Now, you can help a child learn to read with the young chickens Molly and Joe—two wide-eyed early readers who are full of curiosity, mischief, and mirth! Rich language and amusing illustrations combine with strategies that address how the brain remembers best: pattern, repetition, visual novelty, and multi-sensory experiences.
Children demonstrate six reading stages, from zero to five (print awareness to analysis and reasoning). Our first multi-level Molly and Joe Want to Know reader serves stages zero to two: print awareness, sound and letter pairing, and automatic reading.
You can use the Reader to read for pleasure (even for babies!); then teach the letter b; then teach or reinforce other sound/letter relationships, high-frequency words, new vocabulary, and writing.
In a move-quickly-from-one-thing-to-the-next culture, it can be surprising to learn that stage two learners benefit from repeated experience with the same texts and materials, until reading is automatic. To make the necessary repetition easy and fun, we’ve included simple games with cut-out materials (all reusable) and activities in the Reader. You’ll find Color & Trace Pages, Biscuit Bingo, Story Cards (for Matching, Story Train, Partners in Rhyme, and Story Challenge games), Letter Dress-Up Cards (for sound and letter associations and word building), and Sentence Builders.
Color and Trace “Joe is On a Buffalo”
Our Color & Trace pages help teach high-frequency words, develop fine motor skills and handwriting, and solidify memory of the letter b or other sound/letter relationships. If you’ve already got the Molly and Joe reader, then you have a version of “Joe is on a Buffalo” that teaches other high-frequency words.
So maybe you’ve got a little one who’d like to color and trace the Joe ‘n Buffalo page again (we encourage that, if the child thinks it’s enjoyable). Or maybe you’re just looking for extra, fun reading activities to support the learn-to-read journey. Either way, here you go: “Joe is On a Buffalo.” (Joe is that brave little chicken trying to brush that mischievous buffalo’s hair!)
5 Fun Facts About Buffaloes
2. The American bison is more like a cow or a goat than an actual buffalo. (And a cow or a goat might have been easier for Joe to brush, except that the goat might have tried to eat the brush. So, maybe not.)
3. The water buffalo is quite big. Up to around 2,650 pounds. (We’re glad that we made a bison, because he weighed less for our pen to draw. However, we hope Joe is really careful, because when that bison starts moving, he might run up to 40 miles per hour or jump 6 feet vertically!)
4. A bison’s hump is made of muscle, which allows it to use its head as a snow plow. (So when Joe grows up, he could repurpose his buffalo as a snowplow to clear the driveway.)
5. Bison like to live on the prairie and roll around. (Watch out for wallowing, Joe!)
6 Cool Buffalo Books
Part of Scholastic’s Nature’s Children Collection (Set 5). Describes distinct physical characteristics, habitat, diet, and behavior of buffaloes and bison; also indicates their distribution throughout the world. Amazing photographs! (You won’t believe the horns that look like they’ve been carved with art markings. Very cool.)
2. Buffalo Wings
On the day of the big football game at Nuthatcher Farm, Rooster is sure that buffalo wings would be the perfect snack for the game-watching frenzy. But Rooster doesn’t quite follow the directions, and before you can say Touchdown! he’s heading west in search of a certain missing ingredient. A perfect humorous tale for Superbowl season.
3. Buffalo Woman
In this retelling of a traditional American Indian legend, a young hunter draws his bow against a buffalo cow drinking from a stream. Before he can loose his arrow, there’s no buffalo—instead, there stands a beautiful young woman, whom he knows he must marry.
The hunter’s people shun the Buffalo Woman, and so she returns, with their son, Calf Boy, to her people. The young hunter’s love for them compels him to follow. But he’s been warned: The Buffalo Nation is angry at the Straight-up-People. He’s tasked with finding his wife and son among the many buffalo, or he’ll lose them forever.
Illustrated by Paul Goble, who’s given his entire collection of original illustrations (for over 30 books) to the South Dakota Art Museum in Brookings, South Dakota.
4. Grandfather Buffalo
Grandfather Buffalo is the oldest bull in the herd. Whenever the herd moves on, he’s always a little behind. But when a female buffalo is ready to give birth, he’s there to protect her and, later, to help nudge the new calf along. Shows the struggles faced by both young and old, and the tender bonds that form across generations. (Be sure to look closely at the grandfather buffalo’s eyes in the closeup illustration. It could touch your heart.)
5. The Buffalo Storm
Hallie isn’t afraid of anything—that is, anything but storms, which she braves along with her grandmother, huddled beneath a special quilt. When her family joins a wagon train headed west, leaving her grandmother—and everything Hallie has ever known—behind, Hallie learns she is braver than she’s ever been before. Watercolors are by Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate.
6. Where the Buffalo Roam
This poetic alteration of the original Home on the Range verse, accompanied by watercolor, includes the animals, plants, and geographical features of the American Southwest. Provides additional information on the history of the region and the habits of wildlife, as well as American Indian symbols.
Buffalo Limerick Poetry Prompt
Try your hand at a buffalo limerick. Use the “fun facts” as inspiration if you like. Need more inspiration? Check out our limerick infographic.
This book not only provides a delightful introduction to the letter Bb, and the sound it makes, but loads of other literacy skills including exposure and repeated practice with high-frequency words, games to play, and guidance for grown-ups that is grounded, humorous, relaxed, and supportive. The illustrations will bring lots of smiles, and give lots of cues, all along the way! I can’t wait to send this book to the beginning readers in my life!
—Donna Z. Falcone, early childhood educator
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