Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers?

What's your favorite read-aloud? Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie by Laura Rankin is one of my all-time faves to bring to life.  

Click image for Shawna's book review and ideas!

Start the discussion by looking at Ruthie on the front cover. What's she doing? And how is she feeling about it? Ask your students if sneaking or hiding things is ever a good idea. Find out if they know what little white lies are. Is there a difference between a little white lie and a real lie?  

In this clever tale, an adorable young fox named Ruthie, who LOVES teeny, tiny things, finds a cute camera on the playground and claims that it is hers. After all, finders keepers, losers weepers, right? When she's confronted by Martin, who says he got that camera for his birthday, Ruthie lies so that she can keep the little treasure. But when Ruthie's lie catches up with her, will she do the right thing and tell the truth? 

Ruthie imagines a lot of different consequences for her actions. Ask students if they think the teacher should have punished Ruthie for taking the camera? How about for lying about it?  Find out from students why the bus ride home was SO long in the middle of the book but not that long in the end. Ruthie didn't move, so what made the difference?

After a riveting discussion about the roles of Ruthie and Martin, the teacher and Ruthie's parents, reinforce the lesson by having your students recite this little poem: If you mess up, you gotta fess up. To add some fun, try saying it in Ruthie's teeny tiny voice, and then in the voices of the other characters in the book. Then try a grandma or grandpa voice, a squeaky mouse voice, a dog or cat voice.

For some meaningful movement, play the theme song to the Pink Panther and have kids practice sleuthing around to teach them to be Truth Sleuths! To visually enhance the ripple effect that lies can have and enrich this read-aloud even further, get a bucket of water and some coins to try the Tom Jackson activity-adaptation Water You Covering Up? Want more follow-up fun? Make Character Cameras and send your little photographers out into your school to capture snapshots of students making good choices

Click image to go link up with Mrs. Nelson!

Now, go visit Mrs. Nelson and enter her fabulous giveaway, then s.c.a.m.p.e.r. over to The Teachers' Lounge to check out my guest post called Questioning Creativity.  
Happy Tuesday.


  1. Thanks for linking up. I just found that book this year somewhere on the internet. It was great because the day before a little girl had found a toy on the playground. She thought she could just give it to another student. This book saved me! Off to visit you at The Teacher's Lounge.

  2. I love to hear about new books! This one looks great! Thanks for sharing. :)
    Conversations in Literacy

  3. This is a great book. I am finding that the internet blogging community is feeling smaller and smaller with the more linky parties I join. Thanks for introducing me to your "blogging family" Barbara!

    1. My pleasure, Maria. It's so rewarding to unite for Kids With Character . . . what a 'value-able' cause!

  4. Barbara,

    You have the coolest ideas!!! We have 1 counselor at our K-12 school (we only have 420 students), but here time gets taken up with high school students so she has only come into the elementary classrooms this year twice. Sigh. I would pass to her all of your grand things, but she wouldn't be able to do them.

    You are awesome!!!


    1. Thanks, Shannon - hopefully teachers in your situation can do some of what a counselor with the luxury of time can do in mine! I appreciate your kind words.


  5. This is such a great story. Thanks for the camera idea!
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers


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