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Lesson Plan

The Tale of Despereaux: Fact or Fiction?

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The Tale of Despereaux: Fact or Fiction?

Grades 3 – 6
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Christy Simon

Christy Simon

Urbana, Illinois

Joyce Bruett

Joyce Bruett

Brookhaven, Mississippi


National Council of Teachers of English


Lesson Plans

Student Interactives

Calendar Activities

Podcast Episodes



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  |  Unit

Examining Plot Conflict through a Comparison/Contrast Essay

Students explore picture books to identify the characteristics of four types of conflict. They then write about a conflict they have experienced and compare it to a conflict from literature.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Teaching the Compare and Contrast Essay through Modeling

The compare and contrast essay is taught through modeling from the brainstorming phase through the first draft.


Grades   6 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Comparing Portrayals of Slavery in Nineteenth-Century Photography and Literature

In this lesson, students analyze similarities and differences among depictions of slavery in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Frederick Douglass’ Narrative, and nineteenth century photographs of slaves. Students formulate their analysis of the role of art and fiction, as they attempt to reliably reflect social ills, in a final essay.


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Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Compare & Contrast Map

The Compare & Contrast Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for different kinds of comparison essays.


Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Comparison and Contrast Guide

The Comparison and Contrast Guide outlines the characteristics of the genre and provides direct instruction on the methods of organizing, gathering ideas, and writing comparison and contrast essays.


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Grades   3 – 6  |  Calendar Activity  |  March 25

Celebrate Kate DiCamillo's birthday today.

After examining the characters in one of DiCamillo's stories, students write original short stories featuring animals as central characters.


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Grades   K – 5  |  Podcast Episode

Newbery Medal Winners—Where Are They Now?

Discover new books from past Newbery Medal winners.


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