Favorite Characters

tumblr_n5hrjfcosS1skk244o1_250My reading about teaching characters this week has got me reminiscing about the primary characters I love dearly but do not get to visit with as regularly now that I teach upper elementary students.  There is something special about being a 1st or 2nd grade teacher and having the distinct honor of introducing students to series books.

These are my favorite primary series characters:

  • Poppleton (Level J)
  • Henry & Mudge (Level J)
  • Mr. Putter & Tabby (Level J)
  • Little Bear (Level J)
  • Nate the Great (Level K)
  • Frog & Toad (Level K)
  • Cam Jansen (Level L)
  • Amelia Bedelia (Level L)
  • Strega Nona (Level M)

Recently I challenged a group of upper elementary teachers to help me fall in love some NEW characters that they use with their 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  This is what they shared with me:

3rd grade

  • Clementine by Sarah Pennypacker (Level O)
  • Judy B Jones Series by Barbara Park (Level M)
  • Judy Moody by Megan McDonald (Level M)
  • Stink Series by Megan McDonald (Level M)
  • Time Warp Trio Books by Jon Scieskza
  • Kate DiCamillo Books – The Tiger Rising (Level T), Because of Win Dixie (Level R), Flora and Ulysses (Level U), The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Level U), The One and Only Ivan
  • Amber Brown (Level N/O)
  • Mysteries Series – A to Z Mysteries (Level M/N), Calendar Mysteries (Level M), Encyclopedia Brown (Level P)
  • Sophie Books by Lara Bergen (Level M)
  • Katie Woo Books by Fran Manushkin (Level J)
  • Katie Kazoo Series by Nancy Krulik (Level M)
  • Ramona Series by Beverly Clearly (Level O)
  • Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey(Level P)
  • Geronimo Stilton books (Level O)
  • Magic School Bus Series (Mostly Level P)
  • Hank Zipzer by Henry Winkler

4th grade

  • Magic Tree House Series (Level M/N)
  • Dimwood Forest Series by Avi (Level S)
  • Squish Series by Jennifer Holm (Level O/P)

5th grade

  • Graphic Novels – Roller Girl by Victoria Jamiesan
  • Fantasy Series
  • My Life as a Book by Janet Tashjian (Level S)
  • Dork Diaries by Rachel Russell
  • Dear Dumb Diary
  • Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate (Level W)
  • Sarah Weeks Books – The Boyd Series (Level T), The Oggie Cooder Series (Level Q)
  • Novels in Verse – Crossover, Brown Girl Dreaming, Inside Out and Back Again (Level U)
  • Jack Gantos Books – Dead End in Norvelt (Level Y), Joey Pigza Books (Level T)

Resources to find books:

Don’t Forget GREAT picture book characters to revisit with upper elementary kids like:

  • Olivia
  • Froggy
  • Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

My latest idea is to write a grant to purchase some book sets for each grade level I work with.  These sets would be used to form book clubs where students get a CHOICE in which club they want to be a part of.  If you have characters you LOVE from your grade level let me know and I will add them to my list!

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