Among the read alouds that I do with my students, we always enjoy and learn SO much from The Tale of Despereaux by Cate DiCamillo. We always love the bravery and cheesy lines of Despereaux being in love. Ha!
I always begin by decorating the classroom the day before, right after the children leave. I never tell them about the big celebration that awaits… and that is because I love surprises. And I also love to give my students the opportunity to go beyond the book and truly experience the characters and the message of such a well crafted story.
So let me show you a bit of how I do it:
I place these quotes around the classroom. I use Dollar Tree little stands. These quotes have so much meaning, we discuss them and talk about the craft used by this author and how her words truly show a great story of compassion and forgiveness.
I also recruit my classroom parents to help me hang this bunting banner to welcome my students to “Despereaux Day.”
We make this “Castle Dor” craftivity that we use to determine the lesson in the story and words that we use to describe Pincess Pea and Despereaux based on text evidence.
How about these intentional accordions that we use to review character traits based on text evidence. There are accordions also for Miggery Sow, The Jailer, Roscuro, and many more!
While we do the read aloud, vocabulary is a huge teaching point. Every story by Cate DiCamillo is an anchor for tier 2 vocabulary. So rich and and well written. We make these “vocabulary soup” frayer models and tape them to our door. We are known to be experts!
You know how Despereaux goes down to the dungeon in spool of thread? Well, I figured that is the perfect reason for a well thought STEM activity. With the proper guidance and support, the students build a pulley using some common household materials… they also use a shoe! They work in pairs and use a STEM mat to design, plan, try, and succeed.
And what is a celebration without treats? Well, I came up with the idea of Despereaux cups and Princess Pea-CH soup.
The Pea-CH cups are made with peach nectar, Sprite, and peach cups. The Despereaux cups are super easy to make and they are a student favorite. I always check for any food allergies ahead of time.
Thank for stopping by teacher friends! Until next time!