Lesson: Start of Book II - Character Controdiction

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Lesson Objective

Readers notice contradictions in a character by looking at how the character thinks, acts, and what the character says.

Lesson Plan

Objective:  Readers notice contradictions in a character by looking at how the character thinks, acts, and what the character says.   

Lesson Plan: 


Do Now (5-7 minutes): Today, we are going to be introduced to a new character in “Tale of Despereaux.”  This character is a RAT!  How do you think he may influence the story?  Do you think he is going to be a good or bad character?

Opening (5 minutes):  Some characters are easy to get to know and some characters are really confusing, because they will say one thing and do another.  This is called a contradiction.  He will say, do and think different things throughout the story.  We are going to use a graphic organizer to get to know Roscuro better.  We are going to take note of information about what he says, does, and thinks to help up make conclusions about how he really feels.

Direct Instruction (I DO):

·        Start reading Chapter 16 with the class.

·        After reading up to 88, stop and talk about how it is interesting that Roscuro, being a rat (who should hate the light) is fascinated by the light…what has caused this to happen?  Gregory, the jailer holding the match to his face when they met.

o       Using the Complicated Characters sheet (see attached) model for students how to use this.

o       Roscuro - is a rat, most rats hate the light and live in darkness.

o       Contradiction - because Gregory put the lit match to his face, Roscuro is now fascinated by it.

·        Talk to the students about why this may lead to some interesting things happening in the future, offer your own prediction as to why this may influence the story later.

·        Continue reading

·        Stop again and think out loud about Roscuro’s reaction to Boticcelli’s conversation.

o       Roscuro – rats should be torturous to the prisoners in the dungeon and has a conversation with Boteccelli about this.      

o       Contradiction – Based on Roscuro’s words and reaction, it doesn’t seem that Roscuro really wants to torture prisoners, I feel like he is reluctant to do so, but pretends in front of Boteccelli.

·        Keep Reading to the end of the chapter

o       Roscuro – Boteccelli talks to Roscuro again about the light and how it is not in a rats interest to go into the world of the light.  HE IS A RAT!

o       Controdiction – Roscuro gets even more interested in the light, but tries to convince himself that he wants the prisoner’s red scarf instead “I am a rat” he tells himself.

·        Notice how these contradictions are influencing the story, and as we read on we will see even more, how complicated a character Roscuro is.

·        By thinking about Roscuro’s character, I get a better sense of who he is and how he might influence our story.

Guided Practice (WE DO):

·        Split students up into groups of 3-4 in order to try this on their own. 

·        Students will read the next chapter together (popcorn read).

·        They should be looking for contradictions that they see with Roscuro.

·        Circulate and prompt discussion about various parts of the chapter that contradictions are present.

·        After 15 minutes, call students back together as a group and discuss the contradictions that the class found.

·        How do you think that this will influence the story?  What kind of character do you think Roscuro really is?

Independent Practice (YOU DO):

·        Why do you think that Roscuro is such a confusing character?

·        How do these contradictions help to foreshadow (or hint to the future) events that will include Roscuro?

·        Roscuro seems like a bad character, do you think this is true?  Explain your answer.

Homework:  Complete details/main idea for the Chapters 16, 17, 18 to add to timeline in folders.


·        Complicated Characters Sheet

·        Details/Main Idea Sheet (hmwk.)

·        DO NOW

Lesson Resources

Lesson 6 classwork   Classwork
Lesson 6 DO NOW   Starter / Do Now


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