Teaching Cursive with Muggie Maggie

bookMuggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary
AR Reading level 4.5  1 point
Available at Amazon.com

Cursive may seem outdated compared to typing, texting and tweeting, but it is still an important skill for kids to learn.  If nothing else, they need to be able to read cursive—notes written by parents and teachers, or cursive written by our forefathers in the Declaration of Independence.

Kids are very excited to learn cursive, but sometimes their interest lags after the first few lessons.  You can keep them going by reading to them Muggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary.

In Muggie Maggie, third-grader Maggie absolutely refuses to learn cursive.  She’s a smart girl, but she gets herself into quite a predicament—with a lot of embarrassment, time spent out of class, and even trips to the principal’s office!

See, Maggie’s teacher has hatched a plan with other teachers and school staff.  She makes Maggie the messenger.  All the messages Maggie deliverers are written in cursive.  Maggie is pretty sure she recognizes her name in the messages.  Maggie has no choice but to learn cursive so she can read the secret messages.

Muggie Maggie is clearly intended for a third-grade audience, but AR (accelerated reader) classifies the reading level is 4.5.  (Many Beverly Cleary books have a reading level above the intended audience’s grade level, as I have described in a different post about this topic.)  Some third-graders will be able to read Muggie Maggie, but I recommend that third-grade teachers read it aloud because it is perfectly suited to their audience.


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