Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Hi! Fly Guy" by Tedd Arnold

The "Fly Guy" book and Me
"Fly Guy" by Tedd Arnold is an award-winning hit with young children. To tell you the truth, I didn't like this book until I shared it with my son. My four-year-old son adores this book series, and so does his just-out-of first grade cousin.

It is a simple book, set up in chapters--but don't be fooled, you can read this book in about three to five minutes. The story is about a boy who finds and keeps a pet fly who he names Fly Guy. The boy loves the fly because Fly Guy can say the boy's name, "Buzz". At first his parents and judges at the local pet show scoff at his choice for a pet, but in the end everyone agrees Fly Guy is not only a great pet, but the smartest pet at the showcase.

Kids in preschool all the way up to second grade would enjoy this book. It will work as a simple, quick read aloud, and is a perfect book for sharing one-on-one with kids. The humor is silly, and in other books in the series even a little gross, but nothing inappropriate. Here is a fun extension activity to use with kids after reading the book...

Animal Awards-

This book deals with the unlikely talents of an unexpected pet, Mr. Fly Guy himself. The premise got me thinking about other animals who might do well in an "pet competition". This lesson would be perfect for kids ages 4-8.

Grade Level- PreK, K, 1, 2

Materials Needed-

  • Printed awards
  • Printed picture of animals or Drawing paper
  • Markers/Crayons/Colored Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Glitter (optional--I hate glitter so I rarely use it)


1. After reading the book, tell the class you are going to host an imaginary "Pet Show Competition". You may even want to print out this banner to hang up:

2. Have each child think of an animal they believe is one of the best in the world. You may want them to look through a database online, or you can get them some copies of animal books.

3. Now have the children draw a picture of their animal. If you are low on time, you can print out these drawings I made:

3. Once each child has selected and drawn an animal, give them a copy of one of these awards:

4. Now have the children create award titles that their animals would win. For instance: a lion might win "Most Ferocious Animal" and a turtle might win the award for "Best Traveling Home".

5. After the children have made the awards, encourage them to color or even add glitter to make it unique.

6. Next have the children write a paragraph describing why that animal wins the award.

7. After all of the work is done, have a big ceremony where each child reads his/her writing aloud and pins the award next to their drawing. It is a lot of fun and validates their work when kids get to read it aloud to the class.

This would be a fun open house display for preschool or kindergarten, and, with added study of the animals, I could see it working in first and second grade.

Fly Guy and his owner, "Buzz".
Discussions/Writing Prompts:

Use these prompts to talk about the book with your kids, or you can have them write their responses. Remember, picture books don't need to stop in second grade!

1. Fly Guy communicates to Buzz in this book. In what other ways to do other animals communicate to people? (e.g. dogs bark when they want out, cats scratch doors to get in, chimps use sign language, pigeons play ping pong... Seriously, click this link.)

2. What qualities make a good pet?

3. If you were to keep a fly, where would you keep it?

4. Why did the adults think Fly Guy wasn't a good pet?

5. Have you ever had a pet? If so, what did you do with your pet? If not, what kind of pet would you like to have?

I hope you enjoy "Hi! Fly Guy!"... And I hope you and your kids have a great awards ceremony for all the pets!

Happy learning!

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