Magic Tree House Series

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TulipsGirl, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Feb 4, 2009

    This is the first time that I'm using the Magic Tree House series in my reading groups and they are so excited about the idea!
    I'm running into a mental block for creative lessons for it, though, and I was wondering if anybody would has lessons or activities that you wouldn't mind sharing.
    We're starting with Dolphins at Daybreak - none of them have read this one yet.
    Also, (I know this might be apalling to some of you!), but its the first time I'm stepping away from the basal reader in reading groups and this group is an advanced group. When using a chapter book in your group, how much do you focus on vocab? how much do you focus on comprehension? related projects? development of characters, setting, and plot? And how much do you just let them read and enjoy?
    I'd appreciate any guidance that you have :)
     
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  3. Daisha

    Daisha Companion

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    Feb 7, 2009

    I plan to do this exact same thing, with my high group, using this series and magic school bus books. I also teach first and have never strayed from the basal until now. I would love some advice as well if anyone has any.

    I was just going to start slow for the first week, having them do such activities as, identifying character, setting, and maybe some vocab activities.
     
  4. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Feb 7, 2009

    Thanks for replying Daisha!

    So, any advice out there for 2 first grade teachers using the Magic Tree House Series?? :help:
     
  5. glitterfish

    glitterfish Comrade

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    Feb 8, 2009

    Sounds like a great idea! When you mentioned The Magic Treehouse series, the first thing that popped into my mind was building some background/prior knowledge. So, for example, many of the books of this series take place during a certain time period or specific geographical region. You could do a KWL chart--what do students know about dolphins, what do they want to find out, and (after reading) what have they learned. When you generate questions together, make sure you display these qu's on a chart. Then, as students read, you could have them flag/post-it pages that answer their questions. This way, they monitor their reading and read actively to find information. You could also bring in several pictures of dolphins (or whatever the focus of the book) and non-fiction resources such as articles & books to frontload them with information before they begin reading. Alternately, they could do some very guided mini-research with you to find out more about the books' topic focus.

    As for your actual lessons, each time you meet, keep a comprehension strategy focus in mind. For example, in fourth grade, I have 3 guided reading groups. This week, our basal had us focus on making predictions. I used the leveled readers with my 3 guided reading groups and we completed graphic organizers to help us make text-based predictions. My talented and gifted kids have their own independent book club in which they are reading a novel. I gave them a worksheet to make predictions about their novel. It is important that you still teach the same comprehension skills to your high readers. So, my suggestion would be to take whatever skill you have in your basal with your other kids and try to weave it into your Magic Treehouse lessons. Besides that, asking qu's and working on vocab, I'd say you have plenty to do!
     
  6. glitterfish

    glitterfish Comrade

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    Feb 8, 2009

    Oops, in re-reading your question, I'm not sure if I answered it at all! Hope this gives you a few ideas, though.
     
  7. Arky

    Arky Comrade

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    Feb 8, 2009

    First I am amazed that you teach first grade and they are reading those books. Good for them!!

    Have you thought of doing a small literature discussion group with your little ones. They form a circle on the floor or with their chairs and discuss each chapter as they all read it. It would be very cute to watch and very grown up for them. Also, do you have journals and can they write well? They could write to you about the setting, main characters, problems in the stories, did they solve the problem. These are all future benchmark test questions in third grade. They could write you their favorite part, a short summary.
     
  8. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Feb 8, 2009

    I want to do this too but I don't have enough copies. I have 4 kiddos at a level 44.


    I am starting to let my high group do what Arky says. They are so bright. I am thinking of making a giant graphic organizer on chart paper. Then I am going to laminate it and let them work together on filling it out. You could do something like this and have one for fiction and one for nonfiction. You could also make one that was a venn diagram comparing two books.
     
  9. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    Feb 8, 2009

    i agree, that is soem awesome first grade reading!!

    I would also get a map out for them to research the places that jack and annie to to as a SS tie in - cross over :)
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 8, 2009

    If you have the complete set of books, you should have the kids read them IN ORDER. It's fine in many series to 'jump around' but in MTH, there is an underlying mystery/mission that travels through several books in order and then there's another mystery/mission that travels through the next several...You can enjoy the books 'out of order' but the underlying second plot involving the missions adds another dimension to the reading.

    For ideas/actvities to use with MTH go to: http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/magictreehouse/books.html
     
  11. flteacher2

    flteacher2 Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2009

    Magic Treehouse

    One of our second grade teachers does Magic Treehouse with her reading groups. You can do a search for Magic Treehouse Lesson plans, and there are lesson plans galore.
     
  12. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Feb 8, 2009

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! This is exactly the sort of guidance I need!
    I really am very proud of my students. They are fantastic readers, though I can't take much credit for that - they came in that way from Kindergarten! I do want to focus on comprehension and these suggestions are perfect. Can't wait to get started :thumb::thanks:
     
  13. Jack and Annie

    Jack and Annie Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2009

  14. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Feb 9, 2009

    If you need multiple copies of a particular MTH, Scholastic has them in their "Series" section... You can get them with bonus points also!
     
  15. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Feb 10, 2009

    In addition to all the other suggestions, you can do plot comparisons or text-to-text connections. They're basically written in the same format.
     

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