If your first and second graders are ready to dive into the mystery genre, you need to check out the Nate the Great series written by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. These books are a little shorter than the typical chapter book (most are around 50 pages in length) and they include many illustrations that will keep your students turning the pages. Some of the books have been broken down into chapters, while others read as a short story.
My students have always loved flip books, so it only made sense to create one for this book series. The flip book has seven pages:
Another way to engage your Nate the Great readers is to create a detective’s case file, which doubles as a reading response booklet.
There are pre-made reading response templates that match the flip book shown above. There are also open-ended pages (lined, blank, and a picture/writing combination page). These open-ended pages work great for vocabulary, making connections, asking questions, visualizations, and more! You can even combine the two options:
If you’re planning to use the Nate the Great books with your guided reading group or with your book club, creating a reading response journal is a great way to keep all of the student materials in one place. These book companions contain comprehension questions to guide your readers, vocabulary words, and a handful of graphic organizers.