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The Book Club of Prydain #2: The Black Cauldron

In this 5-week camp, we’ll explore the second book in Lloyd Alexander's acclaimed children's high fantasy series The Chronicles of Prydain with reading, writing, and interactive activities.
Rebecca Baumgarten, MA
25 total reviews for this teacher
Completed by 1 learner
  There are no upcoming classes.
year olds
learners per class


Charged upfront
$15 per class
Meets 1x per week
Over 5 weeks
55 minutes per class

There are no open spots for this class.

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Class Experience

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.
Students will read the chapters listed for the following week: about 45 pages. Each week, I will post important vocabulary words for them to look out for. 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 character from this book. What are their goals? What burdens do they carry? 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 one significant object from this book. Draw it and give it a backstory. Where did it come from? Who were its previous owners?
3.	Which are worse, the Cauldron-Born or the Huntsmen of Annuvin? In what ways?
4.	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?
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.
Assessment is through the assignments. Each is worth 25 points, for a total of 100 in the class.
55 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 2 - 4 hours per week outside of class.
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 PG-level violence and character deaths.
The Black Cauldron: The Chronicles of Prydain #2, by Lloyd Alexander
The Disney film of the same name does not provide source material.


Rebecca Baumgarten, MA
Lives in the United States
The Wonder of Words
25 total reviews
33 completed classes

About Me

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.

I am an adjunct professor of English at Collin College in north Texas, where I teach... 
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