Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet

The Five Lost Aunts of
Harriet Bean

Pre-reading activity:

On a piece of paper list as many of your aunts and uncles that you can. Do they have children? Can you list their names too? Are there any people in your family that 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?

Discussion Guide:
  1. What is Harriet’s father’s job? Is he good at it? What clues are given to make you decide this?
  2. Why hasn’t Harriet known about her aunts? What happened when Harold was young on the farm?
  3. Describe the painting made of the five aunts and their brother. Why did the parents want to have it made? What happened?
  4. What piece of information does Harriet’s father have about his sister? What does Harriet decide to do with it? Where does this clue lead?
  5. Describe Aunt Veronica’s job. How does it relate to what Harriet has already been told about her?  Retell the events with Harold and the elephant.
  6. What is the secret to Aunt Veronica’s car? Why does she have this? What trick does she play on the mechanic?
  7. How does Aunt Harmonica use her special gift? Why isn’t she happy about her role at the opera?
  8. What was the strangest incident in the whole history of opera?
  9. Explain the plan to find Aunt Majolica. Does it work? What is she like?
  10. Aunt Veronica says, “There are some things that can’t be bought. These things are by far the most valuable.” (p. 84) What does this mean? Do you agree with her? What did she do for the girl instead of just giving her a prize?
  11.  Why do the twins wear disguises? What special tools do they have in their office? Which one would you most like to use? Why?
  12. The painter makes a mistake on the portrait. What is it? How does he fix it?
  13. Do you think the aunts and their brother will keep their promise to see each other weekly? Why or why not?
  14. Which aunt would be your favorite? Why?  What special abilities do members of your own family have? How would you try to find someone now?
  15. Predict what types of adventures Harriet will have with her aunts.


Language Arts:
The following are terrific words from the book The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean. Have children draw pictures that help them remember what the words mean. Sort the words by noun, verb or adjective. Then, play a challenge game like a spelling bee but where children must use the word correctly in a sentence. Wonderful words: astonished, existed, absent-minded, irritating rejected, scone, coax, scythe, immensely, temperamental, alternative, vaguely, protest, stout, bedecked, dismantle, resemblance, marvelous, lozenge, valuable, confidential, intriguing, ordinary, jubilation, laden.

As you read, fill out this character chart about Harriet, her father, and the aunts. Be sure to keep the details straight with the character!



Aunt Veronica

Aunt Harmonica

Aunt Majolica

Aunt Japonica

Aunt Thessalonika

Social Studies:
Create your own family tree. Ask parents, grandparents and uncles and aunts to help you get as much of the information as complete as possible. Organize the information in a way that helps you keep it straight!

What types of music do you think each of the aunts listen to? If you like, choose a song for each and explain why you picked it.

Create your own family portrait but be sure to put the right head on the right body- or if you’re feeling silly- well, don’t!