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2008 Educator of the Year – Julie Granchelli

W.P. Towne Primary School in Medina, New York

A Tree-mendous Adventure

My second grade students have a TREE-mendous experience as they read Magic Tree House books and embark on literary adventures that will develop life-long literacy skills and a love of learning.

There are TREE-mendous opportunities to integrate the skills of literacy with motivating books that also introduce history, economics, social studies and science. NYS English Language Arts Standard I states that students will listen, speak, read, and write for information and understanding as they collect data, facts, and ideas. To accomplish this goal, I provide Guided Reading instruction with multiple copies of Magic Tree House books. These books allow students to step into a world of adventure—go back in time or to distant lands—with Jack and Annie! From France in the Middle Ages, to the prairies of America, and to the moon, Jack and Annie make history fun by taking you right there!

For even more fun facts behind the fiction, the students read Magic Tree House Research Guides filled with information about the times, places, and cultures. These books allow my students to become fluent readers who can problem solve and choose to read independently. It is a pleasure to use these enchanting books with magical results! My students love the adventures in the Magic Tree House Books. My students eagerly embrace each title from this series to continue their magical journey as life-long readers! After reading, the students produce book reports, book covers, book reviews, posters, shoebox dioramas, and travel logs for all to see and enjoy! My students also have begun a class scrapbook for Jack and Annie. As the students read the adventures, they create beautiful scrapbook pages featuring the destinations and discoveries of Jack and Annie. The Magic Tree House series allows me to incorporate science and social studies activities easily. It is a wonderful springboard from which we do hands-on lessons as we study dinosaurs, fossils, geography, history, and so much more. We organize our learning and use tools like maps, timelines, and webs.

At the end of the year, my students are challenged to write a “Magic Classroom” adventure of their own. From September until June, The Magic Tree House series allows me to involve my students in a TREE-mendous Learning Journey. My students learn to read, read to learn, and more importantly, learn to love reading! In order to purchase multiple copies of the Magic Tree House books for our eight second grade classrooms to share, I wrote a grant.

Throughout the year, my students participate in online research—web quests and exploration on topics related to each of the books. My website allows students to read books—to find related materials and links, and to continue their magical adventures at home and at school.

Please visit my extensive Magic Tree House site with photos of classroom projects and information: http://www.medinacsd.org/schools.cfm?subpage=67092