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September 3, 2014

And Then It Happened...

Have you heard of this hilarious book series?!  In 2011 (or was it 2012?), my school invited Canadian author Michael Wade to speak to our students.  I'm telling you, I was hooked on this guy's stories from the first few words he said.  He was engaging, interesting and FUNNY!  No.  Funny isn't the right word.  HILARIOUS is more like it!  He had the entire student (and staff) population in stitches within minutes.  I remember tears streaming because I was laughing so hard.  So, of course, I bought his series of 10 (at the time, 11 now!) books for my classroom.

My group of students from last year absolutely LOVED the antics of Gordon, Paulo and Michael the three main characters of And Then It Happened.  Each chapter is a short story, some longer than others.  They are perfect for a little read-aloud brain break, which is how I used the books last year.  I had twice as many boys in my class as girls and I needed something that would get their attention fast and keep it for longer than 2 minutes.  Let me tell you, when I took out my book, after about a minute of "Yesssss!"  and "Guys!!! Shhhh!! She's going to read to us!", you could have heard a pin drop in my classroom.  I had a blast making all the different voices for the characters and finding out what trouble our three boys would get into this time.  I can still see one of my sweet boys, W., laughing his great, loud belly laugh in the back of the classroom, often with tears of laughter streaming down his cheeks as he anticipated what would happen next.

The kids would often beg for me to read a second, third and fourth chapter.  And I often obliged.  :)  I always left one of these books for my substitute on days when I was away.  They were the perfect incentive for great behaviour! ;)

One of our favourite stories as a class was The Fart Chart from Book 2.  You can read the Chapter by visiting the Boys' Bookshelf website or by clicking on the image below.  (The website also has activities to download that go along with the stories).

This gem of a series now has 11 books.  And, one of the best parts, at least for me, is that the first book is now availalbe in French!  I'm so excited about this!  I just ordered it, and another set of 11 books for my classroom.  No more fighting over who gets to read And Then It Happened during DEAR time!

We all know that when kids love what they read, they read more, and these are stories kids want to read!  I can promise you that your students will love these stories!  Laughter can do amazing things to a class!

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