The Cheshire Cheese Cat, A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy

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Skilley was a cat with a secret, but then, who living in and around Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in London, didn't have at least one secret? Secrets kept them apart, and secrets brought them together. Skilley was accustomed to scrabbling for food and, in the process, learned to be fleet afoot, sharp of eye, and clever in calculating the distance between the fishmonger's broom and the dead fish whose aroma beckoned him. But often, not fleet enough. His battle scars and broken tail spoke of his battles with the brooms as well as with his nemesis, Pinch, the evil, ginger-striped alley cat who showed compassion to no creature, but of course, he, too, had his secret.

But, it was, after all, Pinch whose warning to stay away from The Cheese proved more of an invitation than an admonition for Skilley. Pinch had described the mice that had overrun the tavern. An audacious plan began to grow in Skilley's mind. Surely, he thought, working inside Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Tavern would be his bird nest on the ground, assuring him of security for rest of his nine lives. It wouldn't be without problems. It, after all, had DOORS, and many secrets inside as well.

You can follow Skilley into the story that gave the great author, Charles Dickens, ideas for a book he was writing, looking for inspiration for just the right opening.
Mr. Dickens turned his keen eye to the goings-on in the Inn and formed a particular interest in the charcoal grey cat with the character and appearance of a street fighter, the cat who had not the least interest in being spied upon, for he had his own business to particular, the business of that little grey, intellectual mouse named Pip who is recognizable by his particularly prominent overbite. The events that bring them together and eventually seal an unlikely friendship became crucial to every subplot involving the cook (a culinary tyrant), a barmaid named Adele, a ghost, thousands of mice, and a myriad of other well-rounded characters. Can you believe it never occurred to Skilley that he would become caught up in a crisis that could foretell the downfall of Great Britain?

The Cheshire Cheese Cat contains deliciously prodigious vocabulary, intertwined plot, curious creatures, historical setting, seriously entertaining story, secrets, and splendid black-and-white illustrations that manage to be both realistic and comical. What more could a reader want? You will love hearing it read aloud by a talented storyteller in the Audible version of the book.

The Kids Wings Literature Guide by Suzy Red comes to you in both PDF and PowerPoint Formats. It includes these activities:
Pre-Reading Discussion Cards
Anticipation Guide
Readers’ Theater Introduction
Preparing Your Intellectual Tools: Dialectical Journals
Becoming a Character
Vocabulary by Chapters
Making Connections: Predict/Read/Confirm Chapter Questions
Nonstandard and Standard English
Crossword Puzzles
Activities for Visualizing the Chapters through Drawing
Multiple Choice Comprehension Activities
Research Prompts and Guides
Where in the World? Map Study
New Organization!
Page 1: Prereading Discussion Cards
Page 2: Prereading Anticipation Guide
Page 3-4: Prereading Readers Theater Script
Page 5: Map Study: The United Kingdom
Page 6: Dialectical Journal
Page 7: Become a Character
Page 8: Researching Charles Dickens

ALL CHAPTER GROUPS ARE INTRODUCED with a similar set of activities including: Verify understanding of vocabulary list, Predict/Read/Answer Chapter Questions, and Choose the Best Title for each chapter

Translate a Paragraph from Dialect to standard English,
Dramatize 4 Events, and
Multiple-Choice and Short Answer Comprehension for Chapters 1-5

Pages 13-15: ADDITIONAL UNIQUE ACTIVITIES for Activities for CHAPTERS 6-11 include:
Read four specified paragraphs with your group as a readers' theater.
Read, Rewrite, and Simplify a sentence from the story.
Complete Analogies
Complete a Vocabulary Crossword Puzzle
Create a Kitchen Symphony from Chapter 10
5 Groups each choose a specified paragraph as readers' theaters

Pages 16-18: ADDITIONAL UNIQUE ACTIVITIES for Activities for CHAPTERS 12-16 include:
In Your Group, choose an event to Act Out
Locate the correct definition of a vocabulary word
Complete the List of Analogies
Multiple Choice and Short Answer Comprehension

Pages 19-21: ADDITIONAL UNIQUE ACTIVITIES for Activities for CHAPTERS 17-21:
Dramatically read a specified paragraph with your group
Locate the correct definition of a vocabulary word
Reorder cut-apart cards to reveal an important statement
Research, Create a Product, Present, and Evaluate "The Ravens of London Tower"

Pages 22-25: ADDITIONAL UNIQUE ACTIVITIES for Chapters 22-25 include:
Do a readers theater play
Complete Word Perfect IRONY
Solve the Ponder the Dilemma Puzzle
A Fun Way to Remember and Apply Literary Devices
Researching Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Present your report

Pages 26-28: ADDITIONAL UNIQUE ACTIVITIES for Chapters 26-31 include:
With your group, read a passage as a readers' theater script
Contemplate Conviction or Acquittal?
Complete "A Writer's Crossword"

Pages 29-34: ADDITIONAL UNIQUE ACTIVITIES for Chapters 32-37 include:
Show your understanding of "Maldwyn’s Socratic Approach"
Who were the Writers on the Stamps
Create a "Letter by Committee", 2 pages
Multiple Choice and Short Answer Comprehension
Visualize the Chapters
Research Queen Victoria, Create, and Present

Act out a scene.
Add an illustration in Barry Moser's style.
Be an interpreter, translate a paragraph into today's vernacular.

Perform one of the 4 readers' theater selections.
Illustrate a word meaning.
Match the Vocabulary Words with Their Meanings
Solve the "Problem Solving Puzzle"

Pages 40-41: ADDITIONAL UNIQUE ACTIVITIES for CHAPTERS 53-62 and Epilogue
Your Turn! Write Good Chapter Titles
Follow the Instructions to discuss the last chapters with your group.

Pages 41-42: Five in a Row Vocabulary Game
Pages 43-44: Vocabulary Tic-Tac-Toe Game
Pages 45-50: Answer Pages
Plus, an interactive Jeopardy-type game in PowerPoint.

PLEASE NOTE: Kids Wings materials are written by highly experienced master teachers. We hire professional proof readers who are also master educators. We do our best to be sure each of our literature guides is top quality and error free, and classroom tested, but if you think we can do better, we welcome your input. If you find an error in our materials, please email us at so we can make corrections. After it is corrected, we will invite you to download a newly polished copy and will probably attach a surprise to our reply as a thank-you!

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Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 Months

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The Cheshire Cheese Cat, A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy
The Cheshire Cheese Cat, A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy
The Cheshire Cheese Cat, A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy
The Cheshire Cheese Cat, A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy
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