Sunday, October 26, 2014

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney - Teaching Ideas



Alice loved her grandfather and wanted to do the things that he had done. She told him that she too would live in faraway lands and live by the sea. Her grandfather told her that those were great things to do but she must also do something to make the world a more beautiful place. 

As Alice got older she became Miss Rumphius and she spent her life traveling and living by the sea and wondering what she could do to make the world a more beautiful place. Miss Rumphius hurt her back on one of her trips, so as she was laying in bed tending to her injured back she could see her lupines growing outside her bedroom window. Seeing these flowers made her so happy.

After Miss Rumphius’s back got better she took a long walk through the woods and discovered lupine flowers growing where they shouldn’t be growing. That’s when she decided she was going to plant lupines all over to make the world a more beautiful place. This made Miss Rumphius very happy.

This book has so many great opportunities for teaching reading skills and strategies. Use the information below to help you quickly and easily create a meaningful lesson. 

Because I think this book is so wonderful and I love using it while teaching, I created a huge packet to go with it (link below).

Reading level: 2.9
Theme/subject: individuality
Genre: realistic fiction 
 
Suggested Vocabulary/phrases: lupine, stoop, wharves, bristling masts, conservatory, tropical isle, jasmine, fetched, mother-of-pearl shell, bird of paradise, headlands, sowing
 

Reading skills and strategies:
  • Asking questions - {possible questions before} I wonder what the story is going to be about. I wonder who Miss Rumphius is. {possible questions during} I wonder how many different places Miss Rumphius visited. I wonder what she is going to do to make the world more beautiful. {possible questions after} I wonder what the little girl at the end of the story will do to make the world a more beautiful place. **Remember to have your students answer/reflect their questions.
  • Author's point of view – Third person. Be sure to find 3 pieces of evidence to support this (she, my, her).
  • Author's purpose – entertain {evidence} The author is telling us a story. There is a character and a setting. The illustrations are beautiful.
  • Beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning} Alice’s grandfather told her that in addition to living by the sea and visiting faraway lands she must do something to make the world a more beautiful place. {most important event from middle} Alice visited many faraway places and hurt her back as she rode a camel. {most important event from end} Alice lived by the sea and spread lupine flower seeds all over to make the world a more beautiful place.
  • Cause and effect – Why did Alice want to visit faraway places and want to live by the sea? Because she wanted to do what her grandfather did.  Why did Miss Rumphius go to a tropical island? Because the conservatory was almost like going to a tropical island, but not quite. How come Miss Rumphius finally lived by the sea? Because she hurt her back on a camel and needed to rest. Why was Miss Rumphius almost perfectly happy? Because she had not done anything to make the world a beautiful place yet. Why did Miss Rumphius have to stay in bed during the spring? Because her back was hurting her again. Why were there lupine flowers on the other side of the hill? Because the wind and birds carried the seeds there. Why did the people of the town call her The Crazy Old Lady? Because she walked all over town spreading flower seeds. Why do they call her the Lupine Lady? Because she is the one that planted all the seeds that make the world around them beautiful.
  • Character analysis - describe Miss Rumphius {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • Compare & contrast – your grandfather to Alice’s grandfather. Compare your idea to beautify the world and what Alice did.
  • Connections - {possible text-to-self connections} Setting goals and accomplishing them. Visiting faraway places. Living by the sea. Planting flowers. Making the world a more beautiful place. Spending time with your grandfather. {possible text-to-text connections} Have You Filled a Bucket Today? By Carol McCloud – both books are about making the world a better place by doing something to better someone or something else.
  • Drawing conclusions & inferencing – Why did people call Miss Rumphius That Old Crazy Lady? {text clues} Miss Rumphius scattered seeds as she walked around the town and countryside. {what I know} I know that some people think other people are a little different or crazy when they do things that aren’t understood. {my conclusion} I think Miss Rumphius was called That Crazy Old Lady because those people didn’t understand what she was doing when she was throwing her seeds around the countryside.
  • Fact & opinion{fact} Miss Rumphius visited faraway places. Miss Rumphius lived by the sea. Miss Rumphius planted lupines to make the world more beautiful. Miss Rumphius helped her grandfather. Miss Rumphius lived to be very old. {opinion} Alice’s grandfather was a smart man. It is fun riding camels. Lupines are the prettiest flowers. Miss Rumphius really was crazy for scattering seeds all over. Planting flowers is the best way to make the world more beautiful.
  • Main idea & details - {main idea} The story is mostly about Miss Rumphius making the world a more beautiful place. {details} Alice’s grandfather tells her that she must do something to make the world a more beautiful place. Alice sees that the wind and birds have scattered her lupine seeds further into the countryside. Alice decides that scattering lupine seeds all around the countryside will make the world more beautiful. Alice orders tons of seeds from her seed catalogue.
  • Plot - the turning point or climax in the story was when Miss Rumphius takes a walk and finds her lupines growing further in the countryside.
  • Predict – what do you think the story is going to be about? Do you think Alice will visit faraway places? Do you think Alice will live by the sea? What do you think Alice will do to make the world a more beautiful place? What kind of faraway places do you think Alice will visit?
  • Problem & solution - {problem} Alice has no idea what to do to make the world a more beautiful place. {solution} Alice’s problem is solved when she takes a walk in the countryside and sees lupines growing. She decides then that planting more lupines all over will make the world more beautiful.
  • Sequencing – Alice sometimes helped her grandfather with his paintings. Alice wanted to visit faraway lands and live by the see just like her grandfather. Alice’s grandfather told her that she must also do something to make the world a more beautiful place. Alice grew up. Alice visited faraway lands. Alice moved into a house by the sea. Alice planted lupine seeds all over the countryside. People called her The Crazy Old Lady. Alice, Miss Rumphius, tells little Alice that she must do something to make the world more beautiful.
  • Story elements - list title, author, characters, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution.
  • Strong thought – Miss Rumphius thought that planting lupines all over the countryside would make the world more beautiful place. What would you say to Miss Rumphius about this?
  • Summarize - {someone} Miss Rumphius {wanted} wanted to make the world a more beautiful places {but} but she didn’t know what to do {so} so she went for a walk and {then} then she saw lupines growing faraway from where she planted her seeds. Miss Rumphius {finally} finally know what to do, plant lupine seeds all over the countryside.
  • Theme – Leave the world more beautiful than when you entered it. Set a goal and stick with it.
  • Visualize – Miss Rumphius planted lupines all over. Visualize what you would do to make the world a more beautiful place.


You can purchase this packet from my TpT store.
Happy reading,


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