Classroom Activities for Rachel Fister’s Blister:
1. Music: Try singing Rachel Fister’s Blister to the tune of “Clementine.” Now try it with Cousin Ruth’s Tooth. What does this tell you about the rhyme scheme of the two books? Talk about how many syllables there are in each line, and where the emphasis falls on each word.
2. Writing: For older students: make up your own story, using the same rhyme scheme (see #4 below for inspiration). To see if you succeeded, try singing your words to “Clementine.”
3. Discussion: See how many similarities you can find in the two books, for example:
a. rhyme scheme
b. scatty family members
c. making a mountain out of a molehill
d. the Queen saves the day
e. family members can’t figure out her advice
f. Extra credit: Did anyone notice the “Quicker/Faster” sequence in Rachel Fister that’s echoed by the “Faster/Harder” one in Cousin Ruth?
4. Writing: Make your own version of Rachel Fister’s Blister:
a. Brainstorm a list of words that describe illnesses or injuries (i.e., the flu, a cold, the measles, chicken pox, a splinter, a boo-boo, rabies, dizziness, fainting – the wilder the better!)
b. Now brainstorm names that will rhyme with those illnesses: i.e. Peasle, Weasel, Easel, Geezle all rhyme (more or less) with “measles.”
c. Next make a list of “titles” (Mr., Mrs., Doctor, Miss, Ms, Vicar, King – refer to the book if need be) and fun first names: Wally, Harvey, Wanda, etc.
d. Now make up a title by combining all the above: i.e. “Mrs. Weasel’s Measles”, “Doctor Blue’s Flu”, “Harvey Bold’s Cold.”
e. Try writing a story about it, in rhyme if possible.
5. Drama: Put on a play, adapted from Rachel Fister’s Blister.