Series buddies for first grade

For the past few weeks in my first grade classes I’ve been introducing some fun “buddies in books.”  My objective was two-fold:

1. Get them acquainted with some transitional fiction series that they can continue to explore for a while.

2. Reinforce a lot of what they’ve discussed in their classrooms around friendship and what it means to be a friend.

I began with James Marshall’s George and Martha.  Was there ever a more perfect couple?  These two hippos, each with their unique foibles, hilariously demonstrate how friends enrich our lives.  The short stories go straight to the point, and students are amazed that we can read five in one sitting!  I only read the first book, but made sure the sequels were prominently displayed for the next few weeks.

Mr. Putter and Tabby  is another series I think they simply must know about.  (If I could have dinner with one author, I think I would pick Cynthia Rylant.  But that’s a post for another time…) In Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea we are introduced to the characters for the first time and learn about how they came to be friends.  At a time when Mr. Putter is tired of being alone, he is delighted to find Tabby at a local animal shelter.  Like her new caretaker, Tabby’s hair is thinning, she’s a bit hard of hearing, and her bones creak.  They are perfect companions!

Closer to Halloween, I shared Minnie and Moo and the Haunted Sweater to showcase these funny bovines, and Halloween with Morris and Boris.  The humor in these two series is spot on!  Students giggle the whole way through.

Coming up soon I intend to share James Howe’s Houndsley and Catina series and Henry and Mudge, though the list could go on and on.  I’m happy this year to add Benny and Penny to our repertoire, and do some teaching about simple graphic novels. By then my students should be ready to use the netbooks to create a simple cartoon panel of their own.  Love those Toon Books!

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