How WebQuest Can Be Used To Differentiate a Lesson for 3rd Grade Using "The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo


Hello Class!

Today were going to learn about WebQuest and how it might help you as a class with all levels of learning. WebQuest can be useful for  reading and writing of all topic areas. Today you will be placed in groups and assigned a task to complete. You will have 2 days to complete this task.


Students love to use their imagination. This activity will provide a different learning experience for every learning style.Through these activities, students expand their knowledge, explore global perspectives, and increase their ability to use digital tools (Tompkins, 2014, p.292).

Lets get started!

Materials you will need:

- A copy of The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo

- Questions Provided

- A picture of a Knight

- Internet Access (Classroom computers)

- Classroom Printer

- Audio Recorder

The steps you will take in this journey:

1.  As you read through the websites and your book, describing knights in the medieval times, your group will divide the first four questions.  

2. You are now a Page - After answering the questions, work together with your fellow Page to create a list of 10 or more important vocabulary words from your answers. You can type your list of words into a WORD document or write them on a sheet of paper.

3. You are now a Squire - Independently you will type the list of words into Wordle and create a Word Cloud, with the largest words being the most important. Remember that you need at least 10 different words. Students with learning challenges can work on a list provided by the teacher. You will also name the body armor of a Knight with a picture provided by the teacher. 

4. Congratulations you are a Knight  - Present your Wordle and explain to the class how the actions and beliefs of Despereaux are like those of a medieval knight. Describe how Despereaux's actions and beliefs are important to the plot of the story.

                                      Image result for Despereaux's





Your teacher will divide the class into four groups.

Search and pick up a copy of The Dictionary of Medieval Words from your teacher. A printed paper of a knight to name the body armor they wear. Be sure to use your book "The Tale of Despereaux" for any medieval knight vocabulary words that you can find in the book. Make sure they are authentic.  


1. What two kinds of armor did the Knights wear?

2. What kinds of weapons did a Knight use?

3. What is jousting?

4. What were the steps a person had to go through to become a Knight?

Option: (students who are struggling with the writing process can use an audio recorder explaining the process of becoming a knight or what jousting involves. You can choose as long as it is teacher approved. ) 

With your rewarding efforts you are now a Page. Here is your next duty.

Use the answers to the questions and the resources above to create a word document on your computer of medieval vocabulary words. You need a total of 10 words. If your feeling brave create the word document with 20 medieval vocabulary words. You will also get a printed knight picture from your teacher to name the body armor a Knight wears.

Option: (for students who are struggling; they can limit the vocabulary word count to 5 or 6)

Option: (you may write them down on a piece of paper but don't lose it for becoming a knight is only two steps away)

Option: (for struggling students answer as many parts of a knights body armor as possible, try your best)

Now that you have accomplished this task, you are now a Squire. A Squire who has a great responsibility.

You are now tasked with creating a Word Cloud. Go to and start pasting your vocabulary words into the space provided. You can download words to paste them in or play with the font size or color within the program. You choose. This work is done on your own. After your are done ask your teacher for permission to print it out.

Option: (a word cloud must be created, a chosen peer can help those who are struggling)

My goodness you have come up in the ranks. You are now dubbed a Knight with your diligence and worthy efforts. But your quest does not stop here. You have one more task to complete.

Write a summary about how Despereaux's actions and beliefs are similar to a medieval Knight and how those actions and beliefs are important to the story. Use your book "The Tale of Despereaux" to help you gain knowledge in this last quest.

If you feel your quest should be heartier. Write an essay about a Knights quest compared to Despereaux's quest.

For those knights that need a little help, write a list of the characters who are in the story, "The Tale of Despereaux" and a 3 sentence description of the plot. 

When you are finish you will present your printed Word Cloud from Wordle and your summary, or essay or sentences to the class on the assigned day that your teacher gives you.












WebQuest Despereaux Evaluation Form

Section 1: Questions / Labeling a Knights Armor

20 Percent

Percent Earned:


  • The four questions are answered using accurate information.
  • Answers are written in complete sentences that are clear and concise.
  • Rules of grammar, usage, and punctuation are followed.


  • An accurate depiction of a Knights body armor is labeled using correct vocabulary
  • Labels are accurate.
  • Audio presentation is clear, using accurate and scholarly language.



Section 2: Vocabulary  
20 Percent

Percent Earned


  • Authentic vocabulary is chosen.
  • Multiple sources are used to create vocabulary list. (The website given, the dictionary, and The Tale of Despereaux - Book)
  • Definitions are accurate.
  • Rules of grammar, usage, and punctuation are followed.
  • 10 vocabulary words are defined.


  • The Word Document is laid out with effective use of headings, font styles, and white space.


  • The written vocabulary paper is labeled, neat and organized.



Section 3: Word Cloud
20 Percent

Percent Earned


  • The Word Cloud is laid out with effective use of headings, font styles, font colors and white space.
  • All vocabulary words are included.
  • Document is printed for presentation.




Section 4: Summary
20 Percent

Percent Earned


  • Summary accurately portrays the similarities of medieval Knights to Despereaux.
  • Specific Details from the story are used to make connections. 
  • Multiple sources are used. (The website, the dictionary, and the book.)
  • Answers are written in complete sentences that are organized, clear and concise.  
  • Rules of grammar, usage, and punctuation are followed.



Collaborative Work

20 Percent

Percent Earned



  • Works collaboratively in group.
  • Contributes to group discussions/projects:
  • Supported the team timeline.
  • Completed the Group Work Questionnaire.



Total 100 

Percent Earned


Points Possible                                        100     





Fill in the following Group Work Questionnaire.





Did this person contribute to group discussions?

Did this person work with the group?

Did this person complete work in a timely manner?

List how this person contributed to the project.

Team Member 1:






Team Member 2:






Team Member 3:






Team Member 4:








Congratulations! You made it to Knighthood!

In this WebQuest you learned about Knights; their armor, weapons, and their steps to becoming a Knight. You made a graphic Word Cloud and discovered many vocabulary words about Knights. You also used your writing skills to compare a Knights quest to that of Despereaux's; your assigned book. 

To conclude, at this point it is time to hear your feedback! I would love to take this time to see how everyone felt where they excelled at and any areas where improvements could be made. 

This paper will be filled out individually and privately. That way everyone has the freedom to speak and say what you want without feeling uncomfortable to express yourselves in front of others. Don't worry it will be our little secret. I simply want to know as a teacher ways to help each and everyone of you succeed. As a teacher, I want everyone to feel included and for that reason I offered multiple learning styles, hoping that one would suit you the best. We are all different and that is what makes us unique and cool. Thank you for putting your hard effort in this assignment for the past 2 days. Let's see what tomorrow brings :)

Note: Please get the survey from the teacher.



What did you enjoy the most?




How did you feel working in a group?




Were you comfortable using the resources available to you?

If not, where do you feel you need more guidance in?




How did you feel about the various options that I offered?




Any books you would like to read in class?




Rate this assignment from 1 to 10.




Was there anything you felt was too difficult?



If so please describe in details. 




What do you feel can be done to enhance your learning experience for future assignments?






Tompkins, G. E. (2014). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Education, Inc.