We received The Magic Stories to review. The Magic Stories is created by Allsaid & Dunn, LLC, publishers of The Reading Game and authors of the Wordly Wise series.
What is “The Magic Stories”?
The Magic Stories is a supplementary reading curriculum perfect for students at the Grade 2 or 3 level.
It consists of a digital PDF download of:
- 6 stories
- a set of flashcards for each story
- printable exercises for each story
There are 6 fictional stories.
- The Magic Hole
- The Magic Ax
- The Magic Joke
- The Magic Hotdog
- The Magic Boots
- The Magic Box
The stories can be printed out or read on an iPad or computer screen. We chose to read from the computer to save paper.
My 7 year old and I both found the stories enjoyable and entertaining. My daughter had no trouble being motivated to read each story from beginning to end, in one sitting. She was engaged in the stories. Her mind was active while reading, trying to solve the conflicts in the story and predicting what might happen next. I was happy to see her level of engagement.
I appreciated the look of the stories as well. At this age level, appearance is everything. It plays a huge role in the readers initial mindset of whether or not they want to even begin the story.
I felt the creators of “The Magic Stories” did an excellent job in this regard. The text was on the larger side and there was quite a bit of space between each line. Margins as well were quite generous, and there was sufficient images. It helped give the impression of not being too difficult or overwhelming.
In actual fact tho, the stories were on the lengthier side and the vocabulary was on the more challenging side. But my daughter never even noticed. This is in large part due to the set of flashcards included with each story.
For each story there is a list of the more difficult words to read. They are called “The Naughty 40”.
The idea is to practice these words with the child before reading the story so that when they read the story, they are already fairly comfortable with them.
The Naughty 40 words can be practiced via flashcards. Each story comes with 4 pages of flashcards that can be printed, 10 flashcards per page.
I found the use of the flashcards to be an excellent way to improve my daughter’s reading ability, and vocabulary. The words could be challenging for a 2nd or 3rd grader, words like: “indignantly” or “luxuries”. So after learning how to read the word, often times my daughter would ask me the meaning of the word.
I appreciated my daughter being able to learn this vocabulary before we even started the story. It made the story more enjoyable as well, not having to stop the flow of the story to figure out pronunciations and meanings.
Each flashcard has one of the more difficult words, along with a sentence that contains the word. So any word my daughter had trouble with, instead of her just repeating the word as I told it to her and moving on to the next flashcard, reading the sentence helped her to better remember the word.
40 challenging words are a lot of words to master. So as not to overwhelm my daughter, we went through only about 10 words at a time. Several short flashcard sessions later and she was ready to read the story.
Each story comes with 7 pages of printable worksheets which has 4 exercises and 2 assessments.
Exercise 1: Maze
- a no writing way to work on reading comprehension of the story
The child must decide if a statement is true or false. Their choice determines which way they are to go in the maze. They are immediately made aware of any incorrect choices, and told to put a check in one of 5 boxes. If all 5 boxes are checked they are told to re-read the story.
My daughter was attracted to the maze look, and wanted to do this page. But it didn’t take her too long to figure out that the answers are right in the maze, and what the statement was stopped being important as she could easily navigate to the finish line without even reading the statements.
So I had to do the maze with her verbally, without her being able to see the answers, and I navigated through the maze based on her answers.
Exercise 2: Finish The Sentence
- a further reading comprehension type worksheet
Exercise 3: Imagine
- writing prompts to get the child to imagine being a character in various situations
Exercise 4: Finish The Story
- an additional writing exercise
- a 100 word excerpt from the story for teachers to have a way to score the reading abilities of their students.
Naughty 40 Sight Word Assessment Pre & Post
A way for the teacher to record and see the growth of the students reading and understanding of the “Naughty 40” words, both before and after reading the book.
As a homeschooling mom of a 2nd grader, I really appreciated the flashcards for expanding my daughter’s vocabulary and sight word recognition. I liked the idea of working on the more challenging words before my daughter read the story, so she was able to read the story for enjoyment, all the while getting further practice with those newly learned challenging words.
The stories were enjoyable and entertaining. We both enjoyed them.
We didn’t make full use of the exercises as we have enough reading comprehension curriculum and my daughter is not a fan of too much writing. I did like the maze exercise as it was an easy, no-writing way to do some reading comprehension.
Overall, I found “The Magic Stories” to be a very educational compliment to my daughter’s 2nd grade.
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