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Sitting on the stairs, little Kitten sees what she takes to be a small bowl of milk in the night sky, but try as she might, she cannot get to it. She reaches and chases the bowl, but it always eludes her. Climbing up a tree, she sees below what she thinks is an even bigger bowl of milk. Of course, it is the moon and she gets soaking wet when she jumps into its reflection on the water. A real bowl of milk left for her on the porch gives the story a happy ending.

from Kitten’s First Full Moon

This sweet story by Kevin Henkes provides lots of learning opportunities for your student. Grab our Kitten’s First Full Moon unit study and lapbook printables and get started.

Thanks to Stacey Ruberg for writing this unit study and contributing photos.

Kitten’s First Full Moon Unit Study Lessons

Language Arts

Before You Read
Before you read Kitten’s First Full Moon to your child, look through the pictures together and ask your child to narrate a story based on the illustrations.

Dramatic Play
Use whatever you have on hand to create a cat costume for your children. I used some scrap batting, scrap t-shirts, and a headbands to create costumes for my kids. Let your student act out her favorite part of the story.

Social Studies

Facial Expressions
Look through the book with your child and observe the kitten’s facial expressions. Name the emotion the kitten portrays in each expression.


Bible: Memory Verse: Colossians 3:23
You can sing this verse together all week long! Sing it to the tune of Frere Jaques:
“Whatever you do,
Whatever you do,
Work at it,
Work at it,
With all your heart,
With all your heart,


Art: Grayscale

Discuss the grayscale illustrations in the book–especially observing the white kitten, white moon, and the dark night sky. Offer your children gray, silver, and black markers, pens, pencils, and crayons. Make your own piece of artwork using these colors. Draw or trace your own kitten and shade it as desired for the front of your lapbook.

Art Activity: Color Changing Milk
In the story, kitten thinks the moon is a little bowl of milk in the sky. Have fun with this milk activity.

Supplies: milk (whole or 2%), dinner plate, food coloring (red,  yellow, green, blue), dish-washing soap, cotton swab.

Pour enough milk in the dinner plate to completely cover the bottom. Allow it to settle.

Add one drop of each of the four colors of food coloring to the milk. Keep the drops close together in the center of the plate of milk.

Touch the tip of the cotton swab to the center of the milk. It’s important not to stir the mix. Just touch it with the tip of the cotton swab.

Now place a drop of liquid dish soap on the other end of the cotton swab. Place the soapy end of the cotton swab back in the middle of the milk and hold it there for 10 to 15 seconds. What happens?

Science and Math

Science: Reflection

Why does the kitten jump in the lake? She sees the moon reflecting on the water and thinks it’s that bowl of milk and within her reach! Talk about reflection with your student. Get some hand-held or compact mirrors and let your student create reflections of objects around him. You can also use a kaleidoscope to discuss reflection. If you want to make a kaleidoscope with your student, search the internet for a how-to.

If your student is enjoying using the mirror to reflect things, try this simple symmetry activity.

Science: Pet Care
Discuss kitten care.

Science: Moon & Stars
Spend some time this week observing all the night sky has to offer! Read the story of creation together and remind your student who created the moon and the stars.

Discuss the moon and how it looks different throughout the month. Has your student ever seen a full moon? Why is the moon so small sometimes? Explain to your student that the moon doesn’t shrink and grow. The moon doesn’t really change; it just looks different as it goes around the Earth. If your student is interested in the moon, explore the moon with Google Moon. 

Science: Light
The moon and stars are both light sources. What other things provide light for us? Is there something in the story? (the fireflies).

Kitten’s First Full Moon Lapbook Activities

The free Kitten’s First Full Moon unit study also includes these lapbook printables:

  • My Feelings Mini-book
  • My Memory Verse Heart Shape Book
  • Moon Phases Accordion Book
  • Moon Fact Moon Shape Book
  • Lights T-shape Book
  • Take Care of a Kitten Mini-book
  • Cat Mask

This funny emergent reader, A Pet for Me, was also added to the lapbook sample.

How to Get Started with the Kitten’s First Full Moon Unit Study and Lapbook

Kitten’s First Full Moon Lapbook Sample

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the Kitten’s First Full Moon unit study and lapbook:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, Kitten’s First Full Moon, or grab one from your local library.
  2. Print the Kitten’s First Full Moon unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Choose and prepare the lapbook printables you want to use with your student.
  5. Enjoy a week of book-based learning with your student.

Download Your Kitten’s First Full Moon Unit Study and Printables

Simply click on the image below to access your free Kitten’s First Full Moon unit study.

Kitten’s First Full Moon Unit Study & Lapbook

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Three Little Kittens Lapbook