57 pages 1 hour read

The Witch Of Blackbird Pond

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1958

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Teacher Introduction

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

  • Genre: Fiction; middle-grade historical
  • Originally Published: 1958
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 850L; grades 5-8
  • Structure/Length: 21 chapters; approximately 272 pages; approximately 6 hours, 24 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: In 1687, 16-year-old Kit Tyler leaves her home in Barbados after the death of her grandfather to live with relatives in Connecticut. The central conflict revolves around Kit’s struggle to fit into the Puritan community and the suspicion she arouses when she befriends an old woman known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Religious intolerance; suspected witchcraft; ostracism; brief violence; discussion of enslavement; dated and racially insensitive language

Elizabeth George Speare, Author

  • Bio: Born 1908; died 1994; American children’s author; taught English at a private school before becoming a full-time writer; known for her engaging characters and detailed historical settings; works often explore themes of “culture clash” and the transition from childhood to adulthood
  • Other Works: Calico Captive (1957); The Bronze Bow (1961); The Sign of the Beaver (1983)
  • Awards: Newbery Medal (1959)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Guide:

  • Caught Between Two Worlds
  • The Dangers of Intolerance
  • Listen to Your Heart

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Teaching Guide, students will:

Related Titles

By Elizabeth George Speare