Saturday, June 28, 2008

Books for First Graders: The Owly Series by Andy Runton

The Owly Series is absolutely great for teaching reading, and there's not a word to be found in the books.

What?

In Owly comic pro Andy Runton has created a character that first graders instantly identify with. Along with his friend and sidekick Wormy, Owly has a series of adventures in the woods he calls home. If I had to pick one word to describe the books, I'd say sweet--these are nice, caring stories about friendship and perseverence, and the lessons really lend themselves well to the classroom.

In my room I have a projector/document camera setup, and the kids absolutely love it when I put the books up on the screen for all to see. This might sound like a simple read-aloud, but through his use of pictographs Runton has given us teachers a perfect tool to reinforce the idea of using pictures to make predictions and picking details out of the text. I find that a lot of the comprehension and cause/effect activities in our reading program are rather artificial; Owly is authentic, and that's what helps the kids connect.

You can purchase the Owly books through their publisher, Top Shelf Comix, or from Amazon.com.

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