Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

Guided Reading Tips: Meanies in the House

This is a guest blog post by Becca Ross, who usually writes over at   Love, Laughter, and Literacy . To read more from her, come back here often for more posts from her, or check out her blog!

Have you met the Meanies? My kindergartners absolutely LOVE the  Meanies series   from the   Joy Cowley Collection . I recently found that there are new books featuring these fun characters. It's time to start stocking up on some new Meanies books for my classroom!


The kids think these books are ridiculously funny. There is usually a rhyming element to the books and this makes it easy for the kids to chime in.

Meanies in the House is a super-fun book that the kids are going to love!  Teachers will also appreciate that the end of the book has suggestions for how to use the book before, during, and after reading. 

Before Reading

Before the reading, the book suggests asking the children what a "mess" would look like in different rooms in the house. This activates their schema for messy places and helps them relate to the story a little better. I would use this book after a few other Meanies books had been introduced and ask the kids to predict what types of messes they think the different Meanies characters might make in a house. This is also a good time to introduce new vocabulary words in the story such as   scattering   and   tappy .

During Reading

We can use prior knowledge from the reading we have done of other Meanie books. Have kids predict if there is anything they think the Meanies might be scared of.

After Reading

When the reading is complete, kids love to talk about the book. We can ask the kids to talk about the evidence they see in the story that the Meanies were making a mess. We can infer why we think the Meanies are especially scared of Grandma.  We can also dive into the meaning of words in the story. Many young readers might not know what phrases like  run for cover   might mean.

I can't wait to use my new Meanies books in the classroom. I think these books are great to use as guided reading books in small group instruction, but they are also awesome to use in whole class lessons. I would highly recommend using a document camera and projecting the books onto a large screen or using a big book for whole class instruction.  This book is great and I can't wait to share it with my kiddos when school starts up!


To learn more about the   Meanies   and see Joy Cowley's books,   you can click here to visit our website , or click the series highlights images below to download an information sheet with key features.