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Dex the Heart of a Hero by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner

Learning Objectives

Students will use information gained from illustrations and words to describe characters’ change throughout the story.

Students will describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Students will define target vocabulary using context clues and classroom resources.

Grade Levels

Grades 2-3

Common Core Standards

Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.

Materials Needed

Dex, the Heart of a Hero Vocabulary

Character Change from Beginning to End 

Cause and Effect Dex



  • Read Aloud Dex, the Heart of a Hero by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner.  Discuss unfamiliar vocabulary (see Vocabulary sheet above), and prompt students to infer meaning using the illustrations and context.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling

  • After reading, discuss with students changes they observed in Dex and Cleevis throughout the story, taking a picture walk through the story.

Independent/Partner work

  • The packet of activities included with this lesson can be used for independent or partner work, or as a centers station.  Students who are unfamiliar with Frayer models should be given a model to follow.

Review and Closing

  • Students create a superhero picture of their own pet, or of a pet they wish they had.  Ask students to think about what their pet is especially good at.  Responses might include snuggling, barking, eating, chasing balls, etc.  Students could also think about what their pet might wish for, like Dex did.