Dicey's Song Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan will help students examine the themes of the story and compare three generations of characters as they read ''Dicey's Song'' by Cynthia Voight.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson on Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voight, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the themes of the story.
  • Compare and contrast Abilgail, Liza, and Dicey Tillerman.


120 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.


Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).


  • accompaniment
  • confident
  • congealed
  • discouraged
  • impassive
  • impressed
  • liable
  • perpendicularly
  • plagiarism
  • sympathy


  • copies of Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voight
  • paper
  • pens
  • sticky notes
  • chart paper
  • markers

Reading & Discussion Questions

  • Read Dicey's Song: Summary and Characters as a class, and discuss the following questions:
    • Why does Dicey feel responsible for her siblings?
    • How would you describe each of the Tillermans?
    • How does Abigail Tillerman feel about having her grandchildren live with her?
    • How does Dicey grow and change through the course of the story?
    • What does James do to help Maybeth?
    • What does Gram do to help with Sammy's temper problem?
    • What happens to Liza Tillerman at the end of the story?
  • Ask if there are any questions, then give the students the lesson's printable worksheet to test their understanding of the concept.
  • Check the answers as a class.



Materials: copies of Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voight, paper, pencils

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