The Witch of Blackbird Pond Lesson Plan

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

'The Witch of Blackbird Pond' tells the story of Kit Tyler and her transition to a puritan community. Use this lesson to help your students discuss the book and create a puppet show to demonstrate their understanding of the book.

Lesson Objectives

Upon completion of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Analyze a scene in the book, inferring an alternate possible ending
  • Engage in discussions with peers about the text
  • Edit and revise written work with the help of peers

Time Length

45 minutes, plus 90 minutes for the activity

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS Reading Literature 6.5 Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.
  • CCSS Writing 6.5 With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • CCSS Speaking & Listening 6.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Materials

  • Copies of the book The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • Art supplies for all students: paper, popsicle sticks, scissors, glue, crayons, markers, colored pencils

Instructions

This lesson is intended to be done after students have completed the book. Throughout the reading process, they can take notes in their reading journals. They might write reading responses, questions, and connections.

  • Engage students to the lesson by asking which character they were most interested by. Why? Let students talk to each other, and then hear responses from the whole class.
  • Divide students into groups of 3-4, and tell them to find scenes with their most interesting characters. Students should choose a scene that they think best personifies their character.
  • In their groups, have students explain why they think each chosen scene best personifies the characters. Are there character traits that are on display in this scene? Does the character do something extremely important during this scene?

Discussion Questions

  • How is Kit different from the other characters in Connecticut?
  • Why do you think the other characters suspect that she is a witch?
  • How does Elizabeth George Speare use history to support the story?
  • What do you think Kit and Hannah have in common?

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