The Book Club of Prydain #1: The Book of Three
Rebecca Baumgarten, MA
In this 5-week book study, we’ll explore the 1st book in Lloyd Alexander’s acclaimed high fantasy series The Chronicles of Prydain through reading, writing, and interactive activities.
US Grade 3 - 6
Taran is a brash young Assistant Pig-Keeper who dreams of being a hero, but is he truly up for it? When the oracular pig Hen Wen runs away from Caer Dallben, he finds himself on an errand that could save all Prydain. Accompanied by a shaggy creature of the wilderness, a feisty young enchantress, a flamboyant bard, and a surly dwarf, Taran must warn the Sons of Don of an oncoming attack from the Horned King, the deadliest warlord of Arawn Lord of Death. The Chronicles of Prydain book series...
Learners will • Describe how Alexander creates lifelike and memorable characters • Discuss themes related to leadership, sacrifice, friendship, destiny, and bravery • Analyze how characters grow and change over the course of a story
I have a masters in English from Texas A&M University, where I wrote my thesis on J.R.R. Tolkien’s theory of Christianized Germanic heroism and its application in his Middle-earth legendarium. I am a scholar of imaginative literature in general and the Inklings in particular. My great loves are fantasy, mythology, and science fiction. At A&M, I worked for 3 semesters as a graduate assistant teacher of courses in literature and technical writing. I also have many years of experience working with children, including freelance tutoring, volunteering as a religious education teacher’s aide, and leadership roles in 13 years as a Girl Scout.
Homework OfferedStudents will complete readings before class (up to 50 pages per week) according to the schedule in the class description. After the first week, students will complete 1 of 4 assignments before class each week on their own for homework. They may complete the assignments in any order, but by the end of 4 weeks, they will have completed them all. The assignments are as follows: 1. Draw one of the characters who appears in these chapters and write down any of their important quotes or catchphrases. You can draw your picture on the computer or on paper. If you use paper, be sure to take a picture of it to turn in. Please do all of your writing on the computer. 2. Choose an important object that appears in these chapters. Draw it and write a backstory for it. What makes it special? Where does it come from? Who made it? Who was its original owner? 3. What is one lesson Taran learns in this week’s reading? How does he learn it? How do you think he will/should put that knowledge to use in the future? 4. Taran makes many decisions throughout the story. What is one decision you believe he should have made differently? Write 2 paragraphs explaining your reasoning and how the story would be different if he had made this different choice.
2 - 4 hours per week outside of class
Assessments OfferedAssessment is through the weekly assignments. Each is worth 25 points, for a total of 100 for the whole class.
All students must have a copy of the book in any edition. They can either purchase it or borrow it from a library. One advantage of having one's own copy is being able to highlight parts or make notes in the margins.
The Chronicles of Prydain books contain the classic tropes of high fantasy, including magic (performed by both good and evil characters), sword-fighting, and undead warriors controlled by an evil dark lord. This particular book contains no major character deaths, but there is PG-level violence and the real threat of death.
The Book of Three: The Chronicles of Prydain #1, by Lloyd Alexander
Meet the teacher
My name is Rebecca Baumgarten. I have a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Texas A&M University, focusing on the fiction and scholarship of J.R.R. Tolkien (hence my headline). I am an adjunct professor of English at Collin College in...
$15weekly or $75 for 5 classes
1x per week, 5 weeks
Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(1)
Completed by 2 learners
Live video meetings
1-6 learners per class
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