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There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.



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HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

March 25

Celebrate Kate DiCamillo's birthday today.

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Celebrate Kate DiCamillo's birthday today.

Grades 3 – 6
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text





Born on March 25, 1964, Kate DiCamillo is the award-winning author of Because of Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, her first novel, was a 2001 Newbery Honor book and was released on film in 2005. Her novel The Tale of Despereaux won the Newbery Medal in 2004 and Flora & Ulysses won the Newbery Medal in 2014. Additional works include The Tiger Rising, Mercy Watson to the Rescue, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.




DiCamillo often writes about animals, such as the title characters in Mercy Watson to the Rescue, Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, and The Tiger Rising. Have your students examine the characters in these stories, looking for character traits, examples of personification, and similarities and differences. Then challenge students to write original short stories featuring animals as central characters.

  • Have students visit the interactive Plot Diagram to plan their stories.
  • Then have students visit the interactive Story Mapping tool and select the character map option to develop their stories' central characters.
  • Ask students to print out their plot diagrams and character maps and use them to write their stories. When students have finished writing, have them share their work by reading their stories aloud or posting them in the classroom.



  • Kate DiCamillo

    DiCamillo's website provides book and author information, upcoming public appearance dates, and more.

  • Kate DiCamillo

    Kidsreads offers this brief biography of Kate DiCamillo. An author interview and links to book information are also included.

  • Kate DiCamillo's Biography

    Scholastic offers this biography of DiCamillo, as well as links to an annotated book list and an interview transcript.

  • A Video Interview with Kate DiCamillo

    This resource from Reading Rockets highlights DiCamillo talking about her well-known texts as well as sharing about her early rejections.


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Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Characters in Because of Winn-Dixie: Making Lists of Ten

The list of ten things about Opal's absent mother that her father shares in Because of Winn-Dixie serves as inspiration for students to create their own lists describing literary characters.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Inferring How and Why Characters Change

Students will really get into character when they read short stories and analyze the how's and why's of characters' behaviors.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Story Character Homepage

Students analyze personal homepages, as well as a character in a book they have read, and then create a homepage for the character.


Grades   3 – 6  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

The Tale of Despereaux: Fact or Fiction?

Using the book The Tale of Despereaux, students look a closer look at medieval times to see if the novel accurately portrays this time in history. Looking at key sections of the book, students will use the Compare and Contrast Guide and Map to help them decipher between fact and fiction.