The Tale of Despereaux Teacher's Guide

Source: Candlewick

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo—with its appealing characters, engaging plot, and rich themes—offers an ideal opportunity to teach children how to comprehend deeply. This reading comprehension guide is based on two teaching ideas. First, children understand better when they connect the story to their personal experiences and feelings, to their general background knowledge, and to other stories they have read. Second, effective readers ask questions before they read a story, while they are reading, and after they have read. This guide uses the strategy of making connections for the first and second books of The Tale of Despereaux and the strategy of questioning for the third and fourth books. Prereading activities are provided for all four books, and throughout the reading of the story, children are encouraged to express themselves and create meaning through discussion and writing. The guide also contains cross-curricular activities and a special section on character education.

Resource Information

Literacy Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.