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Literature Link

The Lion and the Mouse


Jerry Pinkney


Jerry Pinkney’s wordless adaptation is one of Aesop’s most beloved fables. An unlikely pair learns that no act of kindness is ever wasted. After a ferocious lion spares a cowering mouse that he had planned to eat, the mouse later comes to his rescue, freeing him from a poacher’s trap. This book is a natural springboard for a discussion on many character topics including kindness.

Character Education Focus:

  • To be kind to all creatures big and small.
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Reading Objective:


  • Retell the story and identify the acts of kindness—first by the lion, then by the mouse.
  • Discuss how acts of kindness may be big acts (school-wide service projects) or small acts (please/thank you, smile).


Math Objective:

  • The learners will graph acts of kindness.


  • Lead brainstorming discussion of “big acts of kindness” (lion size - ex. Cleaning up trash from playground) and “small acts of kindness”
           (mouse size - ex. smiling), making two lists. Create a picture graph comparing brainstormed lists. Graph could grow as students
            recognize more acts of kindness. (Use picture graph provided, download here).

Speaking and Listening Objective:

  • The learners will act out the events of the story.


Students act out the two key events in the story:

  • when the lion catches the mouse and lets it go
  • when the mouse frees the lion.

Students pair up and practice one event. Next, students role-play in front of their peers. Conclude by pointing out the big and small acts of kindness.

ASCA: A:A3.1 Take responsibility for their action

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