Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Novel Idea

I want the children in my class to be exposed to as much children's literature as possible in the course of a school year. And this is because I want them to not only be good readers and writers, but to also enjoy reading and writing.

So, I read novels to them. First graders begin to read chapter books. It's a big deal for them to be able to read a chapter book. So, when I talk to them about a novel, they think that's an even bigger deal!

This is what we do when it's time for me to read the novel. It's usually at the end of the day. The children find a comfortable place on our carpet. They can lay down if they wish. (I've actually had a few fall asleep.)

And then, they just enjoy.

I begin the year by reading Ramona the Brave  by Beverly Cleary. It's a great one to start with, because Ramona is telling about her experience as she enters first grade.

We just finished My Father's Dragon  by Ruth Stiles Gannett.

My Father's Dragon

It's a wonderful story of a boy telling about his father's adventures (when he was a boy) as the father tries to save a flying dragon from an island filled with dangerous wild animals.

I just love the cover of the book. It was perfect for making predictions. Don't you just love the lion's braids and bows?

So, I decided to make a set of worksheets to go with the book.



You can download the worksheets here.

We're just starting to read The Mouse on the Motorcycle  by Beverly Cleary. The kids can't stop laughing when the mouse starts riding the toy motorcycle.

I'm always looking for new read aloud book ideas. I would love to hear about some of your favorites.

15 comments:

  1. Hi Mona:-) I'm going to grab your button for my blog:-) I'd love for you to stop by mine too. I don't have the book "My Father's Dragon" but I'll be looking in our library tomorrow!
    firstgradechatter.blogspot.com

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    1. That's great! I hope your students enjoy the book as much as mine did. I'm already a follower of your blog. I love the pictures of the flowers. Your blog is on my Blog List.
      Mona

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  2. 2 very cute beginner novels : "Henrietta and the Golden Eggs" by Hanna Johansen, and "Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride" by Kate DiCamillo. You can read both of these books in one sitting.
    Jane

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    1. Thank you so much! I haven't read either of these.
      Mona

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  3. Hi Mona!

    I am a new follower of your blog! :)

    Thanks so much for the freebies to go along with "My Father's Dragon". I couldn't find the book at our library but I was able to get it in ebook form. So, I plan to read it while projecting it on my Promethean board for my kiddos to see.

    Laurie
    MorningSunFirstGrade

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  4. I am your newest follower! I read this book every year to my class. They love it so much that they usually beg me to read the next two books in the series. It's such a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing the follow-up activities!
    Teacher Gone Digital

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  5. Mona,
    I am a new follower and I love this. I teach 4th graders that recent test results show that making predictions is a real weakness for them. I will use this read aloud to introduce, again, making predictions.

    I am currently finishing up a great book called Sees Behind Trees with them. I am using it as a read aloud and they are so engaged. I think a good read aloud contributes so much to learning, no matter the age!

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  6. Can't wait to find this book and try it with my class, I was looking for something new/ different. Thanks for the idea and sharing the freebies!

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  7. I've read this book to my class before, but haven't this year. Thanks for sharing your freebies and reminding me about an old favorite!
    Teachin' First

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  8. Mona, Thank you for reminding me of a great book that I have not read aloud for a long time! I, too, love the Mouse and the Motorcycle. Other favories include classics like The Trumpet of the Swan and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But a set that may be new to you is the Hector series by Elizabeth Shreeve. There is one book for each season. They are shorter and simper than the classics I have mentioned. One is Hector Springs Loose. You can read just one or more.
    Camille
    An Open Door

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    1. Camille,

      Oh, thank you so much for some more reading ideas. I'm always on the lookout for some new read alouds. I'm going to look for the Hector series book for winter.

      Mona

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  9. A first grade favourite for me is the Ready Freddy series by Abby Klein. It is hilarious! It addresses all of the things that might happen to a first grader in each book!

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