Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One and Aunt Isabel Makes Trouble

by Kate Duke

Page 1 of 2

Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One Penguin Group


Create a memorable storytelling unit for your class with the help of this teacher's guide and two lively little mice! Curious Penelope and her beloved Aunt Isabel, the mouse stars of Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One and Aunt Isabel Makes Trouble by Kate Duke, introduce children to the elements of a good tale. Using the lessons here, you can enhance your students' appreciation of these books and familiarize them with the process of creating a story. The Aunt Isabel books can be enjoyed by a broad age group (preschool through early elementary), and the activities presented here can be adapted for different grades. They also include suggestions for use with students with special needs.

And now, it's storytime...

Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One

Story Elements: Giving the Solution a Twist!

By isolating basic story elements – setting, characters, problem, and solution – Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One shows students the building blocks of a story. This lesson gives them an opportunity to identify and modify these elements as a first step in creating a story of their own. A graphic organizer is provided to assist the lesson. Students should be encouraged to share their work as they develop their ideas. A large-group sharing time provides teacher and students with an opportunity to discuss and assess the final products.

1. Students will learn about the construction of a good tale through a reading of Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One.

2. Students will be able to identify the setting, main characters, problem, and solution of Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One with the assistance of your graphic organizer.

3. To develop their own skills as authors, students will be able to modify the tale by creating a new solution to Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One.

4. Students will be able to share their work with the class.


  • Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One by Kate Duke
  • Large paper and marker for webbing ideas (optional)
  • Photocopies of your graphic organizer (optional)
  • Pencils and crayons (optional)

    1. Prior to introducing Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One, ask students to share with you what they know about making a good story. You may wish to list or web their ideas.

    2. As you read the story aloud, pause now and then to ask questions and discuss story elements. For example, ask questions like: Who are the main characters? Why is it important for Aunt Isabel to add a problem to the story? How do you think Lady Nell will solve the problem?

    3. Using your self-created graphic organizer, assist the students in listing the setting, main characters (you can list good characters and villains separately), the problem, and the solution. Some students may wish to do this independently.

    4. Have the students brainstorm a new solution to the story and write it down on a story graph. They can come up with more than one! As they work, encourage them to share their ideas. End the activity with a large-group sharing time. Don't forget to display their great ideas!

    5. For ESL and other special needs students: Rather than writing their ideas, they can draw pictures to depict each of the story elements, including their new solution. They can exercise their oral language skills when they share their work!

    Students' work can be evaluated throughout the lesson as well as during sharing time. The lesson provides assessment opportunities in all areas of language arts – reading, writing, listening, and oral language.

    Possible topics for your Graphic Organizer:
    Main Characters
    Good / Evil
    New Solution

     Previous   1   2   Next 


    Brought to you by Penguin Young Readers Group.

    The Penguin Group is the second-largest English-language trade book publisher in the world. The company possesses perhaps the world's most prestigious list of best-selling authors and a backlist of unparalleled breadth, depth, and quality. Penguin Young Readers Group features books by authors and illustrators including Judy Blume, Brian Jacques, Eric Carle, and beloved characters like Winnie-the-Pooh, Madeline, The Little Engine that Could, and many, many more.

  • Free 7-Day Trial for TeacherVision®

    Sign up for a free trial and get access
    to our huge library of teaching materials!

    Start Trial


    Thanksgiving is just around the corner! It's (Thursday) November 26, this year. Use videos, lessons, and worksheets to teach the history and cultural significance of the holiday. Then, enjoy our crafts to celebrate and decorate!

    December Calendar of Events
    December is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: World AIDS Day (12/1), International Volunteer Day (12/6), Hanukkah (begins at sundown 12/6), Handwashing Awareness Week (12/6-12), Computer Science Education Week (12/7-13), Human Rights Day (12/10), Winter Solstice (12/22), Christmas (12/25), Kwanzaa (begins 12/26), Visit the Zoo Day (12/27), and New Year's Eve (12/31). Plus, celebrate Bingo's Birthday Month, Universal Human Rights Month, and Write to a Friend Month all December long!

    Hour of Code
    Introduce your students to basic coding and computer science! Celebrate Computer Science Education Week from December 7-13, 2015 with our Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Kids, Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Teens, or the Hour of Code resources provided by Code.org®

    Interested in using different types of media in your classroom? We have a growing collection of videos, with related activities, for holidays and events, including: slavery & the Civil War, American History, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, women's history, Memorial Day, the American Revolution, and the environment. Enjoy!

    Teaching with Comics: Galactic Hot Dogs
    Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guides to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series (chapters 1-4 and 5-8), as found on Funbrain.com (and now in print!), will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stories.