Tomie dePaola Lesson Plan

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Are you planning to do an author study with your students? Tomie dePaola, one of the most popular children's author/illustrators, would be a great choice! This lesson includes an introduction to his life and work culminating in a project.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define biography, autobiography, and memoir
  • identify books as biography or autobiography
  • create a poster board presentation reflecting the life of Tomie dePaola
  • listen to and discuss factual information about the author, Tomie dePaola


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1

Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.7

Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).


Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.


  • Biography
  • Autobiography
  • Memoir

Materials Needed

  • Assortment of books by Tomie dePaola
  • The Art Lesson (1 copy per student)
  • Picture Books Based on Childhood Memories by Tomie dePaola, like Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, Stagestruck, Tom, and Christmas Remembered
  • Poster boards (1 per pair of students)
  • Markers or crayons
  • Printer

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