Must Read Mentor Text Linky

Tonight I am linking up with Collaboration Cuties for the Must Read Mentor Text linky.  My mentor text is The Tale of Despereaux written by Kate DiCamillo.  This delightful story is loaded with skills to model for students.  In my classroom, I use this mentor text to identify and track theme and character development. 

Despereaux Tilling is no ordinary mouse.  He consorts with humans, enjoys reading fairy tales, and has no interest in scurrying about like other mice.  This novel is bursting with themes that are familiar and likeable to young readers including courtly love, courage and bravery, and good vs. evil.   The dynamic characters in this novel keep my students engaged in the reading, and this story is a wonderful way to model how plot can influence character development, and how characters react to challenges.

I have successfully used this text in a self-contained classroom for students of varying disabilities.  The Tale of Despereaux can be used to cover multiple Common Core standards in grades 3rd through 6th.  Including CCSS: R.L.3.3, R.L.4.2, R.L.4.3, R.L.5.2, R.L.5.3, R.L.6.2, R.L.6.3.

To help my students track theme and character development, they use sticky notes inside of their book to take notice of important passages and quotes.  Sticky notes are a resourceful way for students to stay organized and keep track of their textual evidence and support their evaluation of the text.  In addition, my kiddos use theme analysis organizational charts inside their Reading Response Notebooks.

Since there are so many themes and characters developing at once within this story, I am able to better differentiate for my students.  Those who are functioning at a lower level, will track just one theme and character of  choice throughout the novel.  Students who are at or above grade level are encouraged to track the development of multiple themes and characters.

So, if you haven't already, add this literary gem to your Amazon wish list for the classroom. :) I know you and your little readers will have a blast interacting with this novel! 

To get you started with this mentor text, grab my Tale of Despereaux Theme Analysis pack for free at my TpT store.  Happy reading!

1 comment

  1. I love Kate DiCamillo!! Tales of Desperaux is a favorite!! It definitely lends itself to some great discussion, questioning, and thinking! Thank you so much for the theme analysis freebie!!! And, thanks for linking up!!!
    Collaboration Cuties


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