I LOVE teaching about Magic E, cause he is magical (duh) and it is a spelling pattern (CVCE) that students "get". When teaching this pattern students find the words everywhere and can not stop themselves from pointing them out. I also like the connection you can make to CVC words and the reading strategy of flipping the vowel sound.

This year we taught this spelling pattern with the Magic E (not sneaky, super, bossy or silent - MAGIC). But I love that there are so many different fun and engaging ways to introduce the pattern - keeps me looking for new ideas, anchor charts and videos (although I say, I will stick with Magic E, I will not change it up....then I see the cutest anchor chart or activity and I waver).

Part of my commitment to Magic E is that I have props. I have a gorgeous top hot I purchased at a costume store, that's right a costume store, not a dollar store. It is silky and durable. I also have a cheap plastic want, but it is fancier than rolled up paper. This year I added this adorable rabbit. It was on clearance at the drug store after Easter and just looked like it belonged in a magic hat. This rabbit can hold magic e words on a string around its neck or sit on a student magician desk when they are spotting loads of magic e words.


My students also become magicians. They make magic wands out of wooden craft sticks and magic e clip art. They also get capes (plastic tablecloth cut in sections). The cape gets a giant letter e taped to it. Once students have their wands and capes we stand and I, as head magician, recite the magic e words they need to repeat to become magicians. It is a mix of magic words and magic e words. Like this:

Alkazam, al a ka bam I am a magic e magician. I turn can to cane and pin to pine. I switch hop to hope and tim to time. Abracadabra, al a shazam when I see a short vowel I make it scram.


 Next (well after we have gone through a few lesson slides and watched a video or two) students walk around the classroom and collect magic e picture cards. I make multiple copies of the cards. They record the word, bring it over to me (the head magician!) to check their magic e magic skills. If the word is correct they get the word card taped to their cape.
I post this anchor chart in the classroom for us to remember our beginning lessons.
 I also print this poster (I just print on multiple pages and cut and paste but it could be professionally printed to use year after year). When we are doing independent or shared reading we record magic e words we find on sticky notes and place on the poster.

There are a number of cute Magic/Sneaky/Bossy/Silent E videos on youtube (this playlist has quite a few good ones) but our hands down favourite is this one by The Bazillions...




If you are looking for a few interactive activities, posters or worksheets to help you teach about the magnificent magic e you can check out the resources I use by clicking here.





Do you have any tips or tricks for teaching with Magic E? What do you call it?






Mo Willems is one of my all-time favourite authors. That's right, I am not even going to qualify that with a "children's author". I love the characters, the illustrations, the humour but most of all I love that every student I have ever introduced to his books has fallen in love with them, clamoured to read them and laughed out loud!!

This year we did some of my favourite activities and  I added a few new things to our Mo Willems author study.

We learned how to draw Pigeon, Duckling, Piggie and Gerald. There are soooo many videos and resources online (click on the characters to go to the resource I use). They are simple and the students feel like super illustrators We use our talents to create "Keith Harring" inspired art using motion lines.



This year when we were writing our persuasive arguments for or against letting Pigeon drive the bus we made ourselves into bus drivers (so we had a deeper understanding of the issues of course!). We used a police officer hat template with a bus driver emblem (used this freebie  - modified to bus driver!!). We also made official badges for each bus driver.....by inserting this picture onto labels and writing their names (feel free to click and save a copy of the picture to do the same).


At the end of the unit we had a "Hot Dog Party"!!


Our cafe was like all the best restaurants and had paper you could draw on covering the tables. We used this paper to draw and write about our favourite books.

Then we used our cafe menu to place orders. Students found their total then represented the amount using class coins. At lunch their orders were filled!!

After lunch we read "Should I Share My Ice Cream?" then students had to try and persuade me to share my ice cream. Click here for a copy of the writing template.


Throughout our unit we solved math problems using the incredible characters in Mo Willems' books. We started the unit by working on some problems together. Then I made each student a "Math with Mo" book. Some of the problems were open ended, you know the ones that use that word "could", the word some students dread because it means there is more than one answer and other students love because it means were are going to get to prove our thinking! But every problem had instant engagement since we love, love, love these characters. Here a few problems we worked out....




If you want to add some math to your Mo Willems author study you can check out the resource here. There are 30 problems, they come in a colour version to project and 2 black and white options (full and half page) to print for students. The resource also includes our Pigeon Cafe menu and an Ice Cream Shoppe menu for an end of the unit celebration!


I would love to hear what you do during a Mo Willems author study!!




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