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Head: Bechara- Final Project: Analysis of Amelia Bedelia Bakes Off

Samantha Bechara

UC San Diego Extension CLAD through CTEL

Language and Language Development

Final Project: Analysis of Amelia Bedelia Bakes Off by Herman Parish


Bechara- Final Project: Analysis of Amelia Bedelia Bakes Off 1

Book Synopsis of Amelia Bedelia Bakes Off


By: Herman Parish; Pictures by: Lynn Sweat
Amelia Bedelia, the housekeeper for Mr. and Mrs. Rogers learns the famous Chef Du

Jours Bake Off contest when visiting on her day off. Mr. Rogers was watching Whats

Cooking, his favorite show on TV when the famous chef and star of the show, Chef Du Jour

announced the one thousand dollar prize for his big Bake-Off contest. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers

encourages Amelia to enter the contest, as she is a wonderful baker and could make a lot of

dough if she wins. Amelias literal interpretation of the prize equating to thousands of deer: a

male buck or female doe lead to her misunderstanding of the potential prize of the contest.

Although flattered with their compliments of her baking abilities, Amelia does not show interest

in entering the contest. Instead all day Amelia had planned to help her friend Grace prepare for

the big baking contest by lending a helping hand with her cousin Alcolu.

Amelia and Cousin Alcolu were left with Graces recipes to replicate and keep the bakery

running. Throughout her baking experience, she pondered the idea of a statement made by Mr.

and Mrs. Rogers about her being a smart cookie. Amelia could not understand how a cookie

could be smart or rich but beings baking a variety of cookies and cakes anyway following

Graces instructions and recipes. Throughout her baking experiences with Cousin Alcolu, they

continuously interpreted phrases such as start the recipe from scratch and cut the recipe in

half by their literal meanings. Amelia and Cousin Alcolu understood the term scratch to mean

literally scratching each others backs before starting to bake. In addition, Amelia physically cut

the paper the recipe was written on in half instead of only using half of the suggested ingredients

listed. Terms such as bake twelve-pound cakes, a pinch of salt, cheesecakes, baker's

dozen and, crumb cake all were interpreted by Amelia literally creating unique cakes. She

pinched Cousin Alcolu prior to adding salt to the recipe, shaped the cheesecakes to look like
Bechara- Final Project: Analysis of Amelia Bedelia Bakes Off 2

cheese, utilized the extra cake in the baker's dozen due to error, and crumbled cake to make a

crumb cake.

Almost done helping Grace, Amelia decides to make the last and final cake at home using

a family recipe before heading to bed. Planning to meet Grace in the morning at Chef Du Jours

Bake Off contest Amelia creates a cake like no other. The next day, as promised Amelia

delivered the cake to the Bake Off but when she places her cake on the table with all the other

cakes, she inadvertently enters the bake-off too. Shortly after, Chef Du Jour noticed Amelias

cake and inquired about her cake. Amelia explained the inspiration for her cake stemming from

dreaming about her bed since she was so tired. Chef Du Jour loved her inspiration as well as the

tasty recipe that she wins first place. At the end of the story, Amelia is presented with the award

for first place waving at everyone at home on TV. She was especially excited to wave at Mr. and

Mrs. Rogers to see that she won, as she knew they were watching from home. Amelia proved she

was a smart cookie after all!

Expressions with Multiple Meanings/ Amelia Bedelias Misinterpretations


From Amelia Bedelia Bakes Off By: Herman Parish
Expression Context Amelias Interpretation Additional Meanings
Whats Hes watching his - Literally cooking food Whats going on / what is
Cooking favorite show, up?
Whats Cooking?
Petes sake Please be quiet, Who is this person Pete? I am annoyed or surprised
for Petes sake! for goodness sake!
A thousand A thousand -Bucks: Male Dear Money
bucks! bucks! That is a
lot of dough!
Bechara- Final Project: Analysis of Amelia Bedelia Bakes Off 3

