Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom is a novel about the students in Mrs. Jewls’s class. Her classroom is on the top floor of an unusual school that is 30 stories high with one classroom on each floor. Each chapter is a standalone story featuring the students of this class. The far-out stories will have your students laughing out loud.
Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom Activities
Teaching Idea #1 ~ On the Web
Author Louis Sachar Website
Learn about all the books in the Wayside Series at the author’s website. The site includes book excerpts, podcasts, and articles about the series.
The Wayside School Book Series
The series has a Fandom Website. Learn about the characters. Read plot summaries. Compare the books to the television series. Check out the discussion area where fans discuss topics like the book illustrations and more.
Teaching Idea #2 ~ Videos
Audio Book Excerpt
Author Louis Sachar reads the first 3 1/2 minutes of his new book.
Top 10 Wackiest Characters from Wayside School
Even though this is a current video and includes images of all 4 books in the series, the character details come from the first three books. This makes this video a great preview to show before reading the novel. Include it in your preview for Wayside School #4.
Here are a few subplots to pique your interest.
Mrs. Jewls wants the class to collect a million of something. When Terrence, who loves to kick things, decides he must trim off his toenail which is aching during the middle of the discussion the item is selected. Students will collect nail trimmings.
A large wooden box locked with a heavy chain and steel bar appears outside Mrs. Jewls’s classroom. She instructs the students to ignore it. It is the “closet that isn’t there.”
Students climb up through a trapdoor to have a science lesson on clouds. The lesson quickly ends when the Cloud of Doom appears on the horizon.
At the end of each school day, Louis helps the principal, Mr. Kidswatter, drag a heavy gong out for Mr. Kidswatter to hit signaling the end of the school day. Mr. Kidswatter notices how all the students tell Louis, the yard teacher, goodbye as they leave school. Mr. Kidswatter wants the students to like him as well. Louis suggests that he let a student ring the gong. Mr. Kidswatter doesn’t want to give up his favorite thing to do, but when Louis suggests that he will write a nice chapter about him in his book he considers changing his mind.
While playing on the playground, Dana makes the doofus face. Her face sticks and won’t go back to normal. Louis blows his whistle hoping to startle Dana making her face return to normal. It doesn’t work. Mr. Kidswatter comes out to see what is going on. When he looks at Dana, her face goes back to normal. Upon returning to his office, Mr. Kidswatter notices he has a stuck doofus face.
The Cloud of Doom has covered the school for days. Students are beginning to get pessimistic about schoolwork saying, “What’s the point in learning?”