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Book Focused Lessons -created by: Richele McFarlin-

When I was a child my mom used to read me bedtime stories.  Many of those stories are still some of my favorites today.  Whenever I see a book I once remember as a child nostalgia takes over and I promptly purchase the book for my children.  Amelia Bedelia is one such book that lives fondly in my heart.  I could not wait to share it Amelia’s antics with my children.  So, it only made sense that Amelia would find her way into one of my weekly Book Focus Lessons I design for my little girls.

My Book Focus Lessons are created to engage young children into literature.  I feature a new book every Friday on my blog to help you enjoy reading with your child.  The week is filled with simple short activities and lessons inspired by the story we are reading.

Day 1:  Who is Amelia Bedelia and why did she draw the drapes?

The first day we read the story aloud.  This is the time to get familiar with the book and Amelia.  Once you finish reading the book engage your child by asking a few questions about the story.

  • What was Amelia hired to do for the Rogers family?
  • What was the funniest thing she did in the book and why?
  • How would you dust the furniture or draw the drapes or put out the lights?
  • What did Amelia do to make Mr. Rogers happy?


Draw the Drapes

Get out your favorite colored pencils, markers or crayons and paper.  It’s time to draw your favorite scene from Amelia Bedelia.  You may even want to draw your drapes!

Day 2:  Fun with Homophones

Homophones are words which sound the same (may or may not be spelled the same) yet have different meanings.  For example “night” and “knight” or “cast” and “cast”.  This is a fun lesson since many children do not consider homophones until brought to their attention.  My five year old was amazed how many homophones we could think of.  For a great list go HERE.


Rebus Story

If you have young children you will want to write a simply paragraph or two before you begin the lesson.  Using a magnetic dry erase board makes this activity easy and fun but you can certainly use paper and cut out pictures.

Simply write a paragraph on your board leaving blank spaces where the homophones would go.  Cut out or draw pictures of the homophones and attach to magnet stickers.  Now read the paragraph to your child and have her place the correct homophone in the black space.

You may want to allow your child, based on ability level, to make her own sentences or paragraphs using the homophones.

For some fun use the opposite homophones to visualize what the silliness the sentences would imply.


Homophone Pictures and Memory Game.

For younger children use homophones which are visual like flower/flour or berry/bury.  Paste the pictures of the homophones on index cards. Place all the cards on a table and have your child match the homophones.  In addition, you can turn the cards over and play a memory game with the homophones.

Day 3:  Following Directions and Measuring Rice

Amelia Bedelia goes throughout her day diligently following her list.  While the results are hysterical she did her best to follow directions.  So now it is time to have your child follow a “to do” list.  However, the intent is to follow it correctly although I give extra points for being creative.


The “To Do” List

Give your child simple and short list of things to do such as:  water the dog, dust the furniture, or make your bed.  Ask you child what is expected from her for each chore.  Then ask her what Amelia might do.  Now, unless you want a fun mess with crazy results and everlasting giggles, do not allow your child to be an Amelia Bedelia.

Building Behind My Back

Gather about 20 Legos for each pair of children or for you and your child.  Make sure each have an identical set of Legos.  Now, sit back to back.  Have on person build a small Lego creation only taking about 30 seconds.  Then have the person who built the Lego creation give step by step directions to the other person.  Once the last step is given turn around and see if the creations match.


Measure 2 Cups of Rice

When Amelia was told to “measure two cups of rice.”  Now it is your turn to measure two cups of rice!  This is fun activity for younger children but it may get a bit messy.  All you need is a big bowl of rice and several measuring cups.  Teach your child the basics of measuring out 1 cup, 1/2 cup, and so on.  Then give your child a 1/2 cup scoop and ask her to measure out 2 cups.  Keep going in that fashion to teach basic fractions.

Day 4:  Making Lemon Meringue Pie with Amelia

A favorite learning activity in my home is baking!  Baking is a great learning tool and the results are yummy.  Amelia makes up for all her quirky antics with her delicious Lemon Meringue Pie.  Let’s put your whisks together and see if we can make a lemon meringue as good as Amelia’s.


Making Lemon Meringue Pie

The following recipe can be found on AllRecipes.com.

Grandma’s Lemon Meringue Pie


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. To Make Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.
  3. To Make Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.

Have your child do as much as the recipe as she is able and include her in every step.  Cooking is a great way to learn math, following directions, and science.  This is a fun activity but it also has a great amount of educational value.

Day 5: Idioms and Fun with Your Name

Idioms are another fun lesson like homophones.  However, the concept may be lost on some young children.  If you have a child who is too young to appreicate idioms then you may want to do the name activity.

Idiom:  an expression, a phrase which is defined by figurative meaning and not literal

Introduce your child to some common idioms.  Have her examine the literal meaning of an idiom or draw pictures of what the idiom would look like if taking literally.  The Idiom Site is a fun place to visit for some ideas you can use.


Fun with My Name

Kids love to play around with their name.  The smaller ones especially love rhyming with their name.  Have your child come up with several ways to write and sound out a name like Amelia Bedeila but using her own name.  For example:  Kara Bara, Kara Sara, Kara Zara, etc.  This is a fun way to practice rhyming and phonics.  Your child can write down her name several ways or choose a favorite and decorate it.

Happy Reading!


Richele McFarlin is a Christ loving,  history loving, Charlotte Mason loving, homeschooling mom to four children.  In nine years of homeschooling she has taught everything from tying your shoes to Physics.  Her educational background is in educational psychology, however, her studies never included how to handle a crying toddler, ten loads of laundry, and a science experiment all while making dinner.  You can find her blogging at Under the Golden Apple Tree and in the Homeschool section of Families.com.

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  1. Great stuff! We have three OLDER kids (youngest is a HS Junior this year) and a newly adopted baby. I actually laughed-out-loud a few months ago when I realized I get to introduce her to Amelia Bedelia in a few years!

  2. I just “happened” upon your blog (I’m not sure how : D). I LOVE this! I think I will be using this in our reading next year so keep it up please : D

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