reading in third grade - help please?

Ok, you all are smart reading types Smile
I need help, and fast. I would have asked sooner, but a migraine kept me away from the computer. I'm reading in my son's class tomorrow. I need to figure out what to read that takes about 10 minutes and will keep a class of third graders interested. The kids in his class strike me as brighter than usual (until I got a full time mon-fri job, I volunteered in the class). I have no clue what to read. I think the migraine killed my brain a bit. I usually feel like this when they hit. Anyway, what do you recommend? Sorry for the short notice. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance!!

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

One or three of the short stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar (I think)

blwinteler's picture

Supplicant

All this time my kid will not give me any ideas what he's like me to read, but when I suggest wayside (of which he has read a couple books), he says "wayside isn't really that good." My though is simply "if they aren't good, why did you read one, and borrow a couple more at the library only a month or two ago?"
*sigh* Not only is my brain not working, my kid isn't helping.

wait . . .
got something out of him . . .
Brother's Grimm . . . now to pick one . . . I should be able to find something online so I don't have to squeeze the library into my errands tomorrow before I go to the school.

Oh! Rumplestiltskin or something else spinning . . .
I can take my spindle
Ok, MeiLin, or any other spinners here, what story do you recommend?

V's picture

Embodiment

Browse http://www.apples4theteacher.com/short-stories.html and I bet you can find something, although they don't sort by reading level.

Also http://community.livejournal.com/thequestionclub/34523431.html where someone asked the same question (4th grade) and got suggestions

The Which's picture

Embodiment

Maybe some poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, or Falling Up
They are really silly poems that would probably appeal to 8 yr olds.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

If you're gonna do Silverstein, The Giving Tree would go well, too, I think--and it's a beautiful story.

The Which's picture

Embodiment

It is a beautiful story, but I almost feel like it's one the adults enjoy more than the kids. I dont remember liking it when I was young, although I do now.

b2creative's picture

I think we were typing at the same time!

Vayshe's picture

Petitioner

heh.

when i was in third grade or so someone came in as a guest reader and read about 15 minutes worth of jumanji.
this was before the movie was out. of course everyone wanted to know what happened next. it was a good way to promote reading for yourself

tbs i was reading novels in the third grade, and my kids arent there yet. so im not sure what short things there are for kids that age

blwinteler's picture

Supplicant

That is part of my problem. I was actually thrown into a 3rd-4th grade mixed class 'cause I was an advanced reader. The teacher had a closet of books up to 8th grade reading level. Once I read through as many as interested me, I was on my own above the level she had.

As for Silverstein, apparently another parent has already made that selection this week.

Anyway, thank you all so much for your help! One of the links above led me to the site that got me thinking of Rumplestiltskin, and I found a great version here: http://www.applehollow.com/rumple.html
Now, I just need to hook up my new printer and hope this computer (which doesn't like anything new) likes it. If not, DHs work laptop likes it fine. Just takes forever to start up.

Again, thank you all! I knew this was the right place to ask Smile

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

ends differently than I remember it ending. Specifically the last three lines of the story are different than I remembered. How did it go?

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

...depending on the version of the story, and this is one of them. IIRC, the others involve either him running away in anger or stamping his foot so hard that he completely sank into the ground, never to be seen again.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

the running away in anger version, but I think most of my fairy tales (and indeed, most of everything else I was exposed to) were pretty well censored when I was young. I've come across a number of fairy tales that surprised me as an adult, because I remembered them being much more tame.

The Which's picture

Embodiment

Like the time I told a little boy I babysat for that the wolf ate grandma in the little red riding hood (how it was written in the book) when his parents always said the wolf locked her in the closet. Eek, that did not go well.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

that's the one I heard too. I think I knew that Grandma gets eaten, though, but that's definitely not the version I heard. Now I'm going to have to find all of the old fairy tales and read the real versions!

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

...Disney for what they did to some of the Grimm tales and other stories.

What's even more mind-boggling in that regard is that the Grimm brothers themselves heavily edited and downgraded some of the stories before they went into their collection since they considered the original versions they'd collected "in the field" to be too bloodthirsty or inappropriate in places.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Or the fate of the false maid in "The Goose Girl"? I read my lot the bloody versions. They're always like, yes, that's what happened. They seem to have a peasant sense of justice.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

What happened?! Where can I find these stories? Bah! Stupid overprotective parents...

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Smile

In the original Snow White, the queen is forced to wear red hot iron shoes and dance at the wedding until she dies.

