Lola Gets a Cat, by Anna McQuinn

Lola wants a cat but she must prove to her Mother that she will learn what she needs to do to care for it.


  • Stuffed cat/s
  • Directions on how to draw a cat
  • Smelling Baggies.  Scent a cotton ball and put it into a baggie.  Make 5-10 using scents such as perfume, vinegar, onion, ketchup, lemon, peppermint, vanilla, dried herbs and spices.  Make two of each.
  • Cat shapes.  For younger children cut out many colored shapes.  For older children cut out the shapes on manila folders for the children to trace and cut themselves.
  • A cookbook with many pictures


  • Cat Shelter (where one goes to adopt a cat)
  • Settle in (to get comfortable in a new home)

Before reading the Story

Show the children the cover of the book.  Ask if they can guess what the story is about today.  Take a count of who has a cat at home. Read the title of the book. Explain that Lola needs to learn how to care for a cat.  Allow the children to discuss their cat/s and any other pet they may have how they help care for them at home.

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

Reading the Story

On the page where “Lola decides to find out more”, ask the children if they can tell where Lola is (the library).  Explain that the library has books that tell people how to do things and books that tell stories. On the page where Jeremy is showing Lola three perfect cats, ask the children to guess which one Lola might pick, why? 

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

After Reading the Story

Ask the children if they can remember which of the five senses that cats are good at (smelling and hearing).  If the children cannot recall, point to your nose and ears and ask the children what they are used for.  Remind the children that it took time for Makeda Cat to feel safe and comfortable in her new home.  Ask the children what Lola did to make her cat feel safe and loved?  (She read to her.  She played with the cat.  He didn’t scare it.  She feeded it). 

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

Explain to the children that cats make different sounds to tell us how they are feeling. Imitate various cat sounds and ask the children if they can guess what a cat is feeling. Meow, meow, meow (pay attention to me), Purr (happy), Faint cry or chirp (excited), Hiss (Angry, ready to fight), Yowl (Stay away or I am sick), Snarl or Growl (afraid or angry).

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


Remind the children that cats are very good at smelling.  Put out the plastic baggies with cotton balls and see if the children can guess what they small like.  Make sets, can they find the two that smell alike?

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Music and Movement

Sing Naughty Pussy Cat.

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.

Sing I know a Little Pussy. Have the children start in a squat position and as you sing begin to slowly raise up taller and taller. When you get to the meow part have them move back down into a squat and then jump up on scat!

Creative Arts/Movement; shows growth in moving to different patterns of beat and rhythm in music.

Play Copy-cats.  Clap out a pattern. The children copycat the pattern by clapping it back. Let the children take turns leading the pattern.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances abilities to recognize, duplicate, and extend simple patterns using a variety of materials.


Can the children use the blocks today to write cat.  What other letters can they make using the blocks?

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating the names of letters with their shapes and sounds. Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Curiosity; approaches tasks and activities with increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness.


Depending upon your children’s cutting abilities, the teacher can cut out many of the cat shapes onto colored paper for the children to assemble into a cat shape.  For children who are proficient at cutting, make several sets of the shapes and cut out of a manila folder or thin cardboard.  The children can trace around the shapes onto pieces of colored paper and cut them out themselves to assemble their cat.  Put out markers so the children can embellish their cat and add a face.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; progresses in ability to put together and take apart shapes. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Sand and Water

Library and Writing

Put out the step by step directions on How to Draw a Cat along with paper and drawing utensils. Show the children how to follow the directions for Drawing a Cat. After they have drawn their cat, encourage them to write ‘cat’ on their paper.

Literacy/Early Writing; experiments with a growing variety of writing tools and materials, such as pencils, crayons, and computers. AND Social & Emotional Development/Self Concept; demonstrates growing confidence in a range of abilities and expresses pride in accomplishments.

Dramatic Play

Add stuffed cats to the center along with a shoe box with a blanket stuffed inside (for a bed), a couple of puff balls (for toys), a can of unopened tuna (for food) and any other cat paraphernalia you might have.

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

Remind the children that the library has many books that tell people how to do things. Show the children a cookbook that has many pictures of the foods that are made in it. Let the children pretend to follow the recipes using the book for guidance.

Literacy/Print Awareness & Concepts; develops growing understanding of the different functions of forms of print such as signs, letters, newspapers, lists, messages, and menus.

Math and Manipulatives

Make 6 copies of 5 different cats and use these to make patterns with the children.  Can the children follow your ABAB pattern?  ABCABC?  Can they make their own pattern for you to follow?

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances abilities to recognize, duplicate, and extend simple patterns using a variety of materials.

Outdoor Play

Play Cat and Mice.  This game is similar to catch. The teacher is the cat,  The children are the mice.  Set up a safe place/mouse house where the children can run to to be safe from the cat.  The cat chases the children.  If the cat catches a mouse, the mouse must sit down and count to 10 before they can get up and be a mouse again.  Let the children take turns being the cat.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions. AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increasing ability to count in sequence to 10 and beyond.


Ask the children to think of a word, real or made-up, that rhymes with cat.

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; progresses in recognizing matching sounds and rhymes in familiar words, games, songs, stories, and poems.


Shapes for art