The hilarious Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey is a great resource for students to discuss themes like friendship, heroism, and imagination. Use these lesson plans for a fun way to help your students achieve Common Core State Standards.
- The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby
- Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers
- Copies of assigned pages from the books
With the help of George and Harold, meeting Common Core State Standards has never been so fun! As they make your students laugh with tales of their adventures, George and Harold will motivate your students to explore interesting themes through these reading activities.
- Ask students to share the qualities a good citizen should embody.
- Have students compare and contrast how Super Diaper Baby and Captain Underpants demonstrate good citizenship. Which character is a better role model for good citizenship?
- Debate whether Diaper Dog is a good citizen. How does Diaper Dog change in the story? Discuss the choices he makes that cause him to become a better citizen. Cite evidence from the text.
- Identify the acts of heroism performed by Super Diaper Baby, Diaper Dog, and Mr. Hoskins (Super Diaper Baby’s dad) in the two books.
- When does each character begin to demonstrate bravery? Discuss points in the story where they act fearless.
- Which character seems to change the most from the beginning to the end of the series? Explain the changes and what seems to cause them.
- After Super Diaper Baby’s dad helps save planet Earth from Rip Van Tinkle, The Daily Stuff decides to run a feature article about him. Have your students take on the role of a newspaper reporter and write an article detailing the problem Rip Van Tinkle presented for planet Earth, along with how Super Diaper Baby and his family worked together to defeat this nemesis!
- Remind students to include the Five W’s and One H in their article: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.
- Have them create a clever title for the article. Encourage peer editing for clarity, spelling, and grammar.
Compare and Contrast
- Compare and contrast graphic novels and comic strips. For example, they are both read from left to right and have images as well as text. One main difference is that graphic novels have more complex plots and they generally have a complete story, whereas comic strips usually provide episodes of a longer story.
- Using the text from The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, point out the following elements found on the pages of a graphic novel:
- Panels: the squares that contain the illustrations
- Thought balloons: contain the characters’ thoughts
- Dialogue balloons: contain the communication between characters
- Captions: provide information about the scene, or a character
- Sound effects: provide visual interpretation of sounds
- Encourage students to use different colored highlighters to identify these elements on an assigned page of text from The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby or Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers.
- Have students compare and contrast text features of graphic novels and comic strips.
Common Core State Standards
Key Ideas and Details
RL. 3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RL. 3.9 Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series).
Speaking and Listening
Comprehension and Collaboration
SL. 3.1 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.
SL. 3.3 Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.
Text Types and Purposes
W. 3.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
W. 3.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
Production and Distribution of Writing
W. 3.4 With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards W.1-3.)
W. 3.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 3 here.)
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
W. 3.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.