The students in Miss Nelson's class have difficulty following the rules and being respectful. One day Miss Nelson concocts an ingenious plan and disappears, making it necessary for substitute Viola Swamp to take over. Soon the children are inundated with homework and have their story time taken away. Eventually, Miss Nelson comes back to a much improved class that appreciates her for the wonderful teacher she is.
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Use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the story's two main characters, Miss Nelson and Miss Viola Swamp. Students can draw a character in each side of the diagram and fill the rest of the space with words that describe each woman.
Students will probably figure out who Miss Viola Swamp really is. Brainstorm with them the clues that led them to that conclusion. Use the book as a guide for clue-seeking.
Read Miss Nelson is Missing a second time and have students locate the places where they would have been angry, annoyed, upset, or happy if they had been in Miss Nelson's class. Create a chart on the board to fill out with the students. Have them create their own emotions chart using this printable.
Have students write a letter to Miss Nelson to persuade her to return to the classroom. In the letter, students can make a list of rules they would follow in the future. Teach them how to write a persuasive letter with this printable activity.
Papier-Mâché Puppets and Masks
Create Papier-Mâché Puppets and Masks of the two main characters in Miss Nelson is Missing, Miss Nelson and Miss Viola Swamp. Then have students act out the story. Their classmates can play the roles of Miss Nelson's students. For help on making Papier-Mâché, use this printable about creating a piggy bank.
James Marshall Biography Grade Levels: Primary, Intermediate, Middle James Marshall originally planned to become a musician, but after injuring one hand in an accident he stumbled upon drawing. Read more about the remarkable career of the award-winning illustrator of Miss Nelson is Missing. http://www.hbook.com/exhibit/marshallbio.html
Top Children's Authors Grade Levels: Primary, Intermediate, Middle A complete list of the Educational Paperback Association's top children's authors is divided into two lists: grades 1-4 and grades 5-8. Each author's link includes a biography and other works by the writer. http://www.edupaperback.org/top100.cfm
Books by Harry Allard
Bumps in the Night
, 1996 The Cactus Flower Bakery
, 1991 Crash Helmet
, 1977 The Hummingbirds' Day
, 1993 It's So Nice to Have a Wolf Around the House
, 1977 Miss Nelson Has a Field Day
, 1988 Miss Nelson Is Back
, 1986 Miss Nelson Is Missing!
, 1977 The Stupids Die
, 1985 The Stupids Have a Ball
, 1984 The Stupids Step Out
, 1977 The Stupids Take Off
, 1989 There's a Party at Mona's Tonight
, 1999 The Tutti-Frutti Case: Starring the Four Doctors of Goodge