My Puppy is Born, by Joanna Cole

            This story shows the life of a brand new baby dachshund from birth until it is ready to be adopted.  The photographs are in black and white and show great detail to what a puppy really looks like.


  • Balance scale
  • Several small dog bones


  • Nurse (to drink mother’s milk from her breast or nipple)
  • Weak (muscles are not strong enough)
  • Howling (making loud noises)
  • Solid food (food you have to chew)
  • Adopted (to make a new home for a pet or child).

Before Reading the Story

            Ask the children how many of them have a dog at home?  What is a baby dog called?  Did anyone ever have a puppy at home?  What other kinds of pets do the children have?  Ask them about how they must care for their pets, their pet’s names,  and any special things that their pet does.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Reading the Story

            Show the children the cover of the book and explain that baby animals must spend time with their mother’s before they can be adopted to a new home. Let’s find out about puppies.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

After Reading the Story

            Ask the children to help you list some things that you know/learned about puppies.  (They are tiny, they get their milk from their Mom, He has cute ears).

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes.


 Bring in a balance scale. Fill a sock with sand to weigh 3 ounces.  Give the children manipulatives (cubes, bears, etc) to balance the scale.  How many cubes equal the weight of the baby puppy?

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows progress in using standard and non-standard measures for length and area of objects. AND Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; to make comparisons between several objects based on a single attribute.

Music and Movement

            Sing How Much is That Doggie in the Window , First verse only

How much is that doggie in the window? 

The one with the waggly tail

How much is that doggie in the window?

I do hope that doggies for sale, ruff ruff.

Creative Arts/Music; participates with growing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

Sing I’ve Got a Dog His is Rags Have the children do the actions.

I have a dog, his name is Rags

He eats so much that his tummy sags.

His ears flip-flop and his tail wig-wags

And when he walks he goes zig-zag.

He goes flip-flop, wig-wag, zig-zag

He goes flip-flop, wig-wag. Zig-zag

He goes flip-flop. wig-wag, zig-zag

I love Rags and he loves me.

I love Rags and he loves me!

(Make motions to go flip-flop, wig-wag, and zig-zag)

Creative Arts/Music; participates with growing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

            Have the children try to sing Ruff Ruff to a tune that they know well, for example ABC or Jingle Bells.

Creative Arts/Music; participates with growing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.


            Bring in any small dog toys you may have and encourage the children to build a dog house with a fence around it.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; increases abilities to sustain interactions with peers by helping, sharing, and discussion.


Give each child a copy of the ‘dog’ page.  Ask them to cut around each dog and then glue them to a sentence strip in a line.  They can decorate the dogs if they choose. If you staple the sentence strip these can be worn as dog crowns.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Library and Writing

            Ask the children to draw a picture of a pet that they have or a pet that they would like to have.  Have them describe their pet and write their dictation down under their illustration.

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play.

Sand and Water

Put dirt or sand into the table today along with several small dog bones. Explain to the children that dogs like to bury bones and then undig them later. Encourage one child to hide/bury the bones in the dirt and the next child to dig up the bones.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games or using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

 Dramatic Play

            Pet Store Play. Bring in stuffed animals of pets.  Add several boxes or milk crates to be the cages.  The children can either bring pet food containers to school or you could have them make them out of play dough and let them dry.  Don’t forget to use the cash register and money to purchase pet or pet supplies.

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

Math and Manipulatives

            Copy and cut out the pictures of the animals. Show one at a time to the child and ask them where is the animal? Or ask, what animal is under the hat? Encourage the children to name the animal and a word that rhymes with it.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; builds an increasing understanding of directionality, order, and positions of objects, and words such as up, down, over, under, bottom, inside, outside, in front, and behind. AND Literacy/Phonological Awareness; progresses in recognizing matching sounds and rhymes in familiar words, games, songs, stories, and poems.

Outdoor Play

            On the playground the children can pretend to be dogs.  The teacher can call out dog commands such as roll over, fetch (throw a ball), lie down, bark, and sit.  The children can follow the directions.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions.


            Ask the children to think of a good dog name for themselves.  Challenge older children to think of a name that starts with the same letter sound or has the same amount of syllables as their name.

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing awareness of beginning and ending sounds of words.


About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.