Mrs. Wishy Washy

Information provided on this page is for classroom use only; not for publication. 2002


Books and Additional Resources                                                                      

  Mrs. Wishy Washy Big Book
  Mrs. Wishy Washy Boardbook
  Mrs. Wishy Washy Six Pack
  Mrs. Wishy Washy's Tub Big Book
  Splishy - Sploshy Big Book
  The Scrubbing Machine Big Book
  Mud Walk Big Book
  Wishy Washy Day Big Book
  Mrs. Wishy Washy Floor Puzzle


Mrs. Wishy Washy's Farm

New Book!

Mrs. Wishy Washy's Christmas ... coming in Sept '05!


Mrs. Wishy Washy and the other books are going to be included in our Old MacDonald's Farm unit.   The children are sure to enjoy all the antics of Mrs. Wishy Washy and all her farm animals.


I'm going to begin by reading Mrs. Wishy Washy to them and then we're going to make a large mud puddle for the pigs that we made previously.  They've just been hanging out in the hall waiting on their mud.  :)  The pigs and the mud puddle will become part of our Old MacDonald's Farm hallway display.


To make the mud puddle, we're going to fingerpaint a large piece or two of butcher paper using chocolate pudding.  Of course, we'll save some to eat after lunch for a snack as well.  Once the paper is dry, I'll piece it together if necessary and cut it into a mud puddle shape.  Then we'll just add the pigs.  They'll love it!


 This is the finished product ... the mud puddle.

"Oh, lovely mud!"


You could also carry this lesson a step further by having the students compare/contrast our "lovely mud" to what we know about real mud.  This could easily be done using a Venn diagram (two overlapping circles).  Comparing and contrasting is also another one of our benchmark objectives.


This is our finished Venn diagram.


Then you could have your students do a writing activity centered around the mud.  They could use the information collected in the Venn diagram above, or they could brainstorm words first that describe and are related to mud.  These words should be recorded on a piece of chart paper or the board to use during the writing process.  I also have a portable Word Wall (a pocketchart) with farm words and pictures that my students use for writing.  By providing them (young writers ... if not necessarily by age, then by skill) the farm vocabulary words, they can center more of their energy on getting their ideas on paper and  spelling their sight words.  I've found that this often gives them the confidence they need to put pencil to paper.  And, I will add that many of our sight words can be found on our Word Wall for those who are developmentally ready to use that resource.  I've also found that my students have to get to a certain point in their development before they're ready to use the resources provided to help them in their writing.  And those students who don't need these resources will not rely on them when they have enough confidence to write on their own.


This is a close-up shot of part of our

Farm Vocabulary Word Wall.


Back to the actual  writing activity ... you could have them do a free write about mud, or have them write "x" number of facts about mud, or have them pretend they're a pig and write about why they like/dislike mud.  They could also approach the writing aspect from another angle by writing about why they would like/dislike rolling in the mud.   (Regarding facts about mud ... the first day I read Mrs. Wishy Washy to the students, and during our discussion of the book afterwards, my youngest student brought out the fact that pigs get in the mud to stay cool!  So we discussed this and the fact that pigs can't sweat because they have no sweat glands.  This lead to a quick discussion of the saying ... Sweating like a pig! )


My less capable students will do alternate writing assignments such as copying the words: mud, Mrs. Wishy Washy, pig, cow, duck, and drawing a picture to go with each.  (copying words and illustrating writing/stories are also benchmark objs)  They're actually able to choose the animal pictures from the pocketchart and copy the words onto their paper.  Then for those that need it, I do a quick drawing lesson to help them draw their pictures.  We did this activity on Fri. and I had a student that needed help with drawing a dog (one of the words that he'd chosen to copy from the pocketchart).  So I did a quick step-by-step drawing of a dog with BIG floppy ears.  He drew along with me through each step.  When we were finished he was ecstatic that he'd drawn a dog and he LOVED it!


Another alternate writing activity that some of my students will do is to write simple sentences using 1 or 2 chosen words from the words "mud", "Mrs. Wishy Washy", "pig", "cow", and "duck".    They'll write sentences like: I like Mrs. Wishy Washy.  I like pigs.  The duck is yellow.  I like the _____ (favorite character from book).  Again, a couple of sentences like these are modeled with the students and then they're to write on their own.  They usually pick one of the sentences that we used in the lesson to write.  I don't have a problem with this because they're concentrating heavily on getting the appropriate words onto the paper and spelling them correctly (as best they can).    Of course they have the portable Farm Word Wall, the real Word Wall with the basic sight words, and the color words charts to pull from if they choose to.  Sometimes they utilize these and sometimes they don't.   After they've completed their writing, then we go back over it and conference.


