Caps for Sale: 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 download 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 Caps for Sale

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Caps for Sale is a fun story that can make for some good vocabulary instruction. It’s also a fun story to read aloud while having kids make the monkey’s sound effects. With activities involving adding caps and some great information about the author’s country of Russia, there are some fun things you can do to make the book into a unit study.

Book Information

Title- Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys, and Their Monkey Business

Author– Esphyr Slobodkina

Recommended ages– Preschool- 2nd

Synopsis- A peddler is headed to town to sell his caps. He’s tired and decides to take a little nap under a nice tree. But, lo and behold, when he wakes up, his caps are gone! A band of silly monkeys has taken them.

The peddler makes several attempts to get the monkeys to give his caps back, to no avail. But when he throws his own cap down to walk away disgustedly, the monkeys throw their caps back to the ground as well.

Language Arts

Vocabulary– We don’t often hear about peddlers anymore. Make sure kids know what a peddler is.

Literary devices onomatopoeia– Kids might be too young for a technical definition of the word, but you can talk about words that make their sounds. This video is a cute way to illustrate the word to young kid.

Drama- This would be a good story to reenact. Have kids play the part of the monkeys while you are the peddler.

Science and Math

Adding- Color and cut out the caps on this page to match the caps in the story (Just click the picture for a free PDF.). Use the caps to help kids add how many total caps the peddler had- don’t forget to count his checked cap.

Patterns- Use the hats you’ve colored and make patterns with them. Start a pattern and see if kids can complete it.

MonkeysLiveScience has some great information, pictures, and a video to learn about monkeys. Print kids a monkey coloring sheet here, and they can color and record some facts about monkeys.

History/Social Studies

Russia- The author of Caps for Sale was Esphyr Slobodkina. She originally came from Russia. Learn more about Russia from this National Geographic Kids page.

Russia- Kids can color this blank Russian flag. You can have older kids record a few facts about Russia on the page as well.

Geography- Label the country of Russia on this blank map of Asia. (Central and Southwest Asia- no labels is the best one to choose. Older kids might find it interesting that Russia is actually in two continents.)

Crafts and Fun

This cute craft lets kids create their own stick puppet with caps to attach. (You could also let them use these to retell the story.)

Make this cute craft that lets kids use fingerprints to make monkeys in a tree.

If you have the classic Monkeys in a Barrel toy, this game would be lots of fun for kids to make and play along with the book.

Make some cute paper plate monkeys to go along with the story.

Caps for Sale unit study


National Geographic Readers: Monkeys (monkeys)

Amazing Animals: Monkeys (monkeys)

Monkeys and Apes (Rookie Read-About Science: What’s the Difference?) (monkeys)

R is for Russia (Russia)

Circus Caps for Sale (by the author)

More Caps for Sale: Another Tale of Mischievous Monkeys (by the author)

Other Resources

This video is a nice reading of the story.

Homeschool Creations has a cute free printables pack to go with Caps for Sale.

You can learn more about the author- Esphyr Slobodkina- here.

Royal Baloo has a free- just for preschoolers- printables pack for Caps for Sale.

Homeschool Share has a free Caps for Sale lapbook.

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

Literature unit studies for kids

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