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Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Tell me and I forget; teach me and I may remember; involve me and I learn.” The MaryRuth Books Classroom Activities involve young readers. They can be used to develop enthusiasm for reading and writing at home or in the classroom. Exercises linked to specific books help establish a purpose for reading, or can make the text of the book more relevant to the reader. Participating in an activity coordinated with a book increases a young reader’s background knowledge about a book’s topic, further engaging them and encouraging them to take a more active role in their own learning.

Featured page image is from an organizing project that recycles cereal boxes to create a simple filing system for At-Home-Learners. Download step-by-step instructions.

Independent Reading for the At-Home Learner

Gail Boushey, well-know literacy author and educator, has created a resource for parents, teachers, and students  to encourage and support at-home learning. Throughout the videos, Gail provides instruction and models independent reading for students using three titles from MaryRuth Books:

Classroom activities that coordinate with specific MRB titles:

Comprehension and Writing

Making Sense of the Five Senses

  • Our five senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch allow us to explore and interact with the world.  The body parts that we use to experience these senses are the eyes for seeing, the nose for smelling, the tongue for tasting, the ears for hearing, and the skin for touching. Let Danny help you make sense of your senses with our monthly series of classroom activities. Read Danny’s Five Senses, where Danny uses his five senses to experience Dad’s birthday cake. Then download and complete the worksheet, Introduction to Understanding the Five Senses. The tongue is used for talking and tasting. Download a hands-on activity for the reading classroom to explore the sense of taste.
  • Use your five senses to experience the season of spring.

Matching, Sequencing, Maker Movement, and Using Graphic Organizers

Word Work

Nonfiction / Informational titles:


Story Strips of MaryRuth Book titles with lesson plans:

Activities that teach simple science principles:

  • Learn about earthworms and make a worm story strip with what you know!
  • Basil, chives, cilantro, dill, lavender, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme are all good sources of nectar for honeybees. Find our handy Bee-Friendly Herb Growing Table here. Get directions for a fun Growing Herbs For Honeybees activity here. 
  • Cooking in the reading classroom is a fun way to engage students, introduce new vocabulary, and practice math and science with standards of measure.
  • Can you guess the science riddle? I am an animal who never stops working. My work helps produce the seeds and fruit that feed many creatures, yet I eat no plants or animals myself. 
  • April showers bring May flowers
  • April is a month of changing weather. Spring is beginning. Use this chart to track April’s weather.
  • Design your own cold winter surviving animal
  • Groundhog facts and hands-on Groundhog Day craft
  • Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system
  • Maker Movement design challenge using Danny’s Rocket
  • Making a simple solar oven
  • Polar Bear or Penguin: Venn Diagram Exercise
  • The saying is, “We are what we eat.” It’s the same for animals. This printable helps students learn the difference between carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores.
  • Organize the traits turtle and tortoises share with this Venn Diagram Exercise.
  • Why are trees special?
  • What is the Winter Solstice?
  • What do an octopus and a book have in common?
  • Watch this video of a sleeping octopus, turning colors as she dreams.
  • How does its distinctive coloring help keep the Red Panda safe?
  • After reading Flamingos at the Zoo, design a zoo sign that includes facts you’ve learned and pictures.
  • Studying a life cycle in science class offers a perfect opportunity to meet cross curriculum standards. After reading Danny’s Tadpoles, students can write about the frog life cycle using sentence starters that encourage sequencing while also reinforcing sentence structure, grammar, vocabulary.
  • Follow recipe directions, measure ingredients, and work with classmates to make Ranch Dip in the classroom.
  • Our five sensing organs send information about our surroundings to our brain, helping us experience and understand the world. Get in touch with your senses with our seasonal scavenger hunts: winter and spring.
  • In Danny’s Tadpoles, Danny puts tadpoles in a bowl and watches them become frogsStudying a life cycle when reading offers a perfect opportunity to meet cross curriculum standards in the primary classroom. and combine fiction and nonfiction. Print the 24 frog life cycle cards on card stock and cut the squares out. Assemble the cards in sequential order and staple along the left edge to keep them together. To flip the book and create the animation, hold the stapled edge of the book with your left hand and hold the bottom right corner of the book with your right hand. Bend the book and let the pages slide against the thumb holding in the bottom right corner.

Activities to improve general classroom skills:

Informational and just-for-fun downloads:

To view all Classroom Activities by month, select from the list below: