My students had the pleasure of hearing 3 visitors share their "book stacks" this year. One mom happened to share her love for magazines. She shared the magazines she reads about science (she is an engineer) and some about hobbies/interests she has (decorating). After her visit, many of my students were interested in checking out the small collection of magazines I have saved over the years. I have a few Ranger Ricks, Time for Kids and Kids (out of publication by Martha Stewart). Recently, I discovered the magazine, Ladybug ,and was pleased with the poetry and short stories as I flipped through it. This magazine also has reoccurring characters in the short story at the beginning of each issue (Max and Kate) as well as Ladybug, Muddle, Thud, Molly and Emmett who all are featured in small cartoons. Check out this link to meet and play with the characters.
I often have books that I have ready for readers as options during choice reading. Ladybug was one of the texts I introduced to a few of my stronger readers during our "books in the morning" time. I watched as one reader read a bit and then gathered few readers to try the hand rhyme, This Little Bear. (The text is definitely geared toward transitional and extending readers.) I also decided to introduce the magazine as some mentor text as an experiment. So, I read and shared the two copies I have on hand. We noticed that the magazine was filled with the some of the same genres of writing we have been learning about this year. We found poetry, personal stories and non-fiction. The kids also loved noticing all the extra fun stuff like cut outs for creating with and retelling cards. I sent the kids off and the idea of the magazine inspired a range of writing. Some kids were inspired to write a poem about an insect (lots of bumble bee, ladybug and butterfly poems) and some writers with significant stamina created their own magazines. Here is one magazine called Butterfly that a writer created. She created a cover, wrote a poem about a butterfly, included a page about the life cycle and added a sticker page( not pictured).
I will definitely leave these copies of Ladybug in our magazine basket for kids to come back to as readers and writers. It was yet another option that kids can use.