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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



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



In this lesson, after reading the book The Tale of Despereaux, students choose a section of the book and research medieval times to make comparisons between the events that occur in the book and what they learn about this time in history from other web and print sources. Students will then choose a project based on their learning style to showcase the information they learned about medieval times.

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  • The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

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In this lesson, students research medieval times after learning about the time period through the use of a historical fiction novel and its characters.

As Beck et al. state, "Teachers know that these novels focus a rich, human lens on a sometimes abstract topic. The stories and the lives of historical characters help readers see the details of everyday life that are not incorporated into textbooks." Historical fiction presents a new perspective to the students.

Further Reading

Beck, Cathy, et al. "Historical Fiction: Teaching Tool or Literary Experience?" Language Arts 77.6 (July 2000): 546-555.

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