During my time student teaching, I wanted to read the Tale of Despereaux with my students. In my language arts methods course, we learned about author studies, and reading multiple books by the same author to compare and learn about his or her literary style. I decided that I wanted to pursue this project in December and approached my cooperating teacher about completing this project. In the spring, I finally had my opportunity to see this project come to life. As shown in my planning for teaching page, I planned 4 weeks of lessons for this book. Week 1 included introductory activities to get the students thinking about medieval times. Week 2 focused on the first part of the book. Week 3 continued on with the story, while week 4 ended the book along with a creative summarizing activity.

Below, there are multiple examples of what students were required to do during this unit. Many of the activities focused on writing predictions, inferences, and character information in their reading journals. This allowed students to critically think about the book in a more private manner. There were also times when students had to complete reading passages to reinforce SOL test taking strategies. As a student teacher during this time, I had to continue working on test taking skills even though I was reading this book aloud. Therefore, I decided to create reading passages with parts of different chapters from Despereaux. I would type part of a chapter and think of 5 questions for the students to answer. In addition, students had the opportunity to complete some creative assignments. For the second book, students had to create a cover for Chiaroscuro's story. For the third book, students drew their favorite scene and summarized the scene. For the fourth book, students created a collage with scenes from each part of the book.

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Student work from Book 2
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Student work from Book 2



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Student work from Book 3



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A student that used their test taking strategies to find proof for his/her answers

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A student that used their test taking strategies to find proof for his/her answers































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A student's work from Book 2. This student tends to rush through the work.
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Student work from Book 2



































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A student who did not use test taking strategies to complete the prompt.
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A student who did not use test taking strategies to complete the prompt.


































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Student work from Book 3

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A student's reading prompt from Book 4.



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A student's final assignment: A collage of scences from the entire book.

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Student work from Book 4.