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A Teacher’s Guide for Grades 2-3:

The Great Cake Mystery

The Great Cake Mystery tells the story of Precious Ramotswe, a smart, young girl in Botswana who must figure out the answer to a puzzle: who is the thief stealing students’ sweets at school? We chose this novel for its thoughtful attention to some powerful social and emotional themes: self-confidence, honesty, perseverance, bullying, and kindness. Students will find themselves relating to and being inspired by Precious’ experiences; this curriculum will help students build connections between Precious’s story and their own.


Young Precious Ramotswe lives in rural Botswana, where she loves listening to her father’s stories and attending school. Precious is inquisitive, and she can tell when people are making things up! Her father suggests that maybe one day she will become a detective. Her skills are immediately put to the test in her first case: students’ sweets at school keep going missing! Her classmates quickly blame a larger boy who eats a lot of sweets, but Precious isn’t so sure. Instead of jumping to conclusions, Precious follows the evidence to figure out the real culprit in an effort to solve her very first case as a detective.

Author:  Alexander McCall Smith

Our Reading with Relevance teacher’s guide breaks the novel into a series of thoughtful lesson plans. Each lesson is designed to support you to meaningfully explore the social and emotional themes of the day’s reading with your students, inspiring them to read deeply, think critically, talk openly, and write reflectively about topics that matter.

This teacher’s guide includes:

  • A facilitator’s guide with tips and resources for implementing the curriculum.
  • A map of Common Core Standards addressed through this program.
  • Eight individual lesson plans, including vocabulary, discussion questions, journal prompts, extension activities, and all handouts.
  • An assessment to monitor student progress.
  • Regular checkpoints to help teachers assess their students’ progress on ELA standards.
  • A culminating essay-building unit.
  • An appendix with additional teaching resources and activities to continue exploring this novel.

Pages: 64
Dimensions: 8.5” x 11”



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