As a follow-up activity to a lesson on Benny and Penny, first and second graders were asked to create a comic strip using the text features they had learned (speech balloons, thought balloons, and captions).

Submitted by Patricia Phillips
Reading Specialist
Phelps Luck Elementary School
Columbia, MD

 
 

Thank you so much for giving me this wonderful opportunity to introduce these books to my classroom.

My students loved Benny and Penny in Just Pretend and being able to identify the text features of the comic. They enjoyed finding all the sound effects and saying them out loud. My ELL (English Language Learners) students wanted to read this story over and over again. Their conversations led to talking about their own experiences with their brothers and sisters. After reading this story they asked if they could take the book to their ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) class. The ESOL teacher stopped me in the hall later that day and said, “Where did you get those books? The kids were so excited about reading them to me and told me about speech balloons, and thought balloons, etc. What motivating books!”

I have to agree with her. I’ve been bringing these TOON Books to class daily. My ELL students run up to me and say, “Did you bring the comic books for us to read!?”

Since I am the Reading Specialist at my school I work with every grade level and with students who are below grade level. Using these books showed an increased improvement in their motivation to read and their knowledge of skills needed to be good readers. I would highly recommend these books for use in the classroom, especially with struggling readers and ESOL students.

Thank you!

Patricia Phillips
Reading Specialist
Phelps Luck Elementary School
Columbia, MD

 
 

We had a marvelous rainy afternoon in Madison Square Park for Kids Fest. After a dramatic reading of Benny and Penny, everybody pulled up a yoga mat and huddled under the tent for readings of Silly Lilly and the Four Seasons, Stinky, and an encore presentation of B&P.; Special thanks to Samantha Terry at Time Out New York Kids for inviting us to participate in this wonderful event!