Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Marty McGuire Digs Worms!

This review is in honor of Earth Day which is on Sunday.  Use this time to talk to your students, friends and family about what we can do to help our Earth and environment. 
Marty McGuire Digs Worms!
Title: Marty McGuire Digs Worms! (Marty McGuire #2)
Author: Kate Messner
Illustrator: Brian Floca
Publisher: Scholastic Inc. 
Publication Date: April, 2012
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Early Chapter Book
Goodreads Summary: A funny, accessible chapter-book series about an irrepressible third grader. Marty McGuire's third-grade class has a special assignment: Save the Earth! Even more exciting, the best project wins a special award. Marty's pretty sure her classmates' ideas won't stand a chance against her plan to turn the garbage from the school cafeteria into fertilizer. All she needs is a little help from her teammate and best friend, Annie--and the worms in her grandma's garden.But it turns out that worms are awfully SLOW eaters. And when the critters escape, the whole class starts grumbling. Can Marty save the Earth without losing her friends?

What I Think: Marty McGuire is one of my favorite protagonists ever. I don't know if it is because she reminds me a bit of myself or because I wish I knew her, but either way, she is wonderful. Kate captures a 3rd graders voice with such brilliance- making her authentic and likeable. 

On top of the amazing character and story, Marty McGuire is a great resource for the classroom. First, the whole story in this 2nd installment fits perfectly with any Earth Day activity or unit that a teacher is planning. Second, the vocabulary throughout the book is never dumbed down and will definitely enriched a reader's vocabulary. Third, the whole book is about science experiments, inquiry, observing, and journaling!! 

Another great Marty read and I cannot wait for a 3rd! 

Read Together: Grades 1 to 4
Read Alone: Grades 2 to 5
Read With: Marty McGuire by Kate Messner, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, Nancy Drew & The Clue Crew: Earth Day Escapade by Carolyn Keene (& Macky Pamintuan), The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, Fancy Nancy: Every Day is Earth Day by Jane O'Connor, Nonfiction books about Earth Day and saving the environment
Snatch of Text: 
"Mondays are the best because we have library, and if you tell Ms. Stephanie about the last book you read, she gives you a Starburst from her secret stash under the librarian desk." (p. 1) 

"I love being classroom helper because you don't have to sit still so much." (p. 2) 

"Annie and I know all about chimpanzees and mountain gorillas because of Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, these awesome scientists who went to Africa to try to save them.  Sometimes, we pretend to be Jane and Dian in the woods behind Annie's house.  We pretend the crayfish are chimpanzees and mountain gorillas, even though they're not as cute." (p. 12) 
Mentor Text for: Characterization, Author's Purpose, Vocabulary Development (Some Vocabulary: 
Indigenous, Habitat, Threatened, Recycle, Environment, Patrolling, Compost, Fertilizer, Worm Casting, Observations, Patience, Inhospitable)
Writing Prompts: Marty and her friends come up with ways to help the planet, what are some ways that you could help 
Topics Covered: Science Integration, Earth Day, Environment, Friendship, School, Patience, Imagination

I *heart* it

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