D. Miss Rumphius Story
Suggested Time: 25 minutes
- overhead of page 2 of Miss
Rumphius Question: Could this story have taken place
in Acadia? (Appendix IX)
Miss Rumphius has been selected as a model
book because it is a beautifully written and powerful story,
and also has several curricular uses.
- Read aloud Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney.
(It would be a good idea to practice ahead of time, to help
get maximum fluency and expression.)
- Discuss the story, asking participants what is really happening
in this story.
- Outline the form of the story, similar to the following,
in a table on a blank overhead:
|Set goals for Alice (Miss
||Set goals for Little Alice
||Accepts the goals for herself
|Traveled to faraway places
||Traveled to faraway places
||Wants to travel to faraway
|Lived by the sea
||Lived by the sea
||Wants to live by the sea
|Made the world more beautiful
||Made the world more beautiful
||Wants to make the world
more beautiful but doesn’t yet know how
- Bring out that in this story we see the development of
a family tradition. (Grade 1)
- Also bring out through discussion that we see life repeating
itself over three generations, and that life is cyclical
and that family traditions are cyclical. (TCC)
- Talk briefly about the responsibility that the people in
the story feel towards their world and the desire to make
it even more beautiful. Point out that this has relevance
for students to environmental and global citizenship issues.
- Ask where the story takes place. Although we cannot know
exactly where it takes place, it is obviously in New England.
Maine is part of Acadia, and so a strong case can be made
that this story took place in Acadia. (Grade 2) An activity
for students is to prove through an inquiry project that
the story could or could not have taken place in Acadia.
One of the accompanying activities sets out this project.
Factors students might consider in their investigation include:
- Lots of snow in winter
- Very hilly and rocky land right near the sea
- People knew the Indians
- Rocky seashore
- Shipping and fishing industries
- Little village churches
- Lupines grow well and seem to grow everywhere
- Coastline is very indented, lots of lovely little coves
- Evergreen trees and leafy trees grow together
- The ground is stony, the land is rocky
- Miss Rumphius’ grandfather came to North America on a
Appendix X contains a Miss Rumphius handout
for teachers to take away to use with students for this activity
and that model using literature for Inquiry. The document title
is Miss Rumphius Question: Could this story have taken
place in Acadia? and the document filename is Miss
Rumphius in Acadia.doc.
Appendix XI is an alternate, more detailed activity involving
the Miss Rumphius story that integrates Language
Arts and an Inquiry project to find the answer to the question: What
is Acadia Like? The document filename is What is