The Wizard of Oz Extension Activities
- Grades: 6–8
About this book
Tell students that they will be reading The Wizard of Oz, a story that readers and movie-watchers have enjoyed for almost a hundred years. Explain that it tells the story of a fantastic, or magical, journey made by a young girl named Dorothy.
Use the activity that is best suited for your class.
Talking About Fantastic Journeys
You may wish to explore the idea of fantastic journeys by having students discuss any similar tales they may have read. Ask them if they have ever read any books in which the characters went on a fantastic voyage to a land containing marvelous creatures and events. If necessary, remind students of such works as Alice in Wonderland, which describes what happens when a young girl suddenly plunges into a strange world of talking animals, singing plants, and other marvelous creatures.
Divide the class into groups of three students each. Have the groups write brief descriptions of fantastic journeys that the students might have read about. Tell students to describe how the characters made the journeys, where they went, what those worlds were like, and what happened to them in these strange lands. If you wish, have students organize the information in a chart like the following:
|Book's Name||Who Went||How They Traveled||Where They Went||What It Was Like||What Happened|
For students who are not familiar with books describing such journeys, you might wish to simply explore the idea of fantastic voyages. Ask students if they have ever invented an imaginary land of some kind — another planet or a hidden kingdom on Earth, for example. Ask students to write down descriptions of what these lands were like — what the scenery looked like, what kinds of creatures lived there, and so on. Students who have never thought of such realms before should be encouraged to create them now, using their imagination to envision places with unusual environments, strange creatures, and different natural laws.
Have students share their ideas about unusual voyages and places with the class. Ask them which lands they would like to visit themselves. Have them explain their reasons and consider what the journeys would be like: what creatures they might meet, what adventures they might have.
Distribute copies of the book and call students' attention to the characters on the cover. Point out that the book tells the story of the young girl, whose name is Dorothy. Ask students who they think the other characters are, helping them understand that each is a fantastic figure. Tell students that they will learn more about Dorothy and these characters — and the adventures they have — as they read the book.