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Fritz and the Beautiful Horses

Last updated Friday, April 1, 2011

Author: Jan Brett
Date of Publication: 1981
ISBN: 039530850X
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2011

Synopsis: Fritz, a pony excluded from the group of beautiful horses within the walled city, becomes a hero when he rescues the children of the city.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Who is Fritz?
•  Have you ever rode on a horse? --Where did you ride? --What was it like?
•  Have you ever been to a town that had horses?
•  Do you know of any people who you would consider hard working and dependable?

Vocabulary Selection:
•  MAGNIFICENT -- splendid or impressive in appearance. Superb or very fine. Noble or elevated. Great or exalted in rank or action.
•  SPLENDID -- gorgeous; magnificent; sumptuous. Grand; superb, as beauty. Distinguished or glorious, as a name, reputation, victory, etc. Strikingly admirable or fine: splendid talents. Excellent, fine, or very good: to have a splendid time. Brilliant in appearance, color, etc.
•  STRIDES -- to walk with long steps, as with vigor, haste, impatience, or arrogance. To take a long step: to stride across a puddle. To straddle.
•  DECREED -- a formal and authoritative order, esp. one having the force of law: a presidential decree. Law . a judicial decision or order. Theology . one of the eternal purposes of god, by which events are foreordained.
•  CITIZENS -- a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection ( distinguished from alien). An inhabitant of a city or town, esp. one entitled to its privileges or franchises. An inhabitant, or denizen: The deer is a citizen of our woods. A civilian, as distinguished from a soldier, police officer, etc.
•  ELEGANT -- tasteful in dress, style, or design. Dignified and graceful in appearance, behaviour, etc. Cleverly simple; ingenious: an elegant solution to a problem.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  The walled city in this story was known for its a) castles, b) shops, c) beautiful horses.
•  Could any horse enter the walled city? a) yes, b) no.
•  How was Fritz described?
•  What is the meaning of sure-footed? a) not liable to stumble, slip or fall, b) clumsy, c) had only three feet.
•  Why were the children afraid of the horses?
•  What happened when the citizens rode onto the bridge? a) They were greeted with cheers from the people inside, b) The children said they wanted to be the first ones on the bridge, c) They heard a SNAP.
•  What did the citizens tell the children theyd have to do? a) Get off their horses, climb down the hill and swim across, b) Wait for help, c) Cross through the river on their horses.

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a horse

*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!