You guys and gals all know that literacy is my total jam. One of my favorite things about teaching little learners is how excited and energized they get when they really begin to read and are handed their very first chapter books.
A first grade favorite (by springtime) is always Henry and Mudge.
The series is one of my favorites because the chapters are short enough to manage during a single reading session, the characters are great for beginning character studies, and there is such a huge series that once kids are hooked you can’t get them to stop reading!
I was always a huge fan of putting together meaningful classroom resources in a packet at the beginning of the book study. I really find that front loading the process of choosing those comprehension resources and getting them all copied at once makes my planning process much easier and it also helps to capture the “story” of their work without a bunch of loose papers flying around everywhere.
I’ve created comprehension resources for some of the most popular books in the series and I’ve included many different components so teachers who choose to use the resource can choose the activities that make the best sense for each child or group.
Here are some of the major components that are included:
Asking students to share about characters is a great way to both practice getting information and evidence from the text, as well as to discover the evidence behind the inferences they’ve naturally made as readers.
Comparing characters is a great second step to character analysis. Not only are students looking for evidence about characters but they are now comparing characters within the story.
Sometimes you don’t want to throw chapter questions at your students. Sometimes you’re looking for a different way to measure comprehension or practice a different skill. Summary prompts as well as chapter maps are great ways to vary the activities students are completing.
I have always found that the writing students do is best when they have a great context for developing their opinions and ideas. Having students write on an opinion related to a text really helps them to think critically about the text, use evidence from the text, and support their own opinion… and of course, there’s no wrong answer!
Do your students sometimes stare at their paper (or you) as they brainstorm for narrative writing? It is so much easier for them to generate ideas once they’ve recently read on the same topic! It’s a great way to bring the context of the book into their own writing time.
Some of the stories lend themselves to some other activities, from cracking a code to sequencing. From making a list to a get well card- anytime I had a fun idea for an extension I also included that in the resource.
So it’s true… during 2020 and 2021 many of us are going digital… like it or not! I have taken the chapter comprehension materials and adapted them the best I could for Google Slides so your students can access these materials no matter where they are!
I hope you’ve gotten some ideas about how to build comprehension and guide discussion as your students read any early reader, with Henry and Mudge being one of my faves. If you’re looking for ready to go resources, Check it out here!