Candlewick Press



 
Dear Teacher Friends,
 
Now that the school year is in full swing, the first-day jitters are over and your students’ individual personalities are beginning to shine. This is a great time to consider ways to make your classroom a friendly and bully-free space. When the Judy Moody and Friends books first came across my desk, I immediately thought that they would make wonderful teaching tools and help promote a caring, thoughtful, and friendly classroom.
 
In researching ideas for this newsletter, I came across a blog post that featured a particularly innovative teacher who found a unique way to pay attention to kids who may go unnoticed. I think you will enjoy it and you can find it here. It got me thinking about kids, friends, and your role as their teacher. Let’s be honest, not all of your students are going to be best friends. But as someone they look up to, you set the tone for how inclusive and friendly your class is.
 
I am sure you are aware of your different types of students and their personalities. Like the unique characters in the Judy Moody books, most of your kids will go through issues with friends at some point this year. The best thing you can do to help is to encourage everyone to be nice and learn as much as they can about one another.
 
So read on to find some FRIEND-ly classroom activities and inspiration to help make this school year the friendliest one yet!


Your Friend Always,

Anne Irza-Leggat
Educational Marketing Supervisor

 Behind the Scenes with Megan McDonald 
 
With two additions to the Judy Moody and Friends series, we asked Megan McDonald to fill us in on the background of the newest star characters, the inspiration behind them, and some of her own feelings on friendship.

Name: Amy Namey 
Age: 9
Favorite color:  Plaid
Favorite activity: Monster hunting; color-ology (she reads colors!)
Best known for: Being an ace reporter who is always on the lookout for a big not-ice-cream “scoop”
Motto: Where there’s a snoop, there’s a scoop!                
Personality: Upbeat, adventuresome, dependable (always on time due to wearing TWO watches)
Best quality: Curiosity
Most unique characteristic: Founding member with Judy Moody of the My-Name-is-a-Poem Club
Why Amy is a good friend for Judy: Judy and Amy are two peas in a pod. They share common interests and an appetite for adventure. Amy's investigative side complements girl detective Judy Moody
a mystery lurks around every corner!
Real-life inspiration for Amy: Anne Irza-Leggat inspired the name. She once told me that she had a friend with a rhyming name, Amy Naimi, and Amy Namey was born. Amy’s heroine, Around-the-World-Reporter Nelly Bly, was a source of inspiration for the character.

Name: Frank Pearl
Age: 8
Favorite color: Brown, which according to Amy means he's strong, he likes nature, and people can count on him
Favorite activity: Walking the Dog (with a yo-yo, that is) and entering contests
Best known for: Eating paste (on a dare)
Motto: The Flying Skunk rules!
Personality: True blue
Best quality: Loyal friend
Most unique characteristic: Once-broken finger, which Judy stepped on (by mistake) while trying to break a record for world’s longest Human Centipede
Why Frank is a good friend for Judy: He believes in Judy and always stands by her, no matter what. He is so NOT a fun sponge!
Real-life inspiration for Frank: Loyal friends I’ve known over the years
Favorite pet: Cookie the Parrot


Next, a few personal questions about Megan McDonald!

Q. Have your friends ever lifted you out of a bad mood? How?
A. Always! The best days are lunch-with-a-friend days. A true friend listens, understands what I'm going through, and makes me laugh. Friends inspire me to be a better person.
 
Q. When you were young, did you look forward to or dread the first day of school?
A. Both! I always hated for summer to end. I still do. But I also couldn’t wait to see all my friends again and meet my new teacher. The most dreaded part: homework.           

Q. What role do you play in your group of friends?
A. Confidante. Know any secrets? I’m a good secret-keeper.

Q. Do you have to be in a certain mood while writing your books?
A. I like to be in a good mood when I’m writing. It’s hard to be funny when I’m in a bad mood. But if I am in a bad mood, Judy Moody and Stink always lift me up!

Q. Name three things that put you in a good mood.
A. Walking on the beach, writing the first chapter of a new story, and reading a good book.

 
     
Read all about it! Amy Namey is chasing a news story. Frank Pearl is chasing a prize.