In the original Goose Girl (actually one of my favorite stories from youth), the false maid who takes the princess's rightful place is put in a barrel lined with nails and pulled behind a horse until she dies.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

That is pretty intense. I think I remember the queen falling off a cliff or something, but that is way more sadistic. I need to find a copy of Goose Girl; I've never even heard of it! Are these all Grimm fairy tales, or are they from another source?

MeiLin's picture

Most High

in the full sense...

Congrats! I was not expecting you to be the first embodiment, but look at your bad self with the badge!

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

I wasn't expecting to be first either, but the forum has been so lively lately and I'm completely and totally hooked! Thank you for keeping things interesting! Wink

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

If you don't mind reading on a screen, Project Gutenberg has several versions of the Grimms' Household Tales that, from a cursory inspection, seem to have undergone little censoring (and some that have, but we'll just ignore those). This one has a rather nicely illustrated HTML version, while this one seems to have no illustrations but a larger selection of tales, and is available as a PDF.

Also, congrats for getting your shiny new badge!

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

These are so great...and I can finally get caught up on all the stories I missed when I was young! Thank you so much for sharing!

ETA: Congrats on your new badge as well! Smile

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

I'm always happy to spread the book love, especially when I get to counter, in whatever small way I can, the sugar-coated Disney cutesiness. Smile

b2creative's picture

A small dose of poetry won't kill them ...

Where the Sidewalk Ends
A Light in the Attic
The Giving Tree
Falling Up

I have an 8 yr old bookaholic (can't imagine where she gets it from), and she'll sit still for 10 minutes of Silverstein, easy. Especially if read in an expressive voice.

Andrea's picture

Supplicant

When I was in 3rd grade, my school's guidance counselor would come by once a week and read us a few Chicken Soup for the Soul stories. Sometimes we'd talk about our thoughts afterward. It exposed us to experiences some of us hadn't had to deal with yet, and they usually had a hopeful tone. I'd say something like that would be very appropriate, if you can find a good story or two.

Elle's picture

Petitioner

The first chapter or so is enough to hook the kinds...I was reading Redwall in third grade and loved it. It does have some violence though, so I don't know if that will fly.

You could also read part of Julie of the Wolves (again, the first chapter or so) or My Side of the Mountain. I really enjoyed those books as a youngster. They will probably appeal to the more outdoorsy of the kids.

EDIT: lol I just realized you'd gotten your answer...way to skim before posting instead of reading, elle. sheesh :O

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

a first chapter of something? Like the Indian in the Cupboard, or the Sign of the Beaver. Robin Hood or a King Arthur book might also go over well (Seven Songs of Merlin maybe?). The Mouse and the Motorcycle was another good one, and I also really liked the Castle in the Attic. On another theme, Cheaper by the Dozen was really funny. A chapter from Redwall might not be a bad choice either. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Westing Game were also good, but I might choose an excerpt instead of a first chapter from those. My Side of the Mountain and Hatchet were good nature books, and Number the Stars and Johnny Tremain were good because they were both interesting and historically relevant. Sorry if that's too much to be helpful...those were just some of my favorites when I was that age. I tend to also pick books that are generally considered "boy books" like adventures and things because I find that they appeal more to both genders. Stuff like Matilda was definitely more of a girl book.

You might also try the Phatom Tollbooth, or the Giraffe and the Pelly and Me. Ooh, yeah, that might have just topped my list. I loved the Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, and it was short, but really funny and ridiculous.

Let me know what you end up picking and how it goes. I would be interested to see.

V's picture

Embodiment

Especially if you check whether the library has a few in stock Wink Get'm hooked.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

so many books that way. Also, if you're looking for excerpts, Collier's published a set of Junior Classics, found here. I bet your local library has them. I love those books.

applejax's picture

Supplicant

Wow I used to LOVE the Westing Game and didn't even remember it until now. I might have to go find that at the library tonight and reread it.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

one of my favorites. I've started an Amazon Wishlist to help me remember all of the books that I loved as a kid. That way, when I'm trying to remember a book I loved or have kids I want to read to (or need to recommend books for 3rd grade readings), I have them all in a convenient list.

Paisleigh's picture

Devotee

My favorite childhood book!! Its about an Elephant and a Bear who run a diner for three days and use all sorts of diner lingo. I loved this book as a child and was thrilled to find it a few months ago. Not 100% sure where the reading level is exactly but its a fun short story. I suggest it (and "blame" it for my desire to have an old school type diner of my own ^-^). Either way, good luck with your reading tomorrow Smile

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

Trouble for Breakfast? Or Two Good Friends? Those two sounds similar to what you're talking about and were some of my childhood favorites. Trouble for Breakfast is about bunnies, and Two Good Friends is about a very neat Duck and a very messy Bear (who is a really good cook). I also really liked (when I was a little younger), Frog and Toad books, and It's Not Easy Being a Bunny. All of these books are probably for a much younger crowd, though, maybe kindergarten or first grade.

