By Alexander McCall Smith

Copyright Date: 2007 (new teacher’s edition)

Published by: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children’s Books

Lexile Reading Level: 710

Grade Level Recommendation: 3rd -4th Grade

Common Core State Standard:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.3
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.3.a
Identify and know the meaning of the most common prefixes and derivational suffixes.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.3.b
Decode words with common Latin suffixes.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.3.c
Decode multisyllable words.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.3.d
Read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.

 

Suggested Delivery: Independent reading

Key Vocabulary: 

  • nightingale: small migratory birds of the thrush family
  • astounded: to overwhelm with amazement; astonish greatly; shock with wonder or surprise
  • bated breath: waiting for something to happen
  • peculiar: strange, unusual, odd, uncommon
  • vague: not clear or explicitly stated or expressed
  • mysterious: of obscure nature, implying or suggesting mystery

Reading Strategies (From the Teacher’s Guide in the back of the book):

  • Before:
    • On a piece of paper, list as many of your aunts and uncles as you can.
    • Do they have children too? Can you list them?
    • Are there any people in your family you’ve never met? How can this happen?
    • How would you feel if you discovered that you had five missing aunts? Would you want to find them? How would you start to locate them?
  • During:  While the students are reading, have them fill out a character chart.  This could include the character’s names, the description/ facts about them and their career.
  • After:
    • Why hasn’t Harriet known about her aunts? What happened when Herold was younger?
    • Describe the painted made of the five aunts and their brother. Why did their parents have it made? What happened?
    • Aunt Veronica says, “There are some things that can’t be bought. These things are by far the most valuable.” What does this mean? Do you agree with her?
    • The painter makes a mistake on the portrait. What is it? How does he fix it?
    • Do  you think the aunts and their brother will keep their promise to see each other weekly? Why or why not?
    • Which aunt would be your favorite? Why? What special abilities do members of your family have? How would you try to find someone now?

Electronic Resources:

Harriet Bean Series:

  1. The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean
  2. Harriet Bean and the League of Cheats
  3. The Cowgirl Aunt of Harriet Bean

 

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