December 17, 2011

Can't Sleep Without Sheep

Title: Can’t Sleep Without Sheep
Susanna Leonard Hill (Author)
Mike Wohnoutka (Illustrator)
Classroom Guides by Shannon Morgan

Comprehension Strategies: 
Visualizing, Making Connections                  
Art Modality: Drama

Whenever Ava can’t sleep, she counts sheep. But Ava takes so long to fall asleep, it’s the sheep who are getting tired—until they finally quit! The sheep promise to find a replacement Ava can count on, but it might not be as easy as they think...
In this hilarious take on a familiar bedtime ritual, readers will be charmed by Ava and her fluffy friends. (Summary from book.)

Can’t Sleep Without Sheep

Here’s a dreamy way to help your students practice visualizing. Begin the lesson by asking students to describe their own sleep dilemmas and solutions. The main character in the story, Ava, counts sheep. Ask your students to consider this question: What if the sheep got tired of being counted?

Next, read the story aloud, but without sharing the illustrations. Encourage students to visualize each of the animals that the sheep enlist to help Ava fall asleep. Read the story again, this time showing the pictures.

You can count on this dramatic follow-up to awaken your students visualizing skills. For each of the animals in the story, have students consider:
*Is this animal big or small?
*What shape is it?
*Does it have legs? How many?
*How quickly or slowly does it move?
*What sounds does it make?

To dramatize the story, choose a volunteer to be Ava. Invite students to choose an animal to portray from the following choices: sheep, horse, chicken, pig, cow, penguin, hippo, buffalo, flamingo, armadillo or beaver. Line up your cast of characters and reread the story, stopping to assist with dialogue and movement. Get ready for the stampede!

You won’t get tired of this book any time soon, so head over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s website for activities to help you integrate the book into language arts, math, science, social studies, art and drama curricula. The activities are linked to the common core standards.

Don’t quit yet! Here’s the trailer...      


  1. Thanks so much for featuring Can't Sleep Without Sheep, Jayne! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book, and I love your ideas for activities! I hope others will enjoy this, too :)

  2. I love this book, and your activities look excellent. Wish I had a classroom to try them out on!

  3. Adorable book, Susanna!
    Fun read . . . LOL illustration :D

  4. Oh wow! Thanks, Jayne, for adding my button to your blog. That's very sweet of you. I'm glad your followers are steadily growing. You deserve it ~ you have some great stuff here.
    Merry Christmas!

    Grade ONEderful

  5. Hi again Jayne. Come on over to my "place". I just posted a little writing activity to go with the sheep book. Have a good one!!

    Grade ONEderful

  6. I enjoyed reading your article :) PLease continue publishing helpful topics like this. Regards, from beddingstock.


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