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—plus, in this fun M edition, characters like a mare, monkeys, medieval mice, and a mermaid! 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). This 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 m; 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, Merry-Go-Round Matching, 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 “The Mare is On the Merry-Go-Round”
So maybe you’re looking for extra, fun reading activities to support the learn-to-read journey. To that end, we’re sharing: “The Mare is On the Merry-Go-Round.” If you’ve already got the Molly and Joe reader, then you have other fun coloring pages that teach high-frequency words.
5 Fun Facts About Merry-Go-Rounds
1. Some stories about the origins of the merry-go-round, or carousel, date back to Byzantine times and are a bit gruesome, and we’ll let you look those up on your own. Others, which we’re more interested in, relate the origins to jousting games. Eventually a wooden model of a carousel was built for children.
2. By the middle of the 1800s, merry-go-rounds were showing up at fairs in England with live animals and chariots.
3. Today, most merry-go-rounds are mechanically operated with models of animals for children to ride on. Thomas Bradshaw created the first steam-powered carousel in 1861 at the Aylsham Fair. The Halifax Courier described it as “a roundabout of huge proportions, driven by a steam engine which whirled around with such impetuousity, that the wonder is the daring riders are not shot off like cannon- ball, and driven half into the middle of next month.”
4. Most often the merry-go-round is populated by horses, but manufacturers like the Herschell-Spillman Company in the late 1800s made carousels with kangaroos, pigs, giraffes, sea monsters, frogs, and dogs and cats.
5. The animals are made from metal and wood, and painted by artists. In some cases they may have 30 or more coats of paint.
Watch a Video About Craftsmen Who Build Carousels
Merry-Go-Round Limerick Poetry Prompt
Try your hand at a limerick about merry-go-rounds and mares. Use the “fun facts” as inspiration if you like. Need more inspiration? Check out our limerick infographic.
This book is so much fun! I used it with about 10 Kindergarten and first graders who are labeled as “at-risk,” (I like to call them my promising students), and we had a blast reading the poem and doing the activities. The poem produces giggles and conversation, and the activities are easy to prepare and fun to complete! Plus, I love that I can use the activities over again. This is a must have in a teacher’s classroom.
—Callie Feyen, at-risk literacy specialist
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