Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One Dark Night

One Dark Night by Lisa Wheeler

Illustrated by Ivan Bates

One Dark Night is the perfect book to introduce the skill of prediction to young children. Being able to predict what will happen next separates the good readers from those who struggle. Even though children are unlikely to guess this ending, it will help develop this critical skill. (Being “right” about your predictions is far less important than making them in the first place. Staying tuned in is what matters! Besides, the truth is readers love to be surprised!)

Brainstorm a list of all the things people can be afraid of. Then, guess what a mouse and mole might be afraid of. Flip through the pages of the book, and look at the characters faces to predict what might happen. Be sure to stop before the ending is given away!


  1. How can you figure out what a word means without the dictionary?
  2. Define the following words from the book: lair, glen, jowls, tramped, gnarled, fragile, trudged without using a dictionary.


  1. Describe the characters in the book
  2. Trace the clues that make you believe that something bad is going to happen.


  1. Write interview questions for the mouse, mole and bear about their friendship.
  2. Find examples of bravery in the story.


  1. Compare mouse, mole and bear in a triple Venn diagram.  (Three intersecting circles)
  2. Examine the illustration where the “gnarled oak stood” then discuss why the illustrator made the tree look so large compared to mole and mouse.


  1. How would you feel if you were mouse and mole in this story?
  2. Invent a story with a similar surprise ending


  1. Predict what happens when snake knocks on the door of the feast.
  2. What is your favorite illustration? Why? What is your favorite scene? Why?

Multiple Intelligence Projects for
One Dark Night by Lisa Wheeler

Illustrated by Ivan Bates

Verbal/ Linguistic

Using the following vocabulary words from the text:
lair, glen, jowls, tramped, gnarled, fragile, trudged

make index cards and create your own dictionary. Define the word, use it in your own sentence, draw a picture to help you remember its meaning, and try to use it at least once during the day.

Logical/ Mathematical:

Fill out prediction chart below

Visual/ Spatial

In any media you prefer create two pictures of the same tree, one pallet that reflects daytime, while the other is at night. Compare your art to that of Ivan Bates’ in One Dark Night.


Assign roles and act out scenes from the story. For a zany twist, mix up the scenes and see how strange the story goes. (Then discuss how stories always have a real beginning, middle and ending and that’s why they have to stay in order!)

Musical/ Rhythmic

Sing the classic campfire song

The Other Day I met a Bear. Here’s the first stanza to get you started:

The other day (the other day),
I met a bear (I met a bear),
Away up there (away up there)
A great big bear (a great big bear)
The other day I met a bear,
A great big bear a way up there.


Study the faces of the characters in One Dark Night and guess what they are feeling without reading the words. Why do these faces make you guess there is going to be trouble in the end?

Look through another book you’ve never read before, try to guess what the characters feel without reading the story. What might happen? What makes you think so?

Study real people’s faces, too. You’ll be surprised how much you can figure out without asking!


Brainstorm a list of things you can do to remain calm when you are afraid. Create a scroll (using receipt paper from Wal Mart or other discount chain that is likely to donate) and tie with a special ribbon. Refer to as needed for shivering and shaking!