Martha Speaks Series

MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies Up Close

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MARTHA SPEAKS, a PBS KIDS television series, aims to help children ages 4–7 build their oral vocabulary—an important early literacy skill. Over 500 students in schools in Leon and Gadsden Counties, Florida, have participated in the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies Program over the past three years. In this video from WFSU, media specialist Sherri Amundson and fourth-grade teachers Brian Lassiter and Polani Kimberl, describe the fun—and learning—that takes place during the program: First-grade and fourth-grade students pair up once a week to watch a MARTHA SPEAKS video, read together, practice vocabulary words, and do activities. The video shows the bond that forms between younger and older students, and demonstrates how the program brings about improvements not only in reading and vocabulary, but in social skills as well.

Martha in Charge

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You can use this video for Session 4 of the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies program. Students watch the video, in which Martha is in charge because Helen is sick in bed and Mom is out. After watching, buddy pairs talk about the episode, play a Choose and Chat game, read a children’s book together, and write in their journal. Prior to using this resource for Reading Buddies, be sure you have read the complete introductory materials in the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies Program Guide.

Key vocabulary: remedy, recuperate, healthy, cure

Martha Walks the Dog

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You can use this video for Session 6 of the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies program. Students watch the video, in which Martha tries to find out why the new dog in town is so loud and mean. After watching, buddy pairs talk about the episode, play a Choose and Chat game, read a children’s book together, and write in their journal. Prior to using this resource for Reading Buddies, be sure you have read the complete introductory materials in the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies Program Guide.

Key vocabulary: pleasant, unpleasant, compliment, bully

Perfectly Martha

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You can use this video for Session 5 of the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies program. Students watch the video, in which Martha is suspicious of the Perfect Pup Institute. After watching, buddy pairs talk about the episode, play the game Skits’s Tricks online (if online access is not available, they can skip this step), read a children’s book together, and write in their journal. Prior to using this resource for Reading Buddies, be sure you have read the complete introductory materials in the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies Program Guide.

Key vocabulary: obey, disobey, obedient, disobedient

Dog Fight

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You can use this video for Session 9 of the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies program. Students watch the video, in which Martha and Skits can’t find a way to share a toy, and then T.D. and Alice start bickering. After watching, buddy pairs talk about the episode, play a Truce! game, read a children’s book together, and write in their journal. Prior to using this resource for Reading Buddies, be sure you have read the complete introductory materials in the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies Program Guide.

Key vocabulary: bicker, negotiate, quarrel, truce

Firedog Martha

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You can use this video for Session 3 of the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies program. Students watch the video, in which Martha’s dream comes true and she gets to ride on a fire truck. After watching, buddy pairs talk about the episode, play a Tic-Tac-Talk game, read a children’s book together, and write in their journal. Prior to using this resource for Reading Buddies, be sure you have read the complete introductory materials in the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies Program Guide.

Key vocabulary: fantasy, real, pretend, actually

There Goes the Neighborhood

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You can use this video for Session 8 of the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies program. Students watch the video, in which Martha is annoyed about what a big fuss everyone is making about a new little kitten, until they become friends. After watching, buddy pairs talk about the episode, play a Choose and Chat game, read a children’s book together, and write in their journal. Prior to using this resource for Reading Buddies, be sure you have read the complete introductory materials in the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies Program Guide.

Key vocabulary: buddy, ignore, prejudiced, tolerate

MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies in Action

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Martha Speaks, a PBS KIDS television series, aims to help children ages 4–7 build their oral vocabulary—an important early literacy skill. In this video, part of the MARTHA SPEAKS mini-tutorial, The Experts Speak, kindergarten teacher Weddy Youn and fourth-grade teacher Joseph Cooke describe their experience using the eight-week cross-age program, MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies. In addition to enhancing students’ enjoyment of reading, they found that the program—which includes reading and talking together, playing games, and writing or drawing—helped younger students learn and use new words, while older students gained fluency, self-confidence, and leadership skills. The video is accompanied by an article written by Youn and Cooke that describes their experience in greater detail. Based on the curriculum behind MARTHA SPEAKS, this innovative initiative builds school community, while improving reading skills.

Martha Calling

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You can use this video for Session 7 of the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies program. Students watch the video, in which Martha has won a trip to an inn that doesn’t allow pets. After watching, buddy pairs talk about the episode, play a Tic-Tac-Talk game, read a children’s book together, and write in their journal. Prior to using this resource for Reading Buddies, be sure you have read the complete introductory materials in the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies Program Guide.

Key vocabulary: allowed, permitted, forbidden, rule

Martha and Skits

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You can use this video for Session 1 of the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies program. Students watch the video, in which a new puppy joins Martha's household, bursting with energy and the desire to chew everything. After watching, buddy pairs talk about the episode, play a Choose and Chat game, read a children’s book together, and write in their journal. Prior to using this resource for Reading Buddies, be sure you have read the complete introductory materials in the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies Program Guide.

Key vocabulary: extraordinary, stupendous, talent, unique

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