Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book Share Wednesday: Jake Drake Series

Books, books, books! So many to choose from!! A new favorite character is Jake Drake, from the Jake Drake series by Andrew Clements. Although Clements usually writes longer chapter books (Frindle, Lunch Money, The Janitor's Boy, The Report Card, Landry News, tons more!), this series is the perfect length and readability level for 2nd grade on up (and struggling 4th graders). I noticed that I (unintentionally) tend to choose books that have strong female characters, so I was excited when I came upon this series! Jake is an average kid who tends to have completely relatable problems.
In Jake Drake: Teacher's Pet, Jake finds himself in the uncomfortable position of being favored by all his teachers and even his principal. He is mortified that just because he does something nice (like help the teacher with her computer, or wash the art brushes in the sink), teachers begin to praise and favor him. (And in the process, alienate the other kids) The story is HILARIOUS and a great introduction to realistic fiction genre, as well as teaching problem and solution.

Jake Drake: Class Clown shows another side of him. Miss Bruce is the new student teacher in Jake's 2nd grade class, but she never smiles. Suddenly, Jake has a new mission: to be so funny that even Miss Bruce will laugh! But then things get out of hand (with Miss Bruce in tears), and Jake finds himself in big trouble! This is a terrific story to introduce different types of conflict: man vs. man, man vs. self, and man vs. society.

Each month our fourth graders are assigned a specific genre to read and write a book report. Since kids always relate to other kids, we choose realistic fiction as our first genre each year. I always choose a realistic fiction book to read aloud to my class, modeling each literary element as we move through the story. Jake Drake has become an understandable and favorite series of my classes! After much discussion and charting, students soon have a good grasp of how to take notes to then turn into a written book report. You can download a copy of my realistic fiction book report planning guide with rubric and teacher samples here.

Thanks to at Melissa at Dilly Dabbles for hosting this monthly linky party! What is YOUR favorite book series?

2 comments:

  1. My fifth graders have gotten into Frindle this fall, and I forgot about the Jake Drake series. I'll have to see if it's around a fourth grade level. I have a student who's ripping through the Captain Awesome series now (and our librarian just bought them...a few weeks ago). He's going to need another series soon. Great problem, right??

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    1. Jake Drake is simpler than Frindle, but some of my kids need this! I don't know about Captain Awesome; I'm going to check out this series now! Thanks, Carla!!

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