The next day we will reread the story and hopefully on these subsequent readings the students will begin to chime in with the predictable text, as that's one of our state mandated benchmark objectives.  After rereading the story, we'll work together to complete the following sentence frames in the pocketchart:


"Oh, lovely mud," said the ____ and she ______ in it.  (cow/jumped)

"Oh, lovely mud," said the ____ and he ______ in it.  (pig/rolled)

"Oh, lovely mud," said the _____ and she ______ in it.  (duck/paddled)


We will complete the sentence frames using color coded word cards.  I wrote the words "cow" and "jumped" on blue sentence strip pieces.  I wrote "pig/rolled" on pink, and "duck/paddled" on yellow.   Later  when the students complete the chart on their own as a Center, those that need additional help will be able to rely somewhat on the color coding  ... pink for pig, and yellow for duck.   Blue I just had to make do with for the cow because I didn't have brown.    You can also extend this activity by having the students brainstorm other animals that could get in the mud and what they would do in it.  Ex.  Rooster ... and he strutted in it.



During this time, I'll also reinforce the letter W  in Wishy Washy,  as well as the sound, and bring out that the verbs all have the suffix "ed".  (more state benchmark objectives)  Remember, that I teach a Special Education resource class for K - 3.  This means that I have to hit certain benchmark objectives for  4 grade levels ... preK through second grade, depending on what's stated on the students' IEPs.   So I have to be sure to cover a wide range of skills and objectives.


The next day we'll reread the story again, then complete a following directions activity (another benchmark objective).   I will first model putting together a Mrs. Wishy Washy character.  I drew Mrs. Wishy Washy, then made a master of the the parts that make up the character making sure to leave space for gluing the pieces together.  The students will glue the pieces together on a large piece of construction paper to form Mrs. Wishy Washy.   I must admit that I was surprised at how well my drawing of Mrs. Wishy Washy turned out, but I'm also afraid that the activity might turn out to be more difficult than I had planned.  We'll just have to wait and see how it goes.


This is what we started out with.



These are some of our finished Mrs. Wishy Washy pictures. 

The activity turned out to be easier for the children than I thought.


The next day we'll revisit the story again, then use the flannelboard pieces that I printed off The Mailbox Companion to retell the story.   (The patterns are no longer available)  I printed the tub onto gray construction paper and the mud onto brown.  All the other pieces I printed onto cardstock.  The aide colored them for me, then we had them laminated.  She glued small sandpaper squares to the back of each piece so that they would adhere to the flannelboard.    Then I cut slits in the top of the tub and in the mud puddle.  Next I hotglued cotton to the top of the tub around the slit to look like suds.  The students will insert the animals into the slits to look like they're in the mud and in the tub.   The flannelboard will also be one of the Centers for the week.




The next day we're going to do a retelling of the story using story props.  This is going to be my favorite part.  :)   I bought a small wooden tub on markdown at Cracker Barrel.  My sister had already given me a Beanie Baby type cow (but it's really a Precious Moments cow), which is what started this whole activity with the story props.  Then I sweet talked my daughter into giving me her knock-off of a Beanie Baby duck.  She also has the Beanie Baby pig, Squealer, but she isn't giving him up.  So now I've got to get a pig and a small, soft brush (like a shoe shine brush) before Friday!  And last, I'll add a small hotel sized bar of soap to complete the props.  These are the things that we'll use to retell the story.  (Retelling a story is also a benchmark objective.)  If you wanted, you could add an apron, fuzzy house shoes, and a bandana as well.


I still haven't found a pig!



I found a pig!  Not exactly what I wanted, but it will do until I find what I'm looking for.



Update:  I did find a Ty Beanie Baby pink pig!  I can't remember now where I got him.  He's soooo cute!



Another activity that we're going to do is to identify the parts of the story (another benchmark objective).  I took a piece of white posterboard and sectioned it into the appropriate number of sections with the appropriate amount of space.  I wrote one story part item in each section.  The poster looks like this:











The poster was then laminated so that it can be reused with each story.  We fill in the parts of the story together and I write them on the poster with a Vis-a-Via.  In the sections for Beginning, Middle, and End they have to decide upon one sentence that describes each for the story.   Once the poster is finished, then we rewrite the story during Writing Workshop using the 3 sentences that we decided upon for the poster.  I write them on the board as they dictate and tell me how to spell the words.  Then I go back and do "book spelling".  Once we've edited the sentences, also talking about indention, etc., we read and reread the sentences together.  Then I erase them off the board and have my students that are capable, retell the story in writing in their Journals,  skipping lines.  When they're finished,  we go back and conference and discuss book spelling, punctuation, spacing, capitalization, whatever.   We make these edits in the blank line spaces that they skipped.  I try never to actually change or write on the students' actual writing.  I want to encourage them for trying and one way of doing that is by not butchering their writing.  The exception to that is if I circle a letter that should have been capitalized or shouldn't have been capitalized.   The next day, they rewrite the edited version of their story making all the necessary corrections.


For a sequencing activity for my students who are reading (as opposed to those who are "reading"  :)  ), I wrote the main sentences from the book on sentence strips and then summarized some of the other pages into one line.  I tried to condense the book into 10 lines of text so that it would fit into a pocketchart.  However, somehow I ended up with 11 lines of text, so I've got to figure out a solution for that problem.  Anyway, the students will read the text and put the sentences in the correct order in the pocketchart.  Of course, sequencing is another benchmark objective.


One of our Centers for this week was to put this Mrs. Wishy Washy puzzle together.  My students found it difficult.  This was taken after one of them finished it.