That is a lot A thousand -Doe: Female Deer Money


of dough! bucks! That is a lot
of dough!
Smart cookie Youre a smart Cookies (baked goods) that Someone good at something
cookie are smart or rich with a lot
of money
Half-baked That sounds like a Not cooked all the way Not fully thought out idea
half-baked idea
Fortune Cookie that is rich with A cookie made from a think
cookie money layer of dough that is folded
and baked around a piece of
paper that provides a
prediction or advice.
Scratch Start every recipe An itch that needs to be New
from scratch! scratched
Cut the Bake a batch of Physically cut the recipe Divide ingredients in half to
recipe in half chocolate chip written on a paper in half make a smaller quantity of a
cookies, but cut the with scissors and cut the recipe
recipe in half. chocolate chips in half
Twelve Grace wants us 12, 1 pound cakes One 12 pound cake
pound cake to make twelve
pound cakes
Pinch I just need a Physically squeezing A small amount
pinch Cousin Alcolus arm
Chip on your Now youve got A chocolate chip on his A problem / grudge against
shoulder a chip on your shoulder someone
shoulder
Cherries on Put a cherry on top Physically place a cherry The final touch
top fruit on top
Cheese cakes Cakes that look like cheese A type of cake called
cheesecake
Pound cake Cakes that got smashed A type of cake
together
Crumb cake Crumbs of a cake A type of cake called crumb
cake
Bechara- Final Project: Analysis of Amelia Bedelia Bakes Off 4

Keep my I can barely keep Physically keep my eyes Very tired


eyes open my eyes open open
Sheet cake A cake made to look like a A flat cake
bed

Connections to the Material Learned in this Course


I selected this book because previously I have read this text with first and second graders.

As a special educator, working with students identified with developmental delays, learning

disabilities, autism, or Deaf/ Hard of Hearing often the figurative language is challenging

students to understand. Reading comprehension is often a major area of need identified for the

many of these students as well as English Language Learners. Provided with the context of the

story as well as the pictures provided, students can utilize their context clues to break down ideas

such as crumb cake and cheese cake. However, expressions such as cutting the recipe in half

and starting from scratch would cause confusion and misinterpretations for English Language

Learners (ELL). As these phrases are contextual to baking/ cooking, if the student does not have

prior knowledge or experience cooking, following recipes, or watching cooking shows they may

not be familiar with these phrases or the unfamiliar language. Although Amelias experiences

and misinterpretations are meant to be humorous to the reader, this humor may also be difficult

for ELLs or children with learning disabilities to understand.

As a teacher, we need to help students explore and understand the figurative language

through guided reading practices. Shared reading experiences during modeled reading as well as

guided and independent reading are essential to help students understand and improve their

reading. As stated by Brown (2014) a key to Vygotskys Zone of Proximal development relates

to the students existing developmental state and his or her potential development (p. 195).
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Scaffolding students reading abilities utilizing various instructional approaches for reading can

help students develop these critical features of language as identified by the ZPD. Brown (2014)

notes the collaborative effort between teacher and learner in acquiring language development

and furthering their abilities related to reading.

Amelia Bedelia books can be utilized during shared, guided or independent reading

utilizing various metacognitive strategies suggested by the CALLA Content and Language

Learning Strategies (2006), to assist teachers with purposeful lesson planning. These

metacognitive strategies can support teachers in expanding students background knowledge and

predictions utilizing the Amelia Bedelia texts. As many students can possibly observe their

family cooking/ baking, this text provides potential background knowledge or connections

between experiences and the text. In addition, student interest and motivation related to texts is

essential as noted by Brown (2014). From my experiences, the Amelia Bedelia texts are of great

interest to many of my students based on the illustrations and humor of the text. English

Language Learners can also benefit from the modeled shared reading experiences of their teacher

outward processing the multiple meanings of words using context clues and prior knowledge. In

addition, activities addressing the phrase confusion mentioned by Amelia can extend the text

allowing students to explicitly identify various phrases with multiple meanings within the text

such as A thousand bucks! Thats a lot of dough! In addition, the text can be used for

homophone, homograph, and homonym lessons, which can be discussed during shared reading

extension activities and guided reading tasks analyzing words. The adventures of Amelia Bedelia

can provide ELLs with rich language and literacy experiences with guided support and

exploration.
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References:
Brown, D. (2014). Principals of language learning and teahcing: A course in second language
acqusition (Sixth Edition ed.). White Plains, NY: Pearson Education .
Uhl Chamot, A. (2006). CALLA Content and Language Learning Strategies .