Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Conditional Statements

Margaret Salesky, Susan McHale | Published: May 18th, 2022 by K20 Center

  • Grade Level Grade Level 7th, 8th
  • Subject Subject English/Language Arts
  • Course Course American Literature, Composition
  • Time Frame Time Frame 2 class period(s)
  • Duration More 100 minutes


Students will examine the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Joffe Numeroff to learn about the conditional mood. After deconstructing, reconstructing, and creating their own conditional sentences, students will write collaborative Chain Stories in a narrative style similar to Joffe's book, using a progression of conditional sentences.  This lesson includes optional modifications for distance learning. Resources for use in Google Classroom are included.

Essential Question(s)

Why do the rules of language matter? What is the purpose of learning and applying grammar skills? 



Students vote using a Sticky Bar Graph to find the class's favorite type of cookie.


Students listen to Laura Joffe Numeroff's children's book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" to learn about the conditional mood, then use a variation on the Card Sort strategy to reconstruct conditional sentences.


Students learn more about conditional mood through examples. Then, they create new sentences with a partner and individually.


Students write a collaborative Chain Story in the same narrative style as "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie."


Students share their Chain Stories with the class.


  • "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Joffe Numeroff (physical copy or video read-along, linked below)

  • Lesson Slides (attached)

  • Conditional Sentence Card Pairs (attached; one copy per 30 students)

  • Conditional Sentence Card Pairs (Answer Key)

  • Chain Story Handout (attached; optional, one per student)

  • Conditional Mood Practice handout (attached; one per student)

  • Sticky notes (one per student)

  • Google Docs access (optional)

  • Document Camera (optional)


Use the attached Lesson Slides to guide the lesson. Begin the lesson with the essential questions on slide 3: Why do the rules of language matter? What is the purpose of learning and applying grammar skills?

Direct students to the Sticky Bar graph you've created based on the instructions in the Teacher's Note above. Pass out a sticky note to each student and ask them to write their names at the top, leaving space below for more writing. Using the Sticky Bars strategy, ask each student to silently write their favorite cookie flavor (of those listed on the graph) on their sticky note. You may also choose to have students write the reasoning for their choice on the notes. Next, invite students in groups to place their sticky notes on the Sticky Bar graph in the column above their favorite cookie. Once finished, examine the bar graph to determine the class's favorite cookie. If you chose to have students include their reasoning, consider briefly discussing this reasoning with the class.

Next, segue into the next phase of the lesson by asking students if they have read a particular book about a cookie and a mouse.


Move to slide 5 and introduce the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." You may use a copy of the book if you have one available, or play the video version found on slide five (the full URL is also found in the Resources below). Before reading the book (or starting the video), ask students to keep in mind the questions included in the slide: What sentence structure does the author repeat? And how might a sentence in the conditional mood be structured? Once ready to begin, read to the class "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." If you do not have a physical copy of the book, you may also use a read-along on YouTube such as the one embedded below (also linked here).

At the end of the story, return to the questions on slide five. Ask for volunteers to share their answers. Facilitate a brief class discussion on how the author of the story, Laura Joffe Numeroff, moved the story along using sentence structure. Introduce this "if/then" sentence structure as the conditional mood.

Move to slide 6. With the visuals on this slide, work with the class to explain that a conditional sentence must have a condition and a result that happens because of that condition. Pass out the prepared Conditional Sentence Card Pairs, one card per student. Tell students that each card is half of a complete conditional mood sentence. Each card is either the condition or the result of the condition. Ask students to stand and walk around the room to find their match to make a complete conditional sentence (this is a variation of the Card Sort strategy). These two paired phrases should make sense. Once all students have found their match, have each pair read their complete sentence aloud. Then, ask students to return to their seats.


Review the rules for the conditional mood on slide 7. Draw specific attention to the word clues as indicators to conditional sentences (if, may/might, can/could, and will/would). Students may be able to think of example sentences incorporating these words, similar to the example on the slide. Move to slide 8. Work through each example sentence slowly. For each sentence, ask students which phrase is the condition and which is the result that happened because of the conditional phrase.

Sort the class into pairs, and hand a copy of the attached Conditional Mood Practice handout to each student. Move to slide 9. Ask students to, with their partner, complete the first and second sections of the handout together. This includes creating a personal definition for the conditional mood and creating three new sentences in the conditional mood. Allow 15–20 minutes for partner work. Then, once the class has finished, ask for several volunteers to share their personal definitions with the class. Then, ask for volunteers to share example sentences they created together.

Move to slide 10. Ask students to complete the third section of the handout. Have students spend some time writing another five conditional mood sentence examples on their own. Once they have finished, you may choose to ask for volunteers to share their ideas with the class.


Place students into groups of four or five. Remind students of the book that was read earlier in the lesson, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." Display slide 11. Using the Collective Brain Dump strategy, ask each group to brainstorm two story ideas for a children's book that uses the conditional mood in a similar way. Then, ask each group to share their story ideas. Collect all student ideas on a whiteboard space, Google Doc, slide, or similar. Once all ideas are recorded, invite each group to choose from this list of ideas to create their own Chain Story (a modification of the Chain Notes instructional strategy). Discuss the group expectations for this activity on slide 12. Then, have each group use a sheet of blank notebook paper, or the attached Chain Story Handout, to record their story.

Students can either pass the paper around among group members to record sentences, or they can designate a specific group member as a scribe. Each group member is to contribute at least two sentences each, and end with at least ten sentences.


Once groups have completed their Chain Stories, you may choose to have each story read aloud or projected onto a whiteboard area with a document camera. This allows students to share their work with the class and, if you choose, allows classmates to respond with positive feedback.

The Chain Stories serve as assessments for this lesson. The Conditional Mood Practice handouts may also be included as assessments.