I found it online cheap.  I have no idea about this company however or how long the product will be in stock here.


I also want to extend the Mrs. Wishy Washy story by also reading the other books containing her as a character.  One of the ones that I'm really looking forward to doing is Mrs. Wishy Washy's Tub.  It has very simple text and even my earliest readers will be able to read the text because it's repetitive and contains many of the very basic sight words that we're working on (another benchmark objective).


The book utilizes the sentence frame:  The ____ is in the tub.  On each page of the book another animal gets into the tub so that by the end of the book, it's quite full!  And of course it ends with Wishy - washy.  Wishy - washy.  :) 


So this book lends itself very well to being rewritten.  You could change the subject of the book and have zoo animals get into the tub, or even your own students! :)  What a cute class book that would make. 


Below are the pictures of our Mrs. Wishy Washy's Tub.  I used the tub pattern from The Mailbox (shrunk it some) and Ellison die-cuts to make the animals.  The tub pattern was actually copied onto gray construction paper, although it looks brown in the pictures.  I just quickly put this book together for my class to do one day when I was going to be out for a conference.  So I didn't really add a lot of details to the animals.  The bubbles are made using a blue stamp pad and a circle stamp.  We slit the tub so that we could slide the animals inside, so they'd look like they were actually in the tub.  You could also cut the legs off the animals and get somewhat of the same effect, but I really didn't want to do that .. I'm somewhat squeamishy! :)  Each student made their own book, and then I bound them using plastic spirals and a book binder.  The kids really like their books bound that way.  I think it makes them seem like REAL books to them.   So if you put this much effort into making a book,  spiral binding them is worth the effort.   The black horizontal line across each page is courtesy of our school copier.  The book was not designed with THAT! :)



Here's a picture of our pocketchart sequencing activity for Mrs. Wishy Washy's Tub.   Some of the students were required to insert the words, others used pictures (depending on their level).  You can also use the picture and word cards for a matching activity.




 I came up with the CUTEST idea of doing a rewrite for the book Mrs. Wishy Washy's Tub.  I'm going to do the rewrite with my students and it will be titled Mrs. Montgomery's Tub!    The sentence for each page will say:  ____ is in the tub.   I'll insert a student's name in place of the blank, then I'll have their head sticking out of the tub on the page.  The picture will be done by using my digital camera and adding the headshot to a construction paper gray tub.  Then on the next page, we'll add another student's name to the sentence frame and add their headshot along with the previous student to the tub.  At the end of the book, the whole class will be in the tub.  I also want to do a larger  version of the class in the tub for the hallway where I will have a large Mrs. Wishy Washy, but my headshot will replace hers!  I'll even do my hair up in a bandana!


A math counting activity would be to have cows, pigs, ducks, tubs, soap, brushes, and Mrs. Wishy Washy cutouts/graphics in the pocketchart for the students to count.  They would count how many items on the row and place a card with the correct number on the row as well.  Or, you can do it the opposite way and place the number cards in the pocketchart and have the students put in the correct number of items.


A fine motor activity would be to provide the students with brown playdough and small pig, cow, and duck manipulatives and let them retell the story by placing the animals into the "mud" (brown playdough).


The aide made this activity  for me today and we're waiting on them to be laminated.  I used the tub pattern and she reduced it to two smaller sizes.  Then she copied them onto gray construction paper.  She cut out the tubs and glued two tubs onto turquoise construction paper.  The tubs were glued on in a fashion so that they made a Math addition workmat.  She made two mats for horizontal addition problems and two mats for vertical addition problems.   For the horizontal mats, the tubs were glued side-by-side except that they had enough room in-between them for me to put a plus sign using a Sharpie marker.  Then the same was done for the vertical mats except the tubs were placed one on top of the other, but with a plus sign in-between them.  Once they're laminated, we'll use them to work addition problems using our farm counters.  Ex.   3+1= __    3 animals in the first tub, and 1 animal in the second tub.  3+1=4 




Another math activity would be to graph the students' favorite character from the book. 


I also had an idea for a Mrs. Wishy Washy mobile.  If you wanted, you could use Mrs. Wishy Washy printed onto something sturdy, maybe heavy cardstock and then have the following things hanging below her on different lengths of yarn:  a tub, soap, a cow, a pig,  a duck, and a brown patch to resemble mud.


However, and even easier idea would be to use the tub printable as the top piece, and then have soap, cow, pig, duck, mud, and maybe even some bubbles hanging below.


Make sure you stop by Kinder Korner and check out the Mrs. Wishy Washy TLC style book that Victoria did with her class.  It's precious, but looks like a lot of work! :)

In My Room - March 18, 2001

(scroll way down the page)



  Mrs. Wishy Washy
  Mrs. Wishy Washy and The Wishy Washy Day
  Paws for Reading (Mrs. Wishy-Washy)

Lesson Exchange: Shared Reading: Mrs. Wishy Washy


Wishy Washy Patterns (printable)


Mrs. Wishy Washy (Kindergarten Webquest)


Mrs. Wishy Washy (printables)








last updated 9.27.09



Bubble Script from

Dynamic Drive


Hit Counter

visitors since 11.11.03