Focus Story: 
Mary Had a Little Lamb by Bruce McMillan

Companion Booklet: 
The Lamb Went

Companion Poem:
'Mary Had a Little Lamb', 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'


Day 1

Old Favorites:  Reread charts/poems from previous stories

Prior Knowledge:

(Before beginning this week's focus story, send home a note to families requesting that they assist their child in finding one item to share with the class on this day. Ask families to discuss with their child the shape, color, and size of their item.) Have students sit in a circle and take turns sharing what they brought from home.  Discuss each items significance as well as the shape, color, and/or size.  Then sing the following to the tune of 'Mary Had a Little Lamb', inserting the student's name, object, and descriptive words.

(Student's name) had a (object).
It's (attribute) was (descriptive word).

Focus Story: 

After sharing, explain that in this week's story, a little girl brings something unusual to school. Introduce title, author and photographer;  Read aloud for enjoyment.


Day 2

Focus Story: 

Explain to students that some people believe that a long time ago, there really was a little girl named Mary whose lamb followed her to school.  So this story may be true! However, stress that the photographs in this story were taken recently with a little girl and lamb who were acting as though they were Mary and her lamb to help us better understand the story. Reread- Shared Reading; Discuss the story with students, possibly asking questions such as the following...

  • What part of the lamb is its fleece?
  • What else could it be as white as?
  • Do your pets follow you around like Mary's lamb? Where? How does it make you feel?
  • Why wasn't it all right for Mary's lamb to be at school?
  • What does it mean that 'the teacher turned him out'?
  • Why do you think the lamb waited for Mary all day?
  • What lesson did the other children possibly learn?

Sequence pictures from the story so as to put the events in order.

Companion Rhyme:

Introduce the first companion nursery rhyme 'Mary Had a Little Lamb'.  Read aloud the poem and discuss what they know from the clues in the poem and then have students share in the reading by echoing the lines after you;  Have students find/mask letters in the poem such as l, m, and w.


Day 3

Companion Rhyme:

Reread companion nursery rhyme 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' – choral read; Have students mask the rhyming words.

Focus Story: 

Read a longer version of the story such as Mary Had a Little Lamb by Iza Trapani. Read one time through for enjoyment; Read a second time, stopping after each page for students to orally state the two rhyming words that they heard.

Position Word Focus: 

Present a stuffed lamb/sheep animal. Call on students to listen and place the lamb in various positions in the room. (For example, on the chalkboard ledge,under the chair, beside the computer, moving through the door, moving around the table, etc.)

Companion Booklet:

 Introduce the story The Lamb Went (a story composed and shared on the Early Childhood Chat board at Teachers.Net by Laura/K/TX).  Read aloud and move the lamb pointer to the proper place in the book- corresponding to the text.

The lamb went...
around the cow in the corn (picture of a cow eating corn)
under the haystack (picture of a little boy sleeping under the haystack)
up the hill and down the hill (a picture of a hill with a well at the top)
over the fence (picture of a fence and a gate to the cornfield)
through the door (picture of an old fashioned schoolhouse with a door cut and folded back)
and was back in time to meet the teacher. (picture of Little Bo Peep as the teacher)


Day 4

Lamb/Sheep Facts: 

Have students learn more about real sheep and lambs. This can be accomplished by either watching a video showing real lambs and the wool process or by showing photos, reading excerpts from factual books, and reading a book such as Charlie Needs a Cloak that shows the wool process;  Discuss how lambs/sheep help us; Sequence pictures to show the correct order of steps in the wool process.

Companion Rhyme: 

Introduce the second companion nursery rhyme 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'; Introduce terms such as 'master' and 'dame';  Discuss who is talking in this poem;  Shared Reading - echo read..

Companion Rhyme:

Reread companion nursery rhyme 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' – choral read.

Companion Booklet: 

Reread The Lamb Went; Have students make their own lamb pointers and pass out student Take Home Booklets of The Lamb Went; Reread together, with each child tracking the print and moving the lamb pointer in correspondence with the text.


