'Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia' by Peggy Parish is another fun day spent with the literal-minded housekeeper, Amelia Bedelia. In this book, Amelia is a substitute teacher for the day with a list of instructions that she can't quite understand. Teach reading skills and have fun with this book!
Most children have read one of the many Amelia Bedelia books and know that Amelia Bedelia often gets instructions mixed up. She takes the meaning of everything literally. In the English language, that can get you into a bit of trouble. When introducing Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia, ask students if they have read about Amelia Bedelia before. Make a list of books they have read. You can also make a list of funny things that children remember Amelia Bedelia doing in other books.
At the beginning of this Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia lesson plan, you will also make sure your students understand why Amelia Bedelia messes up so many instructions. She takes the meaning of words literally, and often we have expressions and sayings that mean something else entirely. For example in the book, Come Back, Amelia Bedelia, she has to find another job because her employers are tired of her messing everything up. When she is supposed to stamp papers with a stamp and ink at her new job, she stomps on them with her shoes instead. She uses safety pins instead of bobby pins in a customer's hair at a beauty salon because she is supposed to pin up the lady's hair.
Reading and Activities
When reading Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia, you have several choices of ways to read the book. You can assign buddies to read the book together, or you can read it to the class. You can teach it in a guided reading lesson with students who are reading on this level. Students can also read the book during silent reading time.
Once students have read the book, you are ready to continue with the Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia lesson plan. In the story, here are some of the funny, literal things that Amelia Bedelia does:
- When she is asked to call the roll, she finds an actual roll (bread) and tries to call it to come to her.
- The students are supposed to paint pictures. They paint over the professional pictures that are already hanging on the wall.
- During silent reading time, Amelia Bedelia has all the children read their separate books out loud, so she knows they are reading.
You will want to discuss with your students what Amelia Bedelia was supposed to do in each of these instances (and many more) in Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia. Once you are sure that students comprehend the story, you can ask them to do one of these activities:
- Pick one of the funny things that Amelia Bedelia does in the book. Write down EXACT directions so that Amelia Bedelia would not mess them up. Warn students to be careful. She takes everything literally, so they need to be very exact.
Fold a piece of paper in half. At the top of the paper, students write down one of the instructions that Amelia Bedelia did not understand. For example, students could write: "Plant a bulb." On one side of the paper, they draw an illustration of what Amelia Bedelia did in Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia. On the other side, they draw a picture of what she was supposed to do.
Amelia Bedelia Books
This series of articles offers some activities and lesson plans to go with Amelia Bedelia books. You can use the ideas for the individual titles listed or in general for different Amelia Bedelia stories.
- Peggy Parish Books: Four Elementary Activites Using Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia
- 'Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia' Lesson Plan
- Integrate Your Lessons with Art Activities for Amelia Bedelia