HC: 978-0-7636-5715-4      HC: 978-0-7636-5717-8
PB: 978-0-7636-7216-4    PB: 978-0-7636-7213-3
E-book: 978-0-7636-7215-7    E-book: 978-0-7636-7214-0
 
 
 Activities for Your Classroom   
Megan McDonald’s books always lend themselves to classroom use. Here are TOAD-ally awesome CCSS-aligned activities to go with her newest titles. Your students will thank you for (and learn from) it! 


Amy Namey in Ace Reporter
The Big Scoop
Have your students write their own jump-off-the-page, super-exciting news stories just like Amy Namey does. Ask them to look for a big scoop of their own, take notes on it, write a catchy headline and story, and then present their work to the class. Then vote on which scoop deserves the spot above the fold.
Common Core Connections:
Writing: Research to Build and Present Knowledge: Participate in shared research and writing projects.
Writing: Text Types and Purposes: Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration:  Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.


Sea-Monster Mania
Ask students to create their own freaky-deaky, creepy-crawly, swimmy-slimy sea monsters. Using local maps for reference, have them choose a body of water for the sea monsters to live in, and then name their sea creatures. Then, in their reporter’s notebooks, have them answer the 5 Ws about it (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) and draw its picture.
Common Core Connections:
Writing: Research to Build and Present Knowledge: Participate in shared research and writing projects.
Writing: Text Types and Purposes: Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

 
Cliffhangers
Have each student write a fictional news report about the sea monster he or she created. Instruct students to make sure that, like Amy Namey, their stories are exciting and end with a cliffhanger.
Common Core Connections:
Writing: Text Types and Purposes: Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

 
Frank Pearl in The Awful Waffle Kerfuffle
It's Tricky
Yo-yo trick names like Walk the Dog, Rock the Baby, Eiffel Tower, and Walk the Tightrope may seem silly, but the tricks actually look like their names. As a class, come up with names for some new yo-yo tricks. Then ask each student to choose his or her favorite and write out step-by-step instructions on how he or she would perform the trick. Finally, invite students to pick a yo-yo trick to try in front of the class using only the instructions their classmates provided. 
Common Core Connections:
Writing: Research to Build and Present Knowledge: Participate in shared research and writing projects.
Writing: Text Types and Purposes: Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration: Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

 
Calling All Pets . . .
The animals in the Pets Are Family contest at Fur & Fangs did tricks such as pretending to read, playing Scrabble, and taking out the trash. Invite your students to enter a pet in the Pets Are Family contest too. Ask them to choose their favorite animal as a pet and then imagine the most outrageous trick their pet can do. Have them write a paragraph about their “new” pet and its amazing ability. Then let students take turns presenting their pets to the class. After everyone is finished, hold a vote on which pet wins the Pets Are Family contest. 
Common Core Connections:
Writing: Text Types and Purposes: Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration: Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

 
Great Breakfast Bash and Waffle-Off
Be like Mr. Todd and hold your own Great Breakfast Bash and Waffle-Off. You can make real or virtual waffles (by having your students draw them). But whichever way you serve them, have students fully write out their waffle recipes with correct ingredient measurements and mixing and cooking directions. Make sure you award blue ribbons to the Best Overall, Biggest, Fanciest, and Most Unique waffles of the bunch!
Common Core Connections:
Writing: Research to Build and Present Knowledge: Participate in shared research and writing projects.

Writing: Text Types and Purposes: Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration: Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
 
  
HC: 978-0-7636-6698-9
E-book: 978-0-7636-7541-7
Also available in audio
 

Judy Moody, Mood Martian
Will the real Judy Moody please stand up? In honor of Backwards Day, Judy Moody decides to turn that frown upside down, make lemonade out of lemons, and be nice to stinky little brothers. Could this smiley Judy be an imposter? There are those who think so, and they are not happy about it!

Judy Moody is back to help put educators and students alike in a S-U-P-E-R G-R-E-A-T mood! In this Teachers’ Guide filled with book-specific activities aligned to the Common Core State Standards, you’ll find out-of-this-world fun and learning rolled into one. These Judy Moody, Mood Martian–based activities are sure to turn your classroom into a learning-palooza! Here is one example:

Yad Sdrawkcab
Inspired by Virginia Dare Elementary, hold a Backwards Day (either in your school or classroom). Try to incorporate as many of Mr. Todd’s antics and lessons into your day as possible. You might encourage your students to come to school dressed backwards, rename and rearrange your classroom and bulletin boards, write backwards, hold a palindrome spelling bee, or give students the answers and let them come up with the questions. For homework, have students write essays explaining how Backwards Day was different from the rest of the school year.


