Paper Bag Princess Discussion Questions

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

'The Paper Bag Princess' by Robert Munsch is a charming fairy tale with a twist. It won't take long to read, and can be used to start some interesting conversations. This list contains discussion questions for both younger and older readers.

Questions for Younger Readers

Questions about Characters

  • Elizabeth chases the dragon after it destroys her castle. What does this tell us about Elizabeth?
  • How would you describe the character of the dragon?
  • Why doesn't Elizabeth marry Ronald in the end?

Questions about Structure

  • Why do you think the book is called The Paper Bag Princess? What other titles could the author have chosen?
  • Elizabeth tricks the dragon in two different ways. Why does the dragon fall for her tricks?
  • Can you think of any other tricks Elizabeth could have played on the dragon if the first trick hadn't been enough?

Personal Response Questions

  • Elizabeth lost everything when the dragon attacked her castle and burned her wardrobe. How do you respond when you lose something important to you?
  • Because the dragon chose to show off, it didn't get to keep its captive (Ronald) or to eat Elizabeth. Have you ever missed out on something because you chose to show off? Is it ever a good idea to show off?
  • Did anything about this fairy tale surprise you? Bother you? Excite you?

Questions for Older Readers

Questions about Characters

  • What can you learn about the relationship between Elizabeth and Ronald? What details in the story give you this information?
  • Ronald begins the story engaged to a princess and ends the story alone. What was Ronald's character flaw?
  • The dragon was obviously stronger than Elizabeth, but she beat him. What was the dragon's character flaw?
  • In what ways are Ronald and the dragon similar?

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