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Graduate student project

Ideas for Sharing “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” with Children Who Are Visually Impaired

Create a storybox, tactile symbols and picture symbols to make If You Give a Mouse a Cookie accessible to children with low vision or multiple disabilities

As part of the graduate coursework for Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities in the Teacher Preparation Program in Visual Impairments at the University of Kentucky, students were asked to complete four projects: Story Box, Picture Communication Symbols for Story Box, Tactile Communication Symbols, and Talking Book Project.
We are sharing them on Paths to Literacy and hope that others will use them!  Please add your comments at the bottom of the page.

Story Box

This project is based on If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff.

Tactile Objects

I chose the following items because they are realistic representations of the mouse and what he either asked for or what he needed during his travels.
  1. MouseContainer for story box
  2. Chocolate Chip Cookie
  3. Glass of milk
  4. Straw
  5. Napkin
  6. Mirror
  7. Nail Scissors
  8. Broom
  9. Box for Bed
  10. Blanket
  11. Pillow
  12. Paper
  13. Crayons
  14. Pen
  15. Package of Chocolate Chip Cookies

Background Knowledge: 

This book is for students in pre-school through third grade.  This age group would already have knowledge of these items: cookie, milk, straw, napkin, bed, blanket, pillow, paper, crayons, and pen.  However, they may need some background knowledge for these items:  
  • Mouse—explain to them that a mouse is a real animal, but the one in this story represents a pet.  It is a cartoon character similar to Mickey Mouse—friendly.
  • Mirror—explain that it is a smooth glass that we look into to see what we look like.
  • Nail Scissors—explain that people use them to cut their finger/toe nails.  
  • Broom—explain that it is used to sweep the floor to remove dirt.

6 Ideas for Implementation:

  1. Comprehension.  Read the story to the student.  As the story is being read, hand the student the object the mouse asks for on that page.  When finished reading ask the student some or all of these knowledge (recall) and comprehension questions.
    • Name some of the things the mouse asked for.
    • Why did the mouse want a mirror?
    • What did the mouse want to do with his picture?
    • How many characters are in the story?
    • Explain what happened every time the mouse asked for something.
    • Do you think that a glass of milk goes with a cookie?  Why?
    • What story would you have read to the mouse?
    • Why do you think the boy gave the mouse a cookie?
    • What do you think would have happened next if the story had continued?
  2. Finding objects.  As the story is read ask the student to find the object that the mouse is finding or asking for as he’s finding it or asking for it.
  3. Sequencing.  Ask the student to tell the story in order by getting one item at a time out of the box.  He/she must get the items out in order in which they were in the story.
  4. Beginning, middle, end.  Read the story to the student.  Ask the student to identify what part of the story is the beginning, what part is the middle, and what part is the end.
  5. Creativity.  Have the student make up an entirely different story using each of the items in the box.  First, have the student verbally tell the story, and then have him/her write the story (unless unable to do so).
  6. Needs/wants, goods/services—economics.  (This type of implementation would be for an older group, maybe 6th grade, or if simplified, could be for the younger students.)  Discuss the vocabulary: needs, wants, goods, services. Explain that the boy provides mouse with goods and services.  The mouse has all these needs and wants.  Discuss differences between needs and wants and goods and services.  Pull one object out of the box at a time and ask if it is a need or a want.

Picture Communication Symbols for Story Box 

Picture symbols for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Picture symbols for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Tactile Communication Symbols

Tactile symbols for If You Give a Mouse a CookieTactile Symbols

  1. mouse
  2. eat/cookie
  3. straw
  4. milk 
  5. napkin
  6. clean
  7. blanket
  8. read/book
  9. crayons
  10. tape


  1. Who is the main character in the story?   (mouse)
  2. What did the mouse do with the cookie?    (ate it)
  3. What does he ask for to drink?     (milk)
  4. What does he use to drink his milk from the glass?   (straw)
  5. What does the mouse ask for after he drank the milk?  (napkin)
  6. What does he do after he gets the broom and mop?  (clean)
  7. What does the mouse use to cover up with when he gets ready to take a nap?   (blanket)
  8. After he gets comfortable in bed, what does he ask you to do?  (read a book)
  9. What does he use to draw the picture with?  (crayons)
  10. What does he use to hang his picture on the refrigerator?   (tape)
  • ACTIVITY: The activity would involve asking the student these 10 questions after the story has been read aloud.  The student would use the symbols to answer the questions.  An alternate activity would be to ask the students to use all 10 symbols and make up a story of their own.
  • SYMBOLS:  These symbols were chosen because they represent the majority of the components of the story.
  • IMPLEMENTATION:  The teacher will read the story to the student.  Next, the teacher will ask the 10 questions, one at a time, and let the student choose a symbol for the answer.  It will depend on the level of the student as to whether the teacher will have all 10 symbols for the student to choose from or a select few.  If the correct symbol is chosen, it will be placed in the storage envelope. If it is not correct, it will be placed aside until the correct answer is chosen.  Once the correct answer is chosen, the symbols that were incorrectly chosen will be available to be chosen from. Then the next question will be asked and the procedure repeated.
  • BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE: The only background knowledge a student may need for these symbols, may be for the mouse.  Most school age children are familiar with Mickey Mouse, but not necessarily a real mouse.  The mouse in this story is not Mickey Mouse but a pet mouse.  Since pet mice are not common, this may need to be explained. 

Talking Book Project

Some students may prefer to use a talking PowerPoint book to read along with the book, while listening to the audio version.
This talking book is based on If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie talking book
Collage of tips to make picture books accessible to young children who are visually impaired
Tools for the TVI book on a table.

Tools for TVI: The Itinerant Teacher’s Handbook

Student accessing the window art activity.

Accessible Window Art

United State flag

United States Flag Braille Art Design