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Lesson Plan

Word Study with Henry and Mudge

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Word Study with Henry and Mudge

Grades K – 3
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Six 30- to 40-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Margaret Bouchard

Worcester, Massachusetts


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives





  • Henry and Mudge: The First Book by Cynthia Rylant (Simon & Schuster, 1996)

  • Base-word and suffix cards

  • Blank cards

  • Clear bingo chips

  • High-frequency word bank

  • Long sheets of paper

  • Red and green craft sticks

  • Scissors


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Comic Creator

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

Comic Creator

The Comic Creator invites students to compose their own comic strips for a variety of contexts (prewriting, pre- and postreading activities, response to literature, and so on).


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1. Obtain a copy of Henry and Mudge: The First Book by Cynthia Rylant. Select a couple of chapters to read aloud with students and a chapter or chapters that you will use for the new-read portion of the lesson.

2. Before beginning this lesson, students' word knowledge should include short vowels, long-vowel patterns, and understanding for the syllable-juncture stage of spelling. In the syllable-juncture stage, students are better able to make informed spellings that contain several elements of the spelling system using patterns within and between syllables. You should also have introduced the concepts of base words and suffixes.

You may find it useful to read Invented Spelling and Spelling Development before beginning this lesson. This article is a great resource for information regarding developmental word knowledge and spelling. It also provides instructional implications and explains the developmental stages of spelling.

3. Create a high-frequency word bank for students. This bank may consist of a wall chart or individual collections of file cards for each student; either way, it should be available to all students and highly visible. It should include previously presented and new words. Before the lesson, choose an unfamiliar high-frequency word from the text you have selected for the new-read portion of the lesson.

Guided Reading: Good First Teaching for All Children by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell (Heinemann, 1996) is a good word-bank resource.

4. Create a collection of base-word and suffix cards. The words (e.g., looked, licked, or walked) should be generated from Henry and Mudge: The First Book and can be printed with one color for the base word and a different color denoting the -ed. Create a worksheet that lists the words on these cards and make one copy for each student.

5. Use the long sheets of paper to create sentence strips from Henry and Mudge: The First Book. The sentences you choose should include high-frequency words from the word bank. Some sentences should be from the selection you read during the initial session; others should be from the selection you will have students read later in the lesson. Cover the high-frequency words with blank paper or word cards.

You will also want to make at least one blank sentence strip available for each student in the class.

6. Visit and familiarize yourself with the Comic Creator interactive tool. It is excellent for working with struggling readers because the comic-strip format supports reading and writing by having students retell a story or depict the main idea using words and pictures.

Use the Comic Creator to prepare a comic strip that retells the story from the new passage you have selected for students to read. The comic strip should have pictures of Henry and Mudge and conversation bubbles with prompts like the following:
  • Henry walked...

  • Mudge smelled...

  • Mudge loved...

  • Henry missed...

  • Henry remembered...
The sentence prompts should use story words with the -ed ending and also the high-frequency word you have selected for the class. You should have a copy of the comic strip available for each student in the class. You should also make a blank comic strip with the same number of panels; make one copy for each student in the class.

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