The Sorcerer's Apprentice Language Arts Curriculum Guide
- Goethe was a very well-known German poet and playwright in the 18th century. Read the following two poems by Goethe, then listen to the classical songs (lieder [pronounced LEE-der] in German) that Mozart and Schubert wrote to those texts. The Violet is about a little flower who falls in love with a shepherdess as she's in the field. But the shepherdess, not seeing it, steps on the violet, crushing it. Poor little violet! Here's the song by Mozart.
- The Erlking is an eerie song about a father and a boy traveling on horseback through the woods. The boy is ill and keeps seeing a vision of the Erlking (and evil spirit) trying to get him. In the end the boy is taken by the Erlking and dies in his father's arms. Here is a video of this song by Schubert. Notice the differences in the singers voice for each character- the father, boy, narrator and Erlking.
- Write a poem in the style of Goethe. Write in a story format with narrator, like the Sorcerer's Apprentice story, "The Erlking", or "The Violet". Try to use words that convey strong emotion. Use this site's thesaurus to find powerful and descriptive words .
- Public speaking/dramatic reading- Practice reading one of the two Goethe poems above, either "The Violet" or "The Erlking". Read it until you know it well enough to show the strong emotion in your voice and facial expression. Present it to your class or family as a dramatic reading. Use different voices for each character!
- Can brooms really sprout arms and legs and help with household chores? I bet your mom wishes they could! In literature, writers use personification to give human-like qualities to inanimate objects. In the poem, "Wind and Window Flower", Robert Frost wrote, "The wind...sighed upon the sill." We know that the wind doesn't really sigh, but it adds life to the poem and we understand what the wind seems like to the narrator when Frost uses personification. Here are some more poems with personification . See if you can find the examples within them:
From the Shore, by Carl Sandburg
Young Sea, by Carl Sandburg
Under a Telephone Pole, by Carl Sandburg
A Vagabond Song, by Bliss Carman
The morns are meeker than they were, by Emily Dickinson
Now write your own examples of personification in a poem or story!
- The Sorcerer's Apprentice learned a hard lesson about the consequences of laziness, and getting involved in things you don't understand. This story has a "moral", or a character lesson, that the actions of the apprentice teach us. There are many stories with a moral that have been told and retold throughout history.
- "Aesop's Fables" is a collection of stories from the 5th century BC which originated in Greece. There is some disagreement about who wrote them. Some say it was a Greek slave named Aesop, others say he didn't exist and that the fables were written by numerous others of the time period. But regardless of who wrote them, Aesop's Fables have been around for a long time, highlighting lessons and morals for all of us.
- The Ant and the Grasshopper is another story with a moral about laziness. How is the laziness of the Sorcerer's Apprentice and the Grasshopper different?
- Here is a collection of Aesop's Fables from an art school. Students over the years have illustrated the stories in wonderful ways! Explore the stories and find one whose illustrations you really like. Describe the artwork.
- Choose a fable to illustrate yourself and display the art in your home.
- Now write your own fable. Make sure you include a lesson for readers to learn from the actions of your characters!
- There are other stories that share a similar theme with the Sorcerer's Apprentice, a theme that highlights the exploits of an amateur trying to use magic or science that he doesn't understand. Check out these stories from your library and read them for yourself. Compare and contrast them with the Sorcerer's Apprentice.
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