Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Demanding Dudley

Hello friends! I have a great article lined up for you about social skills in the classroom, but I'd like to start with a little taste of social skills books and their importance at school and at home.

I had the pleasure of reading a cute little story called Demanding Dudley by Deneen Renae, which is part of the new Wiblets series. The book can be purchase from Amazon by clicking on the image below.


As a special education teacher, I've learned stories are one of the best ways to engage students and teach valuable social skills lessons. I was happy to discover a new series to help teach these important skills.

I used this book in two different ways to test out the target audience for the series.

In the Classroom
This year my class is a group of 1st and 2nd grade students with mild/moderate learning disabilities (dyslexia, ADHD, etc.) and the students range in age from 6 to 8 years old. The book is a little bit lower of a level than I generally read to my students, so I chose to make the book part of a larger lesson. 

My students always benefit from reminders for expected behavior, so I jump at any chance I get to include them in lessons! I used Demanding Dudley to introduce the concept of a beginning, middle and end of a story in preparation for creating our own story outlines in the future. The students thought the book was funny because of the way the character acted in the story. They were able to identify the moral of the story by showing how Dudley behaved in the beginning, how mom taught him to make a better choice in the middle, and how Dudley made better choices in the end to get what he wanted.

While the kids enjoyed the story and it reinforced a good lesson, it was clear the book would be perfectly suited for a younger crowd, such as kindergarten for both the length and content.

At Home with Preschool Age Children
I am currently living with my niece and nephew who are 3 and 4 years old, respectively. This seems to be the ideal audience! 

After reading the story at school, I brought the book home. When the kids saw it they instantly wanted me to read it to them. The bright colors and lovable character grabbed their attention right away! The kids were fully engaged and even ignored the cartoon on the TV in front of them so they could hear the story. 

My little niece was talking to the book and liked the main character. Her older brother was able to compare the beginning of the story to the end and told me Dudley didn't get what he wanted until he asked nicely. This is a valuable lesson in our house because both children are at the perfect age to learn their manners. They have been taught this skill, but the story reinforced it in a fun way because they often forget to use their manners. 

The kids enjoyed the book so much that they asked to read it again as soon as I finished! After a second reading my 3 year old niece asked to "read it herself" and she pretend to read the words as she looked at all the pictures. 

I also visited the Wiblets website, which also grabbed their attention right away because of the bright and beautiful illustrations. My niece and nephew chose the color page and were eager to color a picture of the character they just heard about in the story.

This was such a fun and lovable story to read with them!
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