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Third grade often brings about the rite of passage of learning cursive writing. Beverly Cleary’s novel Muggie Maggie explores the anxieties this causes Maggie. It is a great book to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies, especially with the introduction of cursive.

In our modern world there is a debate whether we even need to be teaching cursive anymore. There are some common sense arguments for not wasting the classroom time while on the other side some solid research that points to the educational value on the brain development in learning cursive.

Muggie Maggie doesn’t really touch on the controversy, instead it focuses on the individual and how learning something so strange and new can be exciting or it may be anxiety inducing, as is the case for Maggie.

From the Book Jacket:

At first, Maggie is just feeling plain stubborn when she declares she won’t learn cursive. What’s wrong with print, anyway? And she can easily type on a computer, so why would she need to know how to read those squiggly lines? But soon all her classmates are buzzing about Maggie’s refusal to learn, especially after her teacher, Mrs. Leeper, says Maggie’s cursive is so sloppy that her name looks like “Muggie.”

With “Muggie Maggie” ringing in her ears, Maggie absolutely, positively won’t back down…until she’s appointed class mail messenger. All the letters that Mrs. Leeper sends to the office are in cursive, and Maggie thinks they are written about her. But there’s only way to know for sure…so what’s Maggie going to do?

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Muggie Maggie for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

girl in classroom looking thoughtfully at ceiling

If you are embarking on cursive instruction with your class or just your own child at home, Muggie Maggie is an enjoyable story that is so relevant and relatable for your students during this new time in their lives.



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

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