Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooley-Teaching Theme

Theme: Kindness, helpfulness
Making the World a Better Place

Intro to lesson:
  • How do some people make this world a better place?
  • Chart answers
ex: Firefighters help save our homes from fires
     Teachers help us learn new information
     Librarians help us find books that we would like to read, books that help us learn new information
     Principals help our schools run efficiently
     Nurses help us when we are sick
     Doctors help give us medicine we need, or surgery that will help our bodies be well
 *What qualities do all of these people have in common?  They are all kind and helpful
  • Setting a purpose for reading: The theme of this book is kindness, and helpfulness. As we read, think of examples of Miss Rumphius' kind and helpful behavior. In what ways did she show kindness? How was she being helpful? How did Miss Rumphius make this world a better place?

Intro to text: A lot of  people help make our world a better place, and we do not even realize it! This story is about someone who helps make the world a better place, and it's probably not in a way that we were thinking on our chart! Miss Rumphius is the story of an old woman who helps plant flowers called lupines to make the world a more beautiful place.

Skill Work: Monitor & Clarify

As you are reading, stop and clarify these words with your students: wharves, prows, masts, conservatory, lupines. Teach the students how to use the context clues in the sentence to clarify an unknown words' meaning. Another strategy to use, because this is a picture book, are the clues given in the illustrations.

Here is a follow up activity I love to do after the story. I love finding more about about my students, and this is a great way to do that!

Fold an 8.5/11" piece of white paper in half
Label the half sheet as shown
(Top)When I grow up I will...
(Bottom) ____________ Garden of Wants and Wishes

The inside will look like this:
Be sure to discuss the ways in which Miss Rumphius showed kindness and helpfulness after you finish reading the book. That's the purpose you set for reading. Students should be able to defend your theme choice with concrete examples from the story.
If you do this in your classroom, I'd love to know how it went with your students!

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