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TeachNet NYC  |  Lesson Plans  |  Teachnet

Touring The World With Tomie dePaola

Project URL:

How it works:
Students of all ages love Tomie dePaola. Touring The World With Tomie dePaola is an author study created for a third-grade class. The program is flexible enough to be used with advanced second graders or fourth graders, and can be done as a whole-class project or assigned to individuals as part of an independent reading program. Students participating in this program utilize technology on many different levels. In general, technology helps bring alive the geography and culture of the places the students read about. For instance, in conjunction with the book Helga's Dowry, children go to assigned websites about Norway to find the answers to a "treasure hunt."

Standards addressed:  
Students know the location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment; understand that culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions; gather and use information for research purposes; and ask questions and support answers by connecting prior knowledge with literal information found in, and inferred from, the text. They comprehend basic plots of classic fairy tales, myths, folktales, legends, and fables from around the world; determine what characters are like by what they say or do and by how the author or illustrator portrays them; determine the underlying theme or author's message; and write compositions that describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences.

Materials used:
Required material includes computers with Internet access, Microsoft PowerPoint or any other slide-show application, a word-processing program, and a drawing program. A digital camera would be useful.

The students:
The class consists of 32 third-grade students of mixed abilities. Due to lack of resources, the books by Tomie dePaola were read aloud to students. This could also be done for classes of a lower reading level. If resources are available, have students complete the activities as independent reading assignments. Another option in mixed-ability classrooms is to have pairs of students share the book.

Overall value:
The most important goal of this program is to create an enjoyable and educational learning experience for children. You will find that even the most reluctant reader enjoys stories written by Tomie dePaola, who writes in many different genres but always finds a way to capture a child's interest and imagination. His work is great to use when doing a unit on folktales around the world. He has written many books about his family's heritage (Italian and Irish), and has also written about other cultures. Students will become motivated to gain a deeper appreciation and knowledge of their own heritage. Tomie's books are also great to use in expanding the students' knowledge of geography.

Before starting any author study, ask yourself how much time you have to dedicate to it in the classroom and what materials you have. Do you have enough copies of the book to assign for homework? Would parents be willing to purchase these books for their children? All of the other books used here can be read within one class period. You can use all or just one of the books; each book and activity are independent of one another.


About the teacher:
Marion Peluso is a third-grade teacher at P.S. 101 in Brooklyn, New
York. Mrs. Peluso has been involved with the Teachers Network for two
years. She is a recent recipient of an Impact II grant.


Subject Areas: 
Social Studies 

Grade Levels: 




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