Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Meanies

Do you know the books by Joy Cowley? They are part of the Story box series published by Houghton Mifflin. I used these books my first 2 years teaching Kindergarten and didn't realize what a treasure they were until years later. Joy Cowley is an author from New Zealand who has written wonderful repetitive text books that are appealing to boys and girls. Her stories also lend well to comprehension activities. My favorites are Mrs. Wishy Washy and The Meanies. Both also have several books that have the same characters creating a series with these characters.

I was recently able to order both series with textbook money.

The first one we read was The Meanies. I was able to help my students navigate reading the pictures and retelling the story beautifully with the repetitive text and vibrant illustrations. We also incorporated some social studies by making a list of the types of things "meanies" do. Finally we created our own "meanies" with construction paper. This was a great scissor activity because the student we instructed to create crazy meanie hair by cutting around their construction paper. No lines to follow or specific forms to make so even those with limited scissor skills were able to feel successful. I posted these on my bulletin board with the lists of the things "meanies" do. We will practice the strategy of predicting with the next few books in the series.