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Stuart Little: A Literature Unit Study

This post is part of the 31 MORE Days of Literature Unit Studies series. You can find all of the links to the thirty-one studies in this post. If you'd like to use these ideas to create your own unit study, this post has step-by-step instructions as well as a free unit study planner. (Want to know more about what, exactly, a unit study is? This post will help.)

While you're reading and working on your unit study, you can dowload this free printables pack of graphic organizers for reading. It has a plot chart, venn diagram, KWL chart, two mini book report organizers, a character analysis chart, a plot outline chart, and a reading response sheet where students can record facts while reading.

Literature unit study for Stuart Little
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Stuart Little by E.B. White is the story of a brave and determined little mouse and his great adventures. It's a gentle story, even though Stuart does face some exciting times. It's a long time kids' favorite- especially as a read aloud.


Book Information

Title- Stuart Little

Author- E.B. White

Recommended ages- elementary (2nd-6th)

Synopsis-Stuart Little is a mouse born to a family of humans. He has an older brother, and he and Stuart's parents go to great lengths to make sure Stuart "fits in" in the family. They adapt furniture for him, forbid references to mice, and make ways for him to easily get around in the house. But they're always a but concerned for Stuart.

Stuart is a smart and determined mouse, however, who can take care of himself. He can make his way around New York City safely and sail in a toy boat in Central Park. One day he befriends a bird, Maragolo, that he finds wounded on the Little's windowsill. 

When his friend disappears, Stuart is determined to find her. He sets off and faces many adventures but continues on his quest to find Maragolo.

Language Arts

Character analysis- Stuart Little is certainly an interesting mouse. As you read the book, fill in the character analysis chart (from the free packet above) to record information about Stuart.

Nursery rhymes- The Littles got rid of "The Three Blind Mice" from their nursery rhyme book. You can listen to the nursery rhyme and learn a little bit of the story behind the rhyme here. After you listen, look at the words of the nursery rhyme and find the words that rhyme.

Poetry- The poet Robert Burns wrote To a Mouse, a poem apologizing to a field mouse for the destruction of her home. Listen to the poem read in the original Scots and then read the original words along with an English translation here(scroll down). Discuss the poem.

Creative writing- Write your own version of Stuart's sailboat race from chapter seven. Illustrate it with a drawing.

Shakespeare- Stuart quotes a line from Romeo and Juliet to Maragolo in chapter eight. You can read the scene from the which this line comes here. (It's a long scene. Read all or just the ending, from which the line is taken.)

Creative writing- The book has an interesting ending (or not?). Write your own ending to the story of Stuart Little.

Science and Math

Mice- Read this page to learn about real mice. Record some facts on the reading response sheet in the graphic organizers packet.

Compare/contrast- Use a Venn diagram (from the graphic organizers pack) to compare Stuart Little with a real mouse.

Birds- Stuart's best friend is a bird names Maragolo. Use this site to identify some of the birds in your yard.

Exercise and health- Stuart liked to do his exercises every morning. This video has a simple five minute workout you can do.

Cats- Snowball the cat is the enemy of Stuart and later Maragolo throughout the story. Learn more about cats from this Ducksters page.

STEM project- Stuart has experience with boats. He sails in Central Park and tries to have a canoe ride with Miss Harriet Ames. Take this STEM challenge to make the most successful boat.

History/Social Studies

New York City- Watch this video to learn about New York City- an awfully big city for a very little mouse.

New York City- Stuart Little enjoys going to Central Park to sail in a sailboat race. Check out the Central Park website and see all there is to see and do in Central Park. Can you find the place where Stuart raced a sailboat? What would be your favorite thing to do in the park?

New York City- Create your own travel brochure for New York City. What are some sites you think most important for people to see? Include some of the things you've learned from the video and Central Park site. (This page from Read Write Think has information about creating a travel brochure.)

Crafts and Fun

In chapter fourteen, Stuart goes out in a canoe with Harriet Ames. Make your own canoe with these instructions.

Find Stuart Little coloring pages here. (The drawings are from the Stuart Little movie.)

Make a styrofoam mouse with these instructions.

Stuart Little unit study

Booklist

Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White (biography of the author)

City Trails- New York (New York City)

New York, New York: The Big Apple from A-Z (New York City)

A Walk in New York (New York City)

First Sail (sailing)

Sarah's Boat: A Young Girl Learns the Art of Sailing (sailing)

About Birds: A Guide for Children (birds)

Backyard Birds: Field Guides for Young Naturalists (birds)

Other Resources

This post has some cute ideas for Stuart Little themed snacks. It would be great to use if you're reading the book with a co-op.

I loved the idea of making a Stuart Little display board. (This would actually be a great idea for any book!)

The Stuart Little movie has some notable differences from the book, but it might be fun to watch and compare.


Don’t miss the other literature units in this series!

Literature unit studies for kids

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