Lesson 1 (from Section 1, Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4)
The novel's main characters are talking animals. The objective of this lesson is to examine the author's use of anthropomorphism, the attribution of human characteristics to objects or animals.
1) Write the word "anthropomorphize" on the board. Explain that this means to give human characteristics to anything that's not human: objects, ideas, or animals. Ask students to suggest examples of anthropomorphism from movies, literature, or other media. Write the ideas students come up with on the board. Ask if students can group or categorize the examples. What can they say about them? What types of anthropomorphism have the students identified? What different purposes does anthropomorphism serve? How do their examples compare to the novel?
2) As a class, read Chapters 1 and 2 of Whittington. Ask how the Lady is characterized as human. In what ways is she duck-like, and in what ways is she human-like? Similarly, how is...
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