Connecticut Core Standards

Grade 2: Author Study: Tomie dePaola  

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Common Core Standards

Reading Literature

RL.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

RL.2.2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

RL.2.3 Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

RL.2.5 Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

RL.2.6 Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.

RL.2.7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

Reading Foundational Skills

RF.2.4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.


W.2.1 Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.

W.2.5 With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.

Speaking and Listening

SL.2.2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.


L.2.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

L.2.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Description of Unit

This Grade 2 unit titled “Author Study: Tomie dePaola” from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is intended to be completed in 15 sixty-minute sessions of ELA/Literacy instructional time.  In this unit, students listen to and read both picture books and chapter books by one author. Instruction and learning emphasize: story structure, how characters respond to major events and challenges, and how to identify and read dialogue with proper expression. Students also learn to: use illustrations to provide insights into understanding the text, determine the central message or lesson of a story, and relate it to their own lives. Ongoing formative assessments are designed to facilitate the identification of knowledge/skill acquisition. As part of the authentic summative assessment, students choose a book by the same author that is on their instructional level, read it independently, and write a book review. That book review is then placed in the library pocket of that book to help other students to decide if they want to read the book.


Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively.

Rationale for Selection

This unit is an exemplary example of a progression of learning activities where knowledge and skills advance and deepen over time, requiring all students to demonstrate their independent capacities.  It provides for authentic learning, application of literacy skills, as well as student-directed analysis and reflection about an author’s body of work.  This unit regularly assesses whether students are mastering standards-based content and skills.  The teaching materials included in the unit's Appendices demonstrate the rigor required by the CCSS.  The "General Notes and Resources" section contains an overview of important instructional guidance. Specific tips on such topics as differentiation, teacher modeling, anticipated student misconceptions are embedded throughout each lesson. The unit as written requires extensive text resources; they are listed in lessons and in the Appendix.