Online Vocabulary Parades


Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster
Boost vocabulary retention while remote learning!

Thousands of schools who have implemented this project, now completely re-formatted for online classrooms!

What is a Vocabulary Parade?

In the book, Miss Alaineus, A Vocabulary Disaster, our heroine, Sage, enters her school’s 10th Annual Vocabulary Parade where students design a costume for a school parade. The costume describes a vocabulary word they have selected or been assigned by a teacher.

First, we’ll define the word, “miscellaneous,” listen to author-illustrator Debra Frasier read the book, then select from a wide range of activities in the Vocabulary Parades Downloads page. An easy-to-follow, 5‑step outline appears lower on this page.

Scroll down for free resources such as:

Author Read-aloud
Author Read-aloud
canine costume


Teachers in Vocabulary Parades: AFFLUENT, FLAMBOYANT, INCANDESCENT.

Outdoor parades: BELABOR, GEOGRAPHY. 

TEACHERS: All the resources you need 
can be found in our Vocabulary Parades Downloads page. 

Easy 5‑step Parade Outline

1. Define “Miscellaneous”

Explain the definition of the word “miscellaneous” to your class so everyone is in on the joke when the book is read or use this video where I explain it in two minutes!

Debra Pic for INTRODUCTION to reading
1. consisting of various kinds 
2. a collection of unrelated objects.
2. Read the book

Below you will find Miss Alaineus, A Vocabulary Disaster, read by Debra Frasier (that’s me!), especially for this online teaching time.

Debra Frasier reads Miss Alaineus (17 min.)
3. What words will your students use?

I have four pages of suggested words to select from on my website (included below), OR you might want to use wordlists that are going to show up in your reviews or tests later OR you might let students select their own words and be surprised OR you might want to specify Verbs, Nouns, Adjectives — teachers have even used Math, Geology, or Science Word lists. You decide what will help your mission the most.

100 Vocabulary Words to Spark Costume Ideas
100 Words Sheet
More Words for Vocabulary Parade
More Words (two pages)
Book Vocabulary Definitions
Book’s Vocabulary + Definitions
4. Make a costume

Here are three tools for teachers to use for inspiring students’ costumes.


“Let’s Make a Vocabulary Parade Online” is a 43-image video slide show presentation to SEND DIRECTLY TO YOUR STUDENTS. This presents the Vocabulary Parade project in one place to your students and their parents. The information is read from the screen. You can add a voice-over, if you like.

In this presentation you will find an array of simple to complex ways to make a vocabulary costume out of things you can find at home.

This slide show is available in three formats:

  • Video Slide Show: (same as the video above.) The images automatically advance every 10 seconds.
    (Note: you can download and edit these files and add your own narration.)
  • PDF (Put in full screen mode to automatically advance the images. The images advance every 10 seconds.)
  • Powerpoint. This can be upload to Google Drive and either be converted to Google Slides or remain as a Powerpoint slideshow.

This video slide show of costumes (and all Vocabulary Parade downloads) is available from the Downloads page.

(These are primarily full-body costumes and hats.)


Visit Debra Frasier Books Vocabulary Parade on Pinterest for hundreds of more costume ideas.

There are only TWO RULES for making a costume:
1. Show your WORD on the costume. 
2. Write the definition on the costume. 
Acute Triangle
Acute Triangle
Vocabulary Parade Costume Planner
Download this helpful 1‑page costume planner.
Vocabulary Parade Costumes

Making the Online Parade Presentation

5. The Presention
Collect costume photos from students
  • Students will need to take a picture of their finished costume or prop and send it TO the teacher. The teacher can also take a screen shot of a student if no home phone is available. Use this photo assignment as a teaching moment: The students are the Director as they will be IN the picture: They give directions to the photographer to: make the costume fill the frame, take several pictures and select the best, pay attention to light, (let light fall ON the subject, not come from behind the subject), add a motion if it helps the definition, fill the frame. You might ask for a FRONT view, BACK view, and a detail so you have more to choose from for your show.
  • Make sure the WORD and the DEFINITION appear on screen in your presentation. Type below the image if you can. Can you narrate the parade, introducing each student and definition in a voice over or live showing?
  • Staff joins the fun! Your students will LOVE seeing you in the Vocabulary Parade. Invite your principal to participate, or other staff members: custodial team, cooks, front office, etc. We are learning words and being creative but just as important is the work of knitting the circle of our continued joy of being a group, TOGETHER, despite the physical separation.
HANDYMAN (the Custodian!)
HANDYMAN (the Custodian!)
Building your slide presentation
  • Sharing will depend on the platform your school is using. A host of platforms are in use around the USA: including SeeSaw, Google Classrooms, Canvas, and more. If you need other tools for your platform, let us know. These programs allow for building digital slideshows in various ways. One teacher starts her link-included lessons in Google Slide, then publishes it to the web where it is assigned a URL, which can then be added to a SeeSaw lesson. First, find out how your program allows you to build a presentation. Then how will you save the link for later distribution to your students and families?
Sharing your Vocabulary Parade
  • Try “hosting” the first showing of the parade at a certain time, like it would be in a classroom event at school. Not all will be able to be present but some will — and there will be a feeling of “watching together”. Make invitations? Have a link that permits reviewing multiple times. This will greatly improve vocabulary retention. Play some music in the background to add liveliness.
  • Consider THREE parades, or even TWO, where the level of costume escalates: Start easy: Invite only drawn costumes at first? Next, suggest hats found at home for a base. Lastly, encourage full scale costumes out of what you find at home. OR Let students select how to build their costumes, leaving as much room as possible for varying home situations. (Ideas are everywhere: Once a student in a Florida was late for the Vocabulary Parade and he arrived with his bed sheet wrapped around him for the word, COVER-UP! It was ingenious!)
  • Remember to let students watch their Parade over and over with their own link. This is how words are reviewed and community is strengthened. 
Easy Photo Parade

This kindergarten teacher made a forerunner of an online parade by taking photos of her students “performing” their verbs. This could easily be made into a digital presentation that could be viewed again and again.

Look at these simple words and actions for a Photo Wall Parade: 

Author Study

An Author Study can easily be added to your Vocabulary Parade project? Below are six two minute-plus videos about the making of Miss Alaineus that could be added throughout the week following the reading. I’ve also included a 4.5 minute sample video of a second grade Vocabulary Parade that is quite lively!

Author Biography: The “Debra Frasier Biography” has been made into an audio file so you can easily send to your students and they can use it as a Listening Lesson. (10 minutes). A printable transcript will be available soon.

Print the Comic Biography if you want to strengthen listening skills.

Two additional videos (about 17 minutes) present the steps to making your own Comic Biography — all you need is paper, pencil, and markers!

Biography Audio File
Comic Biography
Author Stud Coloring Sheet
Listen along with the optional Coloring Comic Biography, a reproducible to print.
Make YOUR Comic Biography

Let’s make a Coloring Comic about YOUR life completes the set. Directions in video.

Part 1 (10:38 minutes)
Part 2 (6:40 minutes)

Creating Miss Alaineus: Six Short Videos

The Idea (1:55)
Writing (1:28)
Editing (1:22)
Imagining (2:21)
Illustrating (3:03)
Voice (1:06)