan out of Hell on a reconnaissance mission. Meanwhile, God was creating the earth, the sun, the moon, and the stars. On the sixth day He made Adam, who wondered why he existed. God had him name all the animals, and he realized that there was more than one of each kind of creature, but he was the only human being in existence. Then God put Adam to sleep and took one of his ribs and formed it into Eve. Adam and Eve fell in love and lived in the garden of Eden. They could eat of any fruit in the garden except from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Satan had disguised himself as a regular angel, but he acted rather strangely and was spotted from a distance by another angel. A warning was sent out that a spy was in their midst, and a division of angels was sent to find the impostor. God knew perfectly well what Satan was up to, and (spoiler alert) that Satan would manage to bring sin into the world by deceiving Eve; however, God decided (but isn’t He omniscient?) to let free will exist so people would have to chose Him over other things. Adam and Eve went to sleep, and Satan put dreams of eating the forbidden fruit in Eve’s mind while disguised as a toad. That’s when the angels found Satan and brought him to a high-ranking angel, and they argued for a while. Then Satan was forced to retreat.

Meanwhile, Adam and Eve woke up. Later in the day, an angel named Raphael came for a visit and told Adam almost everything that had happened in the universe up to that point. No kidding. It took all evening. Some of it was like this: “If you disobey God and eat from the forbidden tree, you’ll bring sin into the world, and lose Paradise, and one day you’ll die!” “I’ll never do that! I don’t want to lose Paradise!” Adam replied. (How does he know Paradise is a good thing? It’s all he’s ever experienced up to this point.) “Be sure to warn Eve about this,” advised Raphael.

After that, Adam and Eve went gardening, and Eve suggested they split up. “But Eve, if we split up, you might be tempted by the enemy to sin against God by eating the forbidden fruit!” (How do they know what sin is? They haven’t eaten the forbidden fruit yet.) “I would never listen to the enemy and eat the fruit! I would withstand the temptation!” argued Eve. “Good for you! But let’s not split up anyway,” counseled Adam. Eventually Eve convinced Adam they should split up.

Satan possessed a serpent which came up to Eve and said, “Why don’t you go disobey God and do what you specifically told Adam you wouldn’t do? (By the way, I’m totally not the enemy Adam specifically told you not to listen to.)” Eve thought to herself, “No innocent-looking 60-foot python’s advice could possibly be bad.” So she ate the forbidden fruit. Then she went to Adam and offered him a bite. Adam decided to die with her, and he ate it as well.

God came to the garden and asked, “Why are you hiding from me?” and Adam said, “We were afraid because we were naked.” “Who told you you were naked? Have you eaten the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?” demanded God. “Eve did, then gave me a piece,” blamed Adam. “Well, this rather innocent-looking 60-foot python told me I should!” So God cursed the serpent on its belly, gave Eve pain in childbirth, and made the ground grow thorns. Also, they were to leave paradise.

But before that, Michael (another high-ranking angel) was sent to tell Adam about loads of stuff about the future like Noah and the flood. This conversation, once again, must have taken ages. After this, Adam and Eve were thrown out of Paradise.

Practical Applications from Pilgrim’s Progress

Friday, August 14th, 2015


As my children and I listened to Pilgrim’s Progress on audio, we made some observations that apply to our modern Christian lives:

Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #1

Christian felt a huge burden and was groaning under sorrow of soul. He knew that his city was headed for destruction, but instead of people listening to him, they dismissed what he said.

Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #2

You may sink into Despondency if you take your eyes off the Light.

Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #3

To get rid of the consciousness of sin, you can either go to God in repentance, or you can listen to human reasoning (called Worldly Wise), which will sear your conscience to make you feel better about your sin without dealing with it.


Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #4

The giants in your life aren’t real. Trust that God’s Word is true, and you will overcome.

Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #5

Sloth and other pilgrims were asleep and didn’t realize their danger. They refused to get up and move forward in their Christian life. No amount of reasoning would cause them to pursue the right Way because they already decided that it was too hard.

Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #6

To fail one test in your life is to make more difficult the next test.

Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #7

How to overcome sin: as soon as you’re conscious of it, turn away from it immediately!

Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #8

If you refuse to repent of a tiny sin, it will become bigger. The tiny sin is already big because you are choosing it instead of Christ. If you didn’t love your tiny sin more than Christ, you would have repented of it.

Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #9

Pilgrims do not have armor on their backs. If they do not stand their ground, they will be defeated.

Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #10

When fighting the Dragon, Christian became weaker and weaker because of his wounds. The Sword of the Spirit was helpful at the last minute when he thought he could fight no more, and he gave the Dragon a  mortal blow with Scripture. The Dragon fled.


Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #11

A wicked voice came up behind Christian, whispering suggestions in his ear, which he thought proceeded from his own mind. This tormented poor Christian and worried him more than anything he had met with before.

Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #12

A Talkative man loves to answer doctrinal questions, but if his knowledge of Scripture is not accompanied by action, it is useless. He is unteachable because he knows more about Scripture than others, so all he wants to do is talk. He leads many to stumble as they only look at the Scriptures as information.

Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #13

If a man considers a sin profitable to himself and harmless to others, he will not give it up, even if he is offending God.

Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #14

Money-love made it seem godly to devote one’s life to making money because he would be a good steward to enjoy what God had given him. Christian pointed out that silver weighs you down and prevents you from running the race. Money-love would not listen but had many worldly excuses for pursuing money.


Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #15

The Master sent people two by two so that they could be an encouragement to each other and keep each other from deception.

Pilgrim’s Progress: Observation #16

The longer they were in Doubt, the more their discouragement increased and deepened. As soon as the Light shone on their cell, the giant called Despair had to leave. Despair hates the Light.

Hopefully these practical applications of Pilgrim’s Progress will help you in your personal walk with the Lord. My children and I enjoyed studying this book, and we were relieved when Christian finally reached the Celestial City!

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