After the death of her grandfather, 16-year-old Kit leaves her rich Caribbean home to live in America with her Puritan aunt and uncle in Connecticut. Kit's Uncle Matthew is a strict man, and he expects her to work hard if she is to be part of his household. Kit is willing to work, though she is unused to manual labor and unskilled at the many tasks she is given to do. Then Kit discovers the Meadows, the great level sea of green grasses that remind her of her home in Barbados. Kit finds refuge in the Meadows and at the home of Hannah Tupper, a kindly old woman living near Blackbird Pond on the edge of the Meadows. Hannah is a Quaker, considered by many of the townspeople to be a heretic because she won't attend their church, and who some therefore suspect of being a witch.
Though she is forbidden to visit Hannah, Kit cannot stay away. She finds that she needs Hannah's comforting friendship just as much as Hannah, living alone in a tiny ramshackle house, needs her help. Hoping to keep her relationship with the old woman a secret, Kit continues to work at being a contributing part of the family and community. When an illness sweeps through the community, the townspeople blame Hannah, calling her a witch, for bringing disease and death to their town.
Risking everything to save Hannah from a violent mob, Kit's relationship with the old woman is revealed, and Kit finds herself standing trial before the community on the charge of witchcraft.
Progeny Press Witch of Blackbird Pond Language Arts curriculum will provide your Middle School grade student with:
About the Author: Embark on a journey into the life of Elizabeth George Speare, the brilliant mind behind literary gems like The Witch of Blackbird Pond.
Background Information: Step back in time to the era of Puritanism and the New England colonies, where the roots of The Witch of Blackbird Pond are firmly planted. Explore the historical context that serves as the ground for this tale, understanding Puritan life, the challenges of colonial existence, and the backdrop against which the narrative unfolds.
Vocabulary: Interactive activities designed to enhance vocabulary retention and growth.
Literary Techniques: Explore the play of antonyms and synonyms, the beauty of similes and metaphors, the intricacies of characterization, foreshadowing that hints at potential futures, the contextual use of language, the subtle nods to allusions, conflicts leading to climaxes and resolutions, and the overarching themes that tie the narrative together.
Moral Lessons and Character Values: Reflect on timeless lessons such as the importance of self-control, the virtue of hospitality, caring for the needy, respecting authority, seeking peace, navigating the pitfalls of pride, upholding justice, and discerning between good and bad company.
Activities and Writing Assignments: Navigate the landscapes of the story through mapping exercises, explore the connection to Barbados, delve into the lives of Puritans and Quakers, unravel the complexities of the Salem Witch Trials, express your thoughts through writing, journey through Connecticut, engage in word searches, participate in discussions that deepen understanding, and explore the poetic dimensions of the narrative.
Suggestions for Further Reading: Enjoy a wonderful reading list of extra books by Elizabeth George Speare and other books that tie in with, or are similar to, The Witch of Blackbird Pond.
All of Progeny Press' language arts PDF download unit lessons are written from a Christian worldview!
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Formatted with your Middle School grade student in mind, Progeny Press language arts study guides divide the book into writing assignments and lessons that strengthen their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and refine their critical analysis and writing skills. Each Progeny Press novel study accomplishes all of this without busy work that can drain the fun out of reading and literature! Kids have loved using Progeny Press ELA curriculum in homeschool, co-ops, and private schools around the world for over 30 years!