These wicked University of Delaware undergraduate students just wanted to learn how to teach kids to read and write.  Each Monday and Wednesday they come to class, hoping to learn something that will help them when they become teachers.  Little did they know they would have to work with misunderstood fifth and sixth graders and read a horrifying book like Lemony Snicket’s The Bad Beginning. Moreover, their appalling professor, Dr. Karchmer, assigns them so much work like participating in literature circles to discuss the book’s content, posting their thoughts on discussion boards, conducting comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency lessons, and worst of all, developing writing ideas for those misunderstood elementary students to complete!  Hopefully these wicked teacher education students won’t learn a thing from this experience!  Take a look below to judge for yourself.

EDUC 310-010
Click HERE to see their work

EDUC 310-012
Click HERE to see their work

Dr. Karchmer's students came up with these writing activities for the 5th and 6th grade Comsewogue students.  The idea is for students to choose activities that interest them and work with partners.   It should be interesting to see which activities they chose.


  1. Write a short biography of Lemony Snicket. Research information about him on the Internet.
     Include as much information as you can find, including where he finds his motivation.
  2. Write a critique of the play, “The Marvelous Marriage” to be published in a local newspaper.
  3. Write an obituary for Mr. & Mrs. Baudelaire.
  4. Pretend you are Dr. Phil or Oprah and interview Count Olaf.
    Develop questions to ask him and create responses.
  5. Pretend you are Dr. Phil or Oprah and interview the Baudelaire children.
     Develop questions to ask them and create responses. 
  6. Make a playbill for the “Marvelous Marriage”.  What are the people supposed to see when they get there?
    Who are the characters and names of actors in it?  What are the different sections of the play?
  7. Create a recipe/menu for a meal that you would have served Count Olaf and his theater group.

 Persuasive Writing

  1. Write a letter from the Baudelaire children to either Mr. Poe or Justice Strauss persuading them
    to find a way to remove the children from Count Olaf’s house.
  2. Write a persuasive letter from the perspective of one of the Baudelaire children to Mr. Poe,
     convincing him to let you live with Justice Strauss.
  3. Devise a plan to rescue Sunny from the tower and write a persuasive argument convincing
     Violet to use your plan instead. This can be written in letter form.
  4. Develop an advertisement for a newspaper to find someone new to adopt the Baudelaire children..
  5. Write an advertisement for Count Olaf’s play, the Marvelous Marriage.  Include the date of the play,
     ticket prices, seats available and a review of the play.


  1. Choose one of the options below and write a 5 senses poem.
    A five senses poem has five lines each including a different sense.
    Look at the following Internet site for examples by kids. 

·         Describe when the Baudelaire children were locked in the tower.

·         Describe a night in Count Olaf’s house.

·         Describe the scene when the Baudelaire children are cooking the meal for Olaf and his friends.

·         Describe what it is like as one of the Baudelaire children the first time you set foot in Count Olaf’s house. 

  1. Choose one of the options below and write a Haiku. A Haiku is a type of poem that is three lines long
     and follows a 5-7-5 syllable pattern. Look at the following Internet site for examples by kids.

·         The opening scene on the beach before the children heard the horrible news about their parents.

·         Describe Sunny’s thoughts as she is trapped in the cage.

 Letter Writing

1.      Create a postcard from the Baudelaire children to their friends describing what their life is like.
  1. Imagine you are one of the Baudelaire children.  Write a thank you note to either Justice Strauss or Mr. Poe for coming to your rescue.
    Be sure to include how they helped save you from Count Olaf.
  2. Write an invitation from Count Olaf to Justice Strauss, inviting her to take part in the play
     as the person who will marry the two main characters in the play.
  3. Imagine you are the Count and write a postcard to the children warning them that you are still
     out there and want their money.  Remember a postcard has a drawing on one side.
  4. Imagine you are Sunny a couple of years down the road and write a diary about your perspective of Count Olaf and what you experienced.

 Journal Writing

  1. Write an entry (or entries) for Count Olaf’s diary, describing the plan for the wedding and/or describing what he did after the plan failed and he disappeared.
  2. Imagine you are Violet Baudelaire or Klaus Baudelaire and write a diary entry describing how you felt when Sunny was taken by Count Olaf.
  3. If Sunny could talk, what would she say?  Write a journal entry from Sunny’s perspective on the Baudelaire children’s situation.
  4. Imagine you are Violet.  Write a personal journal entry about how you felt after the wedding with Count Olaf was called off.
  5. Write a diary entry from Count Olaf’s perspective when he first finds out the Baudelaire children are coming to live with him.


1.            The children receive a RANSOM note from Count Olaf about the capture of Sunny.  Create the ransom note with
magazine and newspaper cutouts about what needs to be done in order for Sunny to be returned to Violet and Klaus.

2.            Make a collage of Violet’s ideas to rescue her sister.

3.            Create a slideshow of the important parts of the story using clipart.
4.            Dress-up and stage a scene from the book.  Take a digital picture of that scene.
5.            Pretend that you are the Baudelaire children and make a poster that you would hang up around town
 in hopes of finding new parents to live with.
6.            If you were to redesign the cover of the book what would it look like?
7.            Create a timeline in Kidpix or using some other technology about the important events in the story 
or all of the bad things that happened to the children.
8.            Choose one of the eyes mentioned in the story and illustrate it the way you have imagined it.
9.            Using Kidpix, select a room or portion of the house and illustrate it.
10.        Create a “Wanted Poster” for Count Olaf since he disappeared from the play. 
Include a reward, description of his crime, and what he looks like.
11.        Imagine you are one of the Baudelaire children and make a poster that you would 
hang up around town in hopes of finding new parents to live with.
12.        Draw an illustration of Sunny to be attached to a milk carton. 
Include a short written description of her characteristics and encourage people to help find her.