I LOVE Magic Tree House books. I have read these books every year to my kindergartners. They love them! It’s all about preparation and explanation, but they love them. As you know, I have taught full day and half-day kindergarten. Regardless, there is ALWAYS time for the Magic Tree House.
VA is for Teacher Bloggers is hosting a blog hop all about our favorite books. It has to be the Magic Tree House Series.
The RulesI have a few rules to sharing Magic Tree House books.
- Always start from the beginning. Go in order for the first 4 books in the series before you stray from the order. Students get a good grasp on the characters and some details about the tree house. After the first 4 you can skip around if you want, but I try not to skip so much.
- Preview the book and introduce vocabulary. Don’t let vocabulary ruin the flow of the story. There’s nothing worse than having to stop the excitement to explain a word…it’s a buzz kill.
- Before you start the new chapter…do a quick review. Honestly, I scan the pictures from the chapters and put it in a smart board application. Then, everyone can see the picture and they concentrate on the words, not trying to see the one picture for each chapter. This also makes for a quick review.
- Before you leave the chapter…you need a prediction. At the end of each chapter, I read the title of the next chapter and need a prediction about what will happen in the next chapter the next day. Students must use the sentence starter “I predict” and MUST include a reason for their prediction. I predict…because…”
The PlanIt takes about 12 days to read a Magic Tree House book. Day 1 is an vocabulary introduction day. I allow students to tell me what they know about the main topic of the book. Some students will already know about a mummy, but they may not know about a sarcophagus. By the way, we talk about the “ph” in sarcophagus sounding like an “f” and we cough when we say it. The next 10 days are 1 chapter a day. I’ve found this schedule is doable, no matter your day includes. The twelfth day is a celebration day. Here are 2 methods for incorporating Magic Tree House into your day.
Half-Day OptionLet’s talk half-day. My school system has ½ day kindergarten for non-Title 1 students. Half-day in my system is 3 hours. 8-11 and 11-2ish. That includes a full curriculum of reading, math, science, and social studies. It also includes library once a week, computer once a week, and guidance every other week. So time is limited to say the least. BUT, there’s always room for Magic Tree House. The last 10 minutes of the day is always “Chapter Time.” (Here’s a secret, if you’ve ever had students who took FOR-EV-ER to pack up tell them the Chapter Time starts when everyone is packed and ready to go. Problem solved.) Regardless, Chapter Time starts with a review of the vocabulary and the story so far. Using those pictures on the smart board makes this very quick. I reread the chapter title and ask someone to tell me a prediction from the day before, then we begin. At the end of the chapter, sadly we don’t have time to write about it. We still do a prediction, but I add a “Somebody Wanted But So And” Summary. Students are shown a poster with the key words “Somebody Wanted But So And.” After our chapter I ask a few students to tell me a summary of the chapter. I’m always surprised at the summaries they can come up with for the exact same chapter. Here are some examples.
On and On and OnI LOVE Magic Tree House books and I could go on and on and on about how to use these in your class and how to connect their learning to the chapter books. Oh, and did I tell you they get a special sticker if they use one of the Magic Tree House vocabulary words in their writing?
If you’d like a FREEBIE sample pack of the Mummies in the Morning pack, CLICK HERE or click on the picture.
Thanks and ENJOY!
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