Day 5

Companion Booklet:   Reread The Lamb Went.

Companion Rhyme: 

Reread companion nursery rhyme 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'; Sing along with the song by the same title on the Raffi CD Singable Songs for the Very Young and have students tell you which word Raffi changed in the song; Prepare nine small lamb stick puppets- each colored a different color (white, pink, red, green, blue, yellow, orange, brown, black) for students to hold up as you sing the poem multiple time, changing the color word each time; Present students with the Baa Baa Black Sheep Manipulative book (below)and have students assist in changing both the color word and the color bowties.


Companion Rhyme:  Together, reread companion nursery rhyme 'Mary Had a Little Lamb'

Take Home: 

Work with students to make their own 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' poem booklets. Students work to write in the missing beginning or ending consonant letter as well as a few of the letters from the title (M, h, l, w, t, f, s, r, m ) and then color the booklet.  Reread as a class and then students take home the booklet to share with their families over and over!

Related Read Aloud Stories/Poems

Focus Story: Mary Had a Little Lamb by Bruce McMillan
Companion Booklet: The Lamb Went
Companion Poem: 'Mary Had a Little Lamb', 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'

'Little Bo Beep'
Mary Had a Little Lamb by Iza Trapani
Mary Had a Little Lamb by Tomie de Paola
Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep by Teri Sloat
The Little Lamb by Judy Dunn
Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomie de Paola
The Goat in the Rug by Charles Blood and Martin Link
A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert
Hooray for Sheep Farming! by Bobbie Kalman
Sheep in a Jeep, Sheep in a Shop, Sheep Out to Eat, Sheep Take a Hike, Sheep on a Ship -all by Nancy Shaw
Red Berry Wool by Tim Coffey

Possible Cross Curricular Connections
(Some of these activities would only be appropriate if your sheep lessons coincide with the month of March.)


1) Roll and Count Lions and Lambs (below) Students take turns rolling a dice and then place that many corresponding pom poms onto either the lion or lamb shape

2) Make a sheep counting booklet with the pattern " I counted (numeral) sheep, but I still couldn't fall asleep."
3) Manipulate/take away sheep as you read the poem 'Five White and Fluffy Sheep' or sing and do as a fingerplay

Five White and Fluffy Sheep
(sing to the tune of Five Green and Speckled Frogs)

Five white and fluffy sheep
in the pasture fast asleep. 
Their wool kept them cozy all night long. 
Snore! Snore! 
The farmer slipped away with one. 
And sheared the wool till he was done. 
Then there were 4 white fluffy sheep. 
Baa! Baa!


1) Use sheep notepad sheets to make letter/sound puzzles for students to manipulate
2) Manipulate words cut from sentences strips to rebuild the poem in a pocket chart
3) Match upper and lower case letters to complete a puzzle of Mary and her lamb (see printable coloring sheet in sections, below)
4) Focus on prepositions, oppositescolors and color words
5) Encourage students to use details to describe objects

    Social Studies:

    1) Bring in items made from wool (blanket, sweater, etc.) and some raw wool
    2) Sequence pictures showing the steps in making an item from wool
    3) Watch a video / learn about real sheep


      1) Create the TLC Mary Had a Little Lamb and/or Baa Baa Black Sheep (from More Nursery Rhymes)
      2) Hand paint lions and make lambs from white packing peanuts


      3) Assemble Lion and Lamb stick puppets

      4) Make two sided paper plate lion and lamb masks
      5) Create lamb puppets

      Related Resources

      All About Sheep 
      Kids Farm - sheep pictures, etc.
      Sheep in a Jeep - kindergarten lesson plan
      Mary Had a Little Lamb - rebus rhyme
      Baa Baa Black Sheep - rebus rhyme
      From Sheep to Cloak -printable picture sheet from Webbing Into Literacy