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Let's Read: Lunch

 Let's Read: Lunch

by Denise Flemming

Read this Lesson in Spanish


  • Children will be able to identify fruits and vegetables they like.
  • Older children will know that eating fruits and vegetables will help them grow to be healthy.
  • Parents will be able to observe methods of reading to children.

Note: While the book, Lunch, is for children one to five, the activities in the lesson will work best with two to five year olds.

Book: Lunch by Denise Fleming, Henry Holt and Co., New York 1995. Paperback is $5.95.

Copies of the attached: 
mouse bulletLet's Read at Home!   
mouse bullet "Lunch Cards" sheet for parents.
mouse bulletRecipes


Tasting: Samples for tasting of turnips, oranges, carrots, corn, peas, blueberries, grapes, apples, or watermelon. Soap and water or prepackaged hand wipes for cleaning hands.

Coloring: Blank paper or a blank paper plate with crayons or magic markers for drawing.

Tracing: Butcher paper and crayons.

Contact your local library. Find out if Lunch by Denise Fleming is available. If it is not, get a list of books on nutrition for children from one to five years of age. You may want to put a copy of the book in your lending library for clients to use.

Introduce the book to the children before you start reading. Look at the cover with them and ask what they see there. Then ask them what they think the book will be about. Tell them that the same person both wrote and illustrated Lunch.

1. Follow the teaching tip above, and introduce the book to the children. Ask them what they had for lunch, ask them why the mouse is sniffing in the illustrations on the first two pages or ask another question to lead into the book. Answer their questions and comments on the book as they arise.

Note: Besides talking about fruits and vegetables, this book is a wonderful way to teach colors to children. You can talk about the colors in the illustrations or ask the children if they see something in the room white like the turnip or orange like the carrot. Naming the colors will be most appropriate with the one and two year old. Finding other colors in the room will be better for children past the toddler stage.

2. As you read through the book, use the turning of the page to anticipate the fruit or vegetable named on the previous page. This will make the story more dramatic.

You may decide to pass out samples of the fruits or vegetables as you read about each one, rather than wait until the end.

Other questions you may ask as you read:

  • Do you eat ...(name the fruit or vegetable the mouse ate)?
  • What is your favorite fruit? Favorite vegetable?
  • Where did the mouse's food go on his body?
  • Where does your food go when you eat it?
  • Why was the mouse hungry?
  • When do you get hungry?
  • What color is the table cloth?
  • How is the mouse like you?
  • How is he different?
  • What did the mouse eat for supper? Breakfast?
  • What do you eat for supper? Breakfast?
  • What other food do you think that the mouse should try? Why?

Remember to gear your questions to the age of the children in the audience.

3. Pick an activity to do with the children in class. Also, send the activities sheet home with the parents so that they can continue the class at home with their children.

Tasting: Taste some of the fruits and vegetables mentioned in the book. You can cut up the fruits and vegetables ahead of time and talk about each one as the children eat it. Possible topics for discussion are the color of the food or where the food shows up in the drawing of the mouse on the last page of the book. Ask the children where the food they eat goes in their body. Remember to have children wash their hands or wipe them off with a prepackaged hand wipe before they eat.

Coloring: Use a blank sheet of paper or a white paper plate. Let each child draw their favorite fruit or vegetable on it. They can put their drawing up at home. You could also ask the children which of the foods the mouse ate that they would like to try.

Tracing: Let each child lie down on a sheet of butcher paper. Have their mother trace the outline of their body on the paper with a crayon. Then let each child draw where the fruits and vegetables are in their bodies, similar to the mouse on the last page of the book. Discuss with them how healthy foods make their bodies healthy. Let them take their silhouettes home.

Pretending: Let each child in the class pretend to be the mouse eating their favorite food. Then let them pretend to be the mouse eating the fruits and vegetables in the book.

4. Give the parents the activities sheet to do at home:

Give the mouse bullet Let's Read at Home!  sheet which is attached. Here is a further explanation of the sheet so that you can discuss it with the parents.

"1. Read the book again with your child at home. Your local library may have the book. If it is not available, borrow another book and read it several times with your child."

Encourage parents to read to their children as a way to spend quality time together. Lunch could be a part of your WIC lending library for clients.

"2. Use the attached sheet  mouse bullet Lunch Cards."

The sheet should first be cut or torn into four cards. Children then put the cards into the order of the story. If the child puts the cards in the wrong order, ideally the parents should let the child reread the book and then correct their mistake themselves.

The important thing is that parents encourage children in their efforts, not whether the child is right or wrong.

"3. Let your child help you make the recipes featuring foods the mouse ate in Lunch."

Encourage parents to let the children help in preparing the mouse bullet recipes based on the foods the mouse ate.

"4. Serve several fruits and vegetables for a lunch like the mouse had. To make the lunch even more like what the mouse ate, color a sheet of paper in black and white checks like the mouse's table cloth. Use the paper as a placemat. Even picky eaters enjoy this meal."

Make the placemat and pick out the foods with your child's help so that it will be exactly like the mouse would like!

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Last updated January 5, 2011