From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. FrankweilerWritten By: E.L. Konigsburg

Claudia is much too mature and organized to run away from something.  But running toward something is an entirely different matter.  After persuading her brother, Jaime, to run with her, they embark on a fantastical adventure after setting up a temporary home in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  While searching for something that will change her before she can return home, Claudia becomes enthralled with a mystery surrounding a statue presumed to have been created by Michelangelo himself.  What she doesn’t consider is that the last thing a person intent on hiding needs is making the headlines.

Discussion/Project Ideas:

1. Claudia and Jamie had to live on a budget. If you were going on a trip for one week, create a budget that would take into account following:
a. Number of travelers
b. Access to a kitchen – can you cook some things where you are staying, does it offer free breakfasts, will you have to eat out for every meal?
c. Average cost of meals – For one week prior to your trip, record the cost of meals that you eat that are similar to the ones you will be having while you are traveling. If you will be getting free breakfast with your hotel, you will not need to count these, for example. Also, some regions have higher prices than others. Research menus with prices on-line of some of the restaurants near where you will be staying and have the future travelers choose some sample meals. This will give you an idea of how much you will spend.
d. Remember to always plan for emergencies. How much would be reasonable to add to your budget “just in case?”  Finalize the the budget by stating how much money you think it will take to feed all travelers for the entire trip, including some emergency funds.
****Whatever your answers are and whatever the plan may be, be prepared to justify your answers and back it up with solid information.

2. Plan a museum!
a. In the book you will find a drawing of the floor plan to part of the museum. For this project, you must enlarge it in such a way that it keeps the exact same proportions. First, measure the actual dimensions. Then choose to enlarge them by whatever size you prefer – 10x the original, 40x the original, and so on.  Remember you must enlarge every wall exactly the same.
b. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has many rooms with exhibits that are arranged by themes. It might be a culture, a time period, a style, etc. For your museum, you must choose a theme for each of the rooms you created.
c. Choose known pieces of art that fit each theme. Create a small drawing or replica of each piece of artwork and give a small description for future visitors.  Place all artwork and descriptions in the appropriate rooms.
d. Post your museum and see of others can guess your theme.
****This can be as simple or complicated as you wish. You can add difficulty by putting restrictions on the kinds of art or the way it is presented. You can add guidelines for the attributes of the art pieces that are being grouped, perhaps by making it all fit into a social studies or science unit. It is completely dependent on the needs of you curriculum.

If you would like any help with this unit, please contact me. This unit has too many variations for me to list them all here, but I would happy to come up with something specific if you have a goal in mind.

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