Three Cheers for Captain Underpants!

Captain UnderpantsSome teachers don’t like the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey, but I think it’s great!

Of course, I’m aware that Captain Underpants is not great literature.  That doesn’t mean it’s not a great read.  What other books combine prose, comics, and do-it-yourself animation (Flip-O-Rama) with action and potty humor?

Captain Underpants is a gateway book.  It turns reluctant readers into chapter book readers.  The Captain Underpants series is relatively short, so a child will devour the series quickly.  Once the child runs out of new Captain Underpants books, he’ll want to read other fun chapter books.

Captain Underpants turns lower-level readers into upper-level readers.  Once children reach the fourth grade reading level, they are ready for Captain Underpants.  They will feel so special because Captain Underpants books can go as high as the 5.5 reading level.  Children who would never consider reading a 5.5 level book will break this rule for a Captain Underpants book.  Once Captain Underpants has built confidence, the child feels ready for more difficult books.

Tip: I don’t set out Captain Underpants books with the rest of my classroom library.  I hold these books back.  Children get to read Captain Underpants books only when they read at the fourth grade level.  This is very motivating in a third-grade classroom.  Children will read, read, read in order to become better readers so they can read the Captain Underpants series.

The Captain Underpants series is great!

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Posted in Book Lists,Book Reviews,Fun With Literacy by Corey Green @ Oct 9, 2009


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