Miss Nelson is Missing by James Marshall, Harry Allard
Book Synopsis: Miss Nelson’s misbehaving class gets a rude awakening when their kind teacher goes missing and is replaced with Ms. Viola Swamp.
Instructional Focus: (Numbers are for the Virginia Standards of Learning, generally Reading/English)
Reading: Predicting, (K9C, 1.9D, 2.8A, 3.5C, 4.5I, 5.5K) Compare and Contrast(1.9F, 2.8E, 3.5D,4.5K,5.5l 5.5B) , Infer (3.5G, 4.5H, 5.5I)
Creating the Costume: All it takes to transform into Ms. Viola Swamp are striped socks, black heels, a black dress, black nails and a wig. (Next time I won’t forget the black lipstick and faux mole!) I made the wig with ribbon and black yarn (I finally put my weighted exercise ball to good use by using it as a model for my head as I made the wig.)
Delivery: I chose Viola Swamp as my first character of the year as a way to help spark a conversation about behavior and our class community (in addition to the instructional focus areas listed earlier.) It also is one of the easier costumes to wear but still has “impact.” The best part of it all was watching the debate between students about who Viola Swamp really was. (The evidence is clear that Ms. Swamp and Miss Nelson are the same person, but my students were able to use other details to come to a different conclusion. It involved measuring height and using a magnifying glass to help analyze the final picture in the book.)