Common Core Connections:
Writing: Text Types and Purposes: Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

How to Be a Friend
Every teacher has had a Judy Moody in their classroom. She behaves like a real kid, and so she is not always a sweet and kind do-gooder. She is trying her very best in Judy Moody, Mood Martian. Yet this makes her friends and brother feel like she is trying to trick them, and their response is not very kind.

Discuss with your class qualities that make someone a good friend. Is Judy a good friend? When? When could she have been a better friend? Is Judy being a good friend to Frank by supporting him as he tries to finally win a contest? Is Judy supporting Amy by helping her to follow her dream of getting a big scoop? Note how misunderstandings can sometimes lead to conflicts between friends and how Judy Moody and her friends solve these problems. Incorporate some of these activities into your week to create a FRIEND-ly classroom.


FRIEND-ly Classroom Activities
In Your Shoes
Teach your students the importance of considering how different and unique each of their classmates is. Explain how necessary it is to listen to others and consider their points of view. Pair students up for a day and have them find out as much as they can about their assigned classmate. Have them talk about their day-to-day routines, what they like/dislike, and some interesting facts that the rest of the class might not know. Give each pair a set of paper sneakers to decorate with all the things they learned about each other and then place these on a bulletin board race track/road/walking path titled “Walk a Day in Someone Else’s Shoes!”

Quality Talk/Response Words
Talk to students about the value of thinking before you speak. Break down the THINK philosophy (before speaking, consider if what you are going to say is True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind). Give students a list of scenarios that could cause them to be frustrated/angry/unfriendly, or to say things that could be hurtful. Have them fill in responses to those scenarios with positive ways to handle the negative situation. Scenarios could include:
  • Someone borrowed and broke one of my favorite art supplies
  • Someone cut in line
  • Someone interrupted me while I was talking
  • Someone said something hurtful about me
  • Someone made a joke about my friend that was hurtful
Supporter Sash
Create a special sash with the entire class. Decorate it together and designate it the Supporter Sash. Once a week, give one student the sash and ask them to spend half of their day looking for opportunities to help their classmates. Have them go above and beyond, and let them know that a Supporter task can be as simple as telling someone that they hope they have a great day or helping a classmate with projects in class. This will raise awareness for helping others. At the end of the helper’s day, have him or her write down what they were able to do with the responsibilities of the Supporter Sash.

Apology Acorns
Sometimes other people can just drive you nuts! Talk to your class about how to apologize once you’ve said something hurtful to another person. Have them write down methods for a good, meaningful apology and what they would do/have done in the past to make amends with people they might have hurt. Ask them to place these tips and experiences on an acorn cutout, and add these to a bulletin board.

Happiness Hangers
Teach your students the importance of recognizing what makes a good friend by asking them to write what they consider important traits of a good friendship. Have them place their friendship words on hangers and string them around the class. You can even intertwine lights on the Happiness Hanger decorations and light up your classroom with positive energy!

Bully-Free Zone
Start with a large red poster board in the shape of an octagon. Explain to students how important it is to stop bullying as soon as it starts. Ask them to consider the different forms of bullying, such as when a passerby sees the act but doesn’t stop it or tell someone who could help. Have everyone contribute ways to stop a bully. Compile all the responses on the poster board and hang it up in class as a reminder of how to put a stop to bullying.

Positive Postcards
Talk to your classroom about the importance of self-esteem and making everyone feel invited and included. Every week pick one student to be featured, and have the other students spend some time creating Positive Postcards for that person as a homework activity. The postcards can be designed however the students want and should include one positive statement for this student. A positive statement could be a compliment for this person or a note telling about something the student did that was appreciated. You can have students create their own mailboxes for postcard delivery or post the cards around a picture of the student being featured on a bulletin board for all to see.

 
  We'd Like to Hear from You! 
Do you or any of your students have questions for Megan McDonald?
Do you have a classroom activity for a Megan McDonald book?

 
Send them in and you could be featured in an upcoming newsletter and win a free classroom set of books!

Judy Moody font and illustrations copyright © 2003 and 2012 by Peter H. Reynolds
Judy Moody ®. Stink ®.
Judy Moody and Stink are registered trademarks of Candlewick Press, Inc.