Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson will help your students gain a deeper understanding of the book 'Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse' by Leo Lionni. Students will read the story and participate in a role-playing activity that will help them summarize the book.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson on 'Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse' by Leo Lionni, students will be able to:

  • answer questions about the story
  • summarize the story
  • make personal connections to the story


This lesson will take 45-90 minutes.

Curriculum Standards


Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.


Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.


Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Materials Needed

  • Copies of 'Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse' by Leo Lionni
  • Construction paper
  • Paint


Ask students to think about what they would ask for if they could make a wish. Have them turn and talk to their partner to describe their wish and why that is what they would choose.

Read 'Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse' by Leo Lionni with students.

Pause after the part where Alexander mentions being envious of Willy.

Ask students what 'envy' means. Have students turn and talk to a friend about a time they envied someone.

Have students trifold a sheet of paper and label each section: Beginning, Middle, End. In the beginning section, have students draw a picture and write a sentence or two that explains what Alexander wishes for. Discuss student answers

Continue reading the story. Pause after the section where Alexander is searching for a purple pebble.

Have students complete the 'Middle' section of the story by describing what Alexander wishes for at this point in the story.

Read the remainder of the story.

Pause and have students complete the third section of the paper. Discuss why Alexander's wishes change over time.

Have students reflect on the wish they told their partner about before reading the story. Have students consider whether something could change to make them want to change their wish. Have students turn and talk to their partner about whether that is still what they would wish for and why.

Role-Playing Activity

Divide students into groups of 3.

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