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The Black Stallion

Last updated Friday, April 5, 2013

Author: Walter Farley
Illustrator: Keith Ward
Date of Publication: 1941
ISBN: 0375855823
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2013

Synopsis: THE SOLE SURVIVORS of a devastating shipwreck, Alec Ramsay and the Black Stallion must learn to rely on each other to survive. As a strong bond develops between them, Alec gains the trust of the magnificent beast and eventually the Black allows Alec to ride. Finally, they are rescued, but will Alec and the Black be allowed to stay together?

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever seen or ridden a horse? If so, what was it like?
•  Have you ever traveled by ship? Where did you go?

•  Blunt- having a point that's not sharp
•  Jute- a vegetable fibre that can be woven into burlap strands, twine, etc.
•  Eerie- mysterious, strange, or unexpected
•  Gruff- rough and low in pitch
•  Monotonous- boring, repetitive
•  Stamina- physical strength or endurance

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What strikes Alec about the stallion he sees on the shore? What's so special about him?
•  Why does Alec go to find the stallion as the ship is sinking?
•  How does Uncle Ralph's pocket knife come in handy?
•  What does Alec find to sustain him and the Black?

Craft ideas:
•  Complete the provided word search
•  Ask the students to pick 3 things they'd keep with them on an island if they were in the same situation as Alec. Why would they choose these items?

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!