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Lesson: The Landlady


Author: Michael Heafitz
Subject Area: Reading/Language Arts
Grade Level: 7 - 8

Introduction

In the short story "The Landlady," Roald Dahl has given us a creepy tale about how what seems normal might be more scary than it seems. Through a literary technique called foreshadowing, Dahl encourages the reader to look into the future, and to predict what will happen to the characters.

Goals

Students will identify the literary element called foreshadowing in this story. Students will demonstrate active reading strategies.

Directions

Before reading "The Landlady," complete the Background Builder and Vocabulary activities. Using the visualization strategy, picture the setting of the story. Think about how you would feel if you got off a train in a strange city, and quickly had to find a place to stay.


Background Builder Background

Title: Visit Bath England URL: http://www.galenfrysinger.com/bath_england.htm
Directions: The story "The Landlady" takes place in a city in southwestern England called Bath. Bath is a very historic city that was founded by the ancient Romans. Think about the name of the city. Using the visualization strategy and your knowledge of the name of the city, what would you expect to find in Bath?


Title: An Interview with Roald Dahl URL: http://www.roalddahl.com/
Directions: Roald Dahl wrote many books, including The BFG, and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. How did he create these stories? Get a view into the mind of an author by clicking on the red Roald Dahl tab.


Title: Map of England URL: http://www.world-guides.com/images/united_kingdom/united_kingdom_cornwall_map.jpg
Directions: Billy Weaver took the train from London to Bath. He traveled by himself, and went to Bath to start a new job. Look at the map and trace his route.


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Title: The City of Bath URL: http://www.danapalladino.com/site03.htm
Directions: Early in The Landlady, Billy notices that all of the houses are nearly identical and built closely together. Look at the pictures of the city of Bath to see what the buildings in the city look like.



Vocabulary Builder Vocabulary


Message: Even though people speak English in England, people sometimes use vocabulary differently. For example, in England, the "boot" of your car is the trunk of your automobile. You wouldn't put that boot on your foot!
Vocabulary Words:
trilby a soft, felt hat
brisk quick and active; lively
boarding house a place where people usually rent a room
kippers salted fish
swanky fashionable and elegant
dithering to be unable to make up one's mind
landlady a woman who runs an inn or rooming house
foreshadowing the use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a story


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Activity: On-line Crossword Puzzle


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Complete this activity after we have finished reading the story. Use the Question Strategy after you read each clue. You may work with a classmate on this crossword puzzle.



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