Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Author Study - Mo Willems

       Last fall, I was in a second grade classroom, and we did a short author study on Mo Willems. The students already knew many of his books, especially the Pigeon books. I introduced them to some they did not know as well like Leonardo the Terrible Monster. We discussed how Mo Willems is also an illustrator but has not illustrated all of his books such as City Dog, Country Frog. If you have never visited Mo Willem's website (http://www.mowillems.com/), you need to. One of my friends and I also made a bulletin board to go along with this author study.

     The second graders were working on subjects, predicates, and punctuation, so we decided to make the bulletin board interactive (even though it was in the hallway) and give each of the characters have a speech bubbles, where the students could stick different subjects, predicates, and the punctuation on to make sentences. The really enjoyed this, especially since we had some very funny predicates.

     My favorite Mo Willem's books are his Elephant and Piggie books. I have been reading one of these with my 6-year-old cousin each time I see her, and we love them. They are hysterical! My favorite is We Are in a Book!, where Piggie explains to Gerald how they are in a book and can make the readers say things. At the end, they ask the reader to read it again, and my cousin always wants to in order to make them happy. As a beginning reader, my cousin often has a hard time focusing on reading, even though she loves reading, when there are too many words or when she is overwhelmed at the length of the book. I found that these books were perfect for her. There are few words per page, and it repeats the same words throughout the book. It is also nice that there are usually two parts, so she can decide which character she wants to read for, and I can read the other. The text is so engaging we want to read them over and over again. Mo Willems is an author that children definitely love.


  1. Hi there, cute ideas. Very cute blog too. I just found you and am your newest follower. I teach first grade in CA.
    Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

  2. Oh how I LOVE Elephant and Piggie books! I still use them with my second graders to simplify difficult social situations. My kids think that they are hilarious and have delighted in sharing them with our Kindergarten book buddies.


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