I only have 30 minutes for 2 age groups to teach. Ages 7 and under and then the second group is ages 8 and up. This is how we studied the wonderful book Miss Rumphius:
We learned about the accomplished life of Barbra Cooney.
She wrote and illustrated 110 Books
She received 2 Caldecott Medals
She won the National Book Award for Miss Rumphius
During World War 2 Barbra Cooney served in the Women’s Army Corps
She lived in Damariscotta in a small home that her son built for her
Our former Governor, Angus King, proclaimed a day in her name for all the work she had done called Barbra Cooney.
Miss Rumphius was created into a short movie by Spellbound Productions that won the UNICEF Prize in 2002, 2 years after Barbra Cooney passed away.
The Maine Library Association created an award in honor of Cooney’s book Miss Rumphius called the Lupine Award. This award is presented to a Maine author or illustrator every year.
Then I read Miss Rumphius to all the students.
I showed them a package of lupin seeds. I gave each student a few lupin seeds and we went to the garden and planted them, just like Miss Rumphius.
Next, though we had to make the world more beautiful. Miss Rumphius started planting lupins because she promised her grandfather she would make the world more beautiful. So we painted rocks to line the garden with. We used sharpie markers and glitter glue.
For Miss Rumphius, her grandfather made the world a more beautiful place. For Alice, Miss Rumphius’s niece, her aunt the made the world a more beautiful place. I asked my students: Who makes the world a more beautiful place for you? When I read Miss Rumphius as a child I thought the book was written about my childhood librarian because the story sounded exactly like her, and for me, Mrs. Rich did make the world a more beautiful place. I asked my students to draw a picture or write about someone who makes the world a more beautiful place for them. With their pictures or essays, I will be adding them to our co-op book that we have been working on.
I hope you have the opportunity to read Miss Rumphius by Barabra Cooney. It is an amazing book and everyone should read it, child or adult. Please let me know how your Miss Rumphius lessons went and how you taught one of the greatest children’s books to your students or children.