About the Book
Three selfish frogs spend their days fighting over air, water, and land until a heavy storm brings them together in fear — and shows them how important it is to share and work together.
This Book's Message or Theme
- We need each other.
- It's best to share and get along.
- Air, land, and water belong to everyone.
A Need to Share: Social Studies Activity
Ask children to tell what it means to share. By this age, they will probably realize from personal experience that sharing means giving or receiving part of something. Ask children how they feel about sharing:
- Is it important to share? Why do you think that?
- How do you feel when someone shares with you?
- How do you feel when someone won't share?
Talk about times when it is very important to share, such as when someone has left at home an item needed at school (for example, a lunch box or a book). Display It's Mine! and read the title aloud. Invite children to predict what the story will be about.
Let's Talk About It: Critical Thinking Activity
In the story It's Mine!, Milton, Rupert, and Lydia quarreled from dawn to dusk. How much better their lives would have been if they had learned to share — and to resolve conflicts peacefully! Take this opportunity to reinforce peaceful conflict resolution with children. Describe a conflict situation, and invite them to discuss and then draw a peaceful resolution. Conflict situations you might pose include:
- Someone bumps into you outside. You drop a book you are holding. It lands in a puddle.
- You are waiting in line at the water fountain. Someone cuts ahead of you in line.
- Both you and a friend want to use yellow clay. There is only one piece left.
Talk About the Story: Reading and Language Arts Activity
Talk with children about the main elements of the story. Ask:
- Why did Milton, Rupert, and Lydia argue so much?
- Who told the frogs to stop arguing? Why did the toad want them to stop?
- What did the frogs do when the storm came and water flooded the land?
- How did the frogs feel when they huddled together? Why did they feel that way?
- What is the most important lesson the frogs learned in this story?
Pond-Life Pantomime: Drama and Critical Thinking Activity
Reread the story aloud. Then divide the class into groups of four or six. Ask each group to act out the story in pantomime, showing without speaking what happened. You might want to demonstrate the concept first by pantomiming simple activities such as brushing teeth, dropping a box filled with heavy items, waving good-bye, and answering and talking on the telephone.
To help build the idea that pantomime is more like storytelling than like charades, ask children to note not only what you are doing but how you are feeling in the pantomime. For example, when waving good-bye, you might appear sad. This could mean that someone very special is leaving. If children have never done pantomime before, let them choose only a portion of the story to act out. Classmates can watch the pantomime and guess which part of the story the group is presenting.
Head Off on a Word Hunt!: Language Arts Activity
Go back through the story with children. Ask them to find words that show the manner in which a character spoke. These include:
As a class or independently, children can choose three of the words from the above list and use each word in sentence, complete with quotation marks.
Draw Rainbow Pond: Science and Art Activity
Provide children with drawing paper and crayons. Ask them to draw Rainbow Pond and the island. Be sure to provide resources (picture books, animal magazines, and wildlife encyclopedias) that show pond life. (One Small Square: Pond by Donald M. Silver and Patricia J. Wynne is an excellent resource.) Children can look at these and glean information about pond life that will enrich their drawings, such as the names of flowers, bugs, and fish found in ponds.
Share a Poem: Language Arts Activity
On a lily-pad throne,
You float like a king.
Then when it gets dusky,
You start to sing:
I love every sandpaper note!
Read the poem aloud. Then explain to children that animals have different ways of finding partners. Different kinds of frogs, for example, use special calls to find each other. To illustrate this for children, try this: Copy each of the frog calls below on two or three slips of paper and give one to each child. (Every two or three children should get the same call.) Tell children to walk slowly around the room, making their call. At the same time, they should try to locate another frog or frogs with the same call.
Activity adapted from Scholastic SuperScience Blue magazine, February 1996.
Pressed Leaf Pictures: Science and Art Activity
In It's Mine!, the island is filled with ferns and leafy weeds. Take children on a nature hike to find their own ferns, weeds, or tree leaves. Then:
- Have children place their leaves between paper towels and press them between the pages of telephone books. Put heavy books on top, and wait several weeks for the leaves to dry.
- Lay out a thick layer of newspaper and an iron. Turn the iron to a low setting, and keep it out of children's reach. One at a time, children can lay a piece of waxed paper (approximately 8 1/2 by 11 inches) on the newspaper and arrange their leaves on top of it. Children may want to use different leaf shapes to create frogs and other animals.
- Place another same-size piece of waxed paper over this, lay more newspaper on top, and iron gently for several minutes.
- Have children glue 1/2-inch strips of construction paper along the edges to serve as a frame, if desired. Tape the pictures to a window for all to enjoy!