MeiLin's picture
kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

That and Farmer Boy. I love the part where Almonzo asks his dad for a nickel for lemonade.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

I loved it too, and I've heard it was Mrs Wilder's favorite of her books. The writer of the Cookbook points out all the food in FB; all meals are lovingly described, and it always sounds as if Almanzo eats enough for five people. The Cookbook writer (whose name I'm too lazy to look up, sorry) said Mrs Wilder focused so much on the food because she and Almanzo grew up so differently. The Ingalls family was always hungry; there was never enough. They were literally dirt poor. In "The Long Winter," Carrie's life is changed forever by the famine the family endured that winter, while Almanzo and his brother ate ham steaks and pancakes. Carrie never recovered and was sickly the rest of her life. She died many years before Laura. The Wilder family, by contrast, was a rich farming family; they always had plenty and Almanzo didn't know what hunger was until he struck out on his own as a newlywed with Laura.

Reading the "Little House" books as an adult tell a very different story than they did to me as a child. More than once I've cried for Caroline Ingalls and the life she endured. Oh--and if you're just reading through the series? Skip "The First Four Years" unless you want to be really, really depressed. When I was a girl, the series ended with "These Happy Golden Years," and I'd leave it there if I were you.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

that I can always pick out an author I'll like by how well they describe food. When I read Harry Potter, I'm always drooling over the food they describe. The same goes for a bunch of Roald Dahl books, and definitely for Laura Ingalls Wilder. Every time Temmin eats something, I usually have to go get a snack. I'm such a sucker for old-fashioned food, and the stuff he's eating always sounds incredible.

Have you ever read Caddie Woodlawn? That was another one of my favorites as a kid that's in the same vein as the Little House books.

I've found that a lot, that books I loved as a kid were different and more serious now that I'm older. It's interesting how perspective can change a story. I'll keep that in mind, to end with These Happy Golden Years. I am definitely at risk for that, as I was just thinking about finding some of those at the library. I hate sad endings, especially these days. I can often appreciate why they're there, and learn the lessons that they're trying to teach, but often books are more real to me than real life, and it breaks my heart when there is a really sad ending.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

that Laura and Almanzo's first married years were full of major suck, poor things, and leave it at that. Laura hadn't finished "The First Four Years"; she abandoned its writing after Almanzo's death in 1949, and the manuscript wasn't discovered until after the death of her daughter Rose Wilder Lane in the late 1960s. Had she finished it, and gone on to write the next chapter of their lives together, it wouldn't have ended on such a sour note, since a few years after they reached Missouri, their luck finally began to change and they lived happily.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

I'm really glad you warned me about it...thanks. I'm also really glad that they found happiness eventually. I guess everyone has their rough patches, but I always hope they are few and far between for really good people, and Mrs. Wilder definitely falls on that list for me.

The Which's picture

Embodiment

Did you ever read the books that Roger McBride wrote about Rose Wilder's childhood? He was her adopted son, and wrote based on what she had told him about her childhood. THey are, of course, highly fictionalized. It does help pick the story back up from the sadness that is the First Four Years.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

I know that they exist, as well as books about Laura's mother and grandmother, but I didn't want to read things that weren't written by Laura herself.

Shinjinarenai's picture

Postulant

But they weren't nearly as good as the books Laura wrote. The First Four Years made me really depressed and confused when I was little. I thought that there was going to be a happy ending, and there really wasn't. After I read through the entire series the first time, I picked and chose which books to reread, and the Long Winter was never one of them. It was too dark. Farmer Boy was the first one to fall apart, I reread that one so many times. I used to pretend I was Laura, and try to be obedient and I learned how to cook very early, which my parents really appreciated. At 10 I was making 2-3 dinners a week for my family. I guess the books were a good influence on me. Smile

The Which's picture

Embodiment

That the long winter was always one of my favorites? Laura was resourceful, Almanzo was heroic, and the train saved the day just in the nick of time. I like it.

