David Goes to School By David Shannon - Teaching Ideas

David, David, David! David has a hard time following the rules and doing what he is supposed to in school. The teacher keeps reminding him, the students keep telling on him and finally David has to stay after school so he can clean the desk that he colored all over.

School rules and paying attention are hard for some kids and David shows what it looks like when it is hard. This book has many great teaching opportunities for students, not only does it offer character lessons but it has many skills and strategies that can be utilized as well.

Listed below are those ideas, skills and strategies that can be used to create and fun and engaging lesson for your students. I have also created a packet with those skills and strategies for those that don't want to take the time.

Reading level: 2.5
Theme/subject: school, manners
Genre: humorous fiction

Suggested Vocabulary/phrases: tardy, pay attention, finished

Reading skills and strategies:
  • Asking questions - {possible questions before} I wonder what the story is about. I wonder if David is going to get into trouble. {possible questions during} I wonder why David didn’t go in after recess. I wonder why David always does the wrong things. {possible questions after}  I wonder if David will get in trouble at home. I wonder if David will act the same tomorrow. **Remember to have your students answer/reflect their questions.
  • Author's point of view – Third. Be sure to find 3 pieces of evidence to support this.
  • Author's purpose – Entertain {evidence} There are silly illustrations. David does some funny things. David looked funny when he had food all over him.
  • Cause and effect – Why did the teacher say sit down? Because he was up in front of the class making faces. Why did the girl on page 9 look at David that way? Because he yelled out the answer. Why did the teacher say keep your hands to yourself? Because he was going to touch someone with paint on his hands. Why did David see a face and dinosaur in the sky? Because he was using his imagination. How come David and the other boy had food all over them? Because they got in a fight. Why was David told that recess was over? Because he was still on the playground. Why was David told to Shhhh? Because he was making noise in the library. Why does the teacher say, "again"? Because he has to go to the bathroom, again. Why does David have to stay after school? Because he wrote all over his desk.
  • Character analysis - describe David {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • Classify & categorize – Classify behavior – good and bad.
  • Compare & contrast – you and David
  • Connections - {possible text-to-self connections} your day at school. Having someone in your class that acts like David. The teacher having to tell you to pay attention.  {possible text-to-text connections} No David! They both have David getting into trouble.
  • Drawing conclusions & inferencing – What do you think will happen to David and the other boy after their fight. {text clues} The teacher says “I don’t care who started it”.  {what I know} Kids at my school usually lose their recess when they fight. {my conclusion} I think David and the other boy will lose their recess because of the fight.
  • Fact & opinion{fact} David came to school late. David cut in line. David talked without raising his hand. David was told to Shhhh! in the library. David drew pictures on his desk. {opinion} David is a mean boy. David thinks bubble gum is better than mint gum. I think David started the fight. David was way too loud in the library. David had a good day at school.
  • Main idea & details - {main idea} The story is mostly about David getting in trouble at school.  {details} David was told to raise his hand. David was told to Shhhh! David had to stay after school to clean desks.
  • Plot - the turning point or climax in the story was when David colored on his desk.
  • Predict – What do you think the story is about? Do you think David will get in trouble for being in a fight? What do you think David will have to do after school? Do you think David will get into trouble at home? Do you think David will have a better day at school tomorrow?
  • Problem & solution - {problem} David was in trouble all day at school. {solution} David had to stay after school to clean desks.
  • Sequencing - David was late. David was in front of the class making faces. David was chewing gum. David didn’t raise his hand. David played with paint. David stared out the window. David cut in line. David was in a fight. David was loud in the library. David had to go to the bathroom again. David colored on his desk. David had to clean the desks.
  • Story elements - list title, author, characters, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution.
  • Strong thought – David kept interrupting the class and doing things that got him in trouble. What would you say to David to help him know that it is not okay for him to do all those things?
  • Theme – when you misbehave at school you will get in trouble.
  • VisualizeDavid got in trouble for doing all sorts of things. Visualize what you do in class so that you don’t get into trouble; now visualize what David should do to not get into trouble.


Happy Reading!


  1. Shawna...this looks awesome. I love this book and usually only use it to talk about rules and behavior in the classroom. Using this would take it to a whole new level and make it a great learning experience for 2nd and even 3rd.

    Terri Izatt

    1. Thanks Terri,
      There really isn't much to the book until you dig a bit deeper. It definitely offers some great teaching opportunities.


Thoughts and comments are always welcome!