Teaching with “Are You My Mother?” by Philip D. Eastman


Before reading the book ask students questions that will relate to the story they will read. Ask if they have read a story about a lost character. Ask if they have watched any television shows or movies about people who didn’t know where they were. Discuss how the characters were able to find their way home.

While reading the story stop to ask the students questions. Have the children make predictions about what will happen next. Discuss any challenging words and use context to help the students figure out its meaning.

After the story ask follow up questions to determine if the student understood the story. Ask students to draw a picture and write two to three sentences on the board that explain what the book is about. Have students copy the sentences underneath their pictures.


Practice identifying animals to reinforce the theme from the book. Hand out worksheets of baby and adult animals. Tell students that they have to match the correct animal babies with their mothers. Help students as needed. After students have correctly matched their young and fully grown animals share information with them about the animals.

Tell students that animals have their own language. Show them different types of felt animals and ask them what sounds each of them make. You can also make it more challenging for them by letting them hear a recording of animal sounds and having them identify which animal makes each sound.

Collect bird feathers for the class. Show the students how the feathers repel water. Have them try squirting water onto the feathers. Ask them what they observe. Discuss why this would be advantageous for birds.


Students can re-enact the book “Are You My Mother?” by Philip D. Eastman. Have them draw and cut out the animals and inanimate objects from the story. The children can glue their cut-out pictures onto popsicle sticks and use them to retell the story.

Pass out paper, feathers, water and paint. Have students paint using bird feathers. Reinforce colors as the students paint pictures.

Create bird nests using sticks, grass, glue, leaves, twigs, and pebbles. Pass the materials out to each student and tell students to use the glue to stick them together to form a bird nest. Discuss how nests keep birds from getting cold.

Concluding Thoughts

This Philip D. Eastman book is a delightful story that can be used in many ways. The story can be used to reinforce beginning reading and language arts skills. It can also be used as reading material for a unit on animals. In addition, the story can be used for a Mother’s Day lesson.