My least favorite is probably By the shores of Silver Lake. Jack dies, Mary goes blind... Sad Sad

MeiLin's picture

Most High

used to be my favorite. I loved the idea of living in a little house dug out of a hill. Now that I'm a grown-up, I reread that book from Caroline's perspective and shudder. Smile

sherinik's picture

Postulant

But third graders would probably enjoy Jabberwocky? They'd probably adopt some of the non-words. Leaving them able to recite the first stanza all over the playground and amaze their parents that evening would make a lasting impact on everyone.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

I loved Jabberwocky! I often make references to it that nobody gets (never on here, just in general). I also never realized how old it was until recently. I think it was published in 1865 or something. But still, that's a great idea! I'm not sure it would last 10 minutes, but you could always read an exceprt from the section of the book that it's in.

Shinjinarenai's picture

Postulant

I second the choice of the Giraffe and the Pelly and Me. I read it to my little sister when she was in 3rd grade or so because she wanted reading with sister time. Anything Roald Dahl wrote for children is amazing and mostly usually appropriate, and he has books of short stories out there that are awesome for adults. Little House in the Big Woods I loved in 1st grade through 5th grade, I always wanted to be just like Laura. Well, Laura and that boy from My Side of the Mountain. And Phantom Tollbooth was epic.

Speaking of Redwall, I never read them, but my boyfriend and his family and neighbor-friend all read it when they were younger, and reenacted everything. They were a large homeschooled family out in the middle of nowhere, and they made swords from wood and played Redwall all the time, and they all still talk about it constantly.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

I would have gone with "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "The Phantom Tollbooth," or "A Wrinkle in Time." All guaranteed hits.

applejax's picture

Supplicant

with A Wrinkle In Time. I just bought a new copy for myself, and it's on my kitchen table as we speak. I read it almost once a week since I get through it so quickly now.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

what did you end up reading? How did it go? I was half-hoping you would read something I'd never heard of and that it was a huge success, so I could find it and read it. Smile I love finding new books for kids.

ETA: I just noticed up above that you said you were going to read Rumpelstilskin, but I'm still wondering how it went and if the kids loved it.

blwinteler's picture

Supplicant

was a hit.
I took my spindle and showed how it works before starting the story. I kinda expected a reaction of "ok, whatever." but instead, I got wide eyes and "wow! cool!" It was great. While I read, the kids passed the spindle around and gave it a try. Not everyone got to play with it, a few came up to me after to see it before they had to go back to their desks.
Anyway, I'll admit I didn't read the end of the story before taking it in, having remembered well enough he stomped and disappeared. So, when I got to that I worried a bit and kinda mashed the two together. Throughout the story I asked questions, seeing what the kids thought of the king and the little man. All the kids admitted they wouldn't want to marry such a greedy king (even the boys, to their own amusement). When the queen was guessing names, I used names of the kids in the class, which they enjoyed. One even said "she's using our names!" which gave me a giggle.
It turns out that I picked one of the teacher's favorite stories. Her grandfather read it to her and her siblings every night.
When I got home, my kid was out playing. Honestly, I haven't seen him since I left the school, so don't know what he has to say.
As for the other recommendations, thank you. I'm sure I'll need them eventually Smile
Most Roald Dahl books I know are a hit. We read them with Adam when he was in kindergarten, as well as Phantom Tollbooth (I was in the play when I was a teen, just an extra though. main parts went to younger kids). I loved Wrinkle in Time. I think I got to it in 6th grade because I didn't hear of it until then. I should get my kid reading those. And I love the suggestion of Jabberwocky. I think I've read it to Adam once or twice, but it was a while ago.
Anyway, thank you all. *HUGS*

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

I'm so glad it worked out! It's awesome that you not only have a spindle, but were able to incorporate it like that. I know that of the few times my parents came into school, the one time I really remember well was the time my dad came in and juggled for the class. It was really cool that he came in and shared something like that. I felt like the coolest kid in school, and I'm guessing your son did too. Smile I'm going to have to remember that trick if I ever have kids.

Shinjinarenai's picture

Postulant

But at the time, I kind of wished he would just juggle or do magic tricks. My family was the only Jewish one in my school, so every year at hanukkah my dad would come in with an electric griddle and some latke batter he'd made and some sour cream and applesauce and make some latkes for the class. He'd teach everyone to play dreidl and whatnot, too. He was always a huge hit, by the time all of us had left elementary school the teachers begged him to come in anyways. I kind of didn't like it, since I was always singled out as 'the Jewish kid' after that, and a couple times other kids told me I was going to go to hell, but it was kind of cool too. I always liked my dad's latkes.

The funny thing is, he is a professional magician, in addition to his day job, and his tricks are superb. He would entertain the kids at our Sunday school with magic tricks on occasion. Biggrin

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