The Whipping Boy Activities

The Whipping Boy Activities

Prince Horace, nicknamed Prince Brat, constantly creates mischief. But because of the custom of the time, he does not receive punishment. A whipping boy steps in to receive the whipping. Prince Horace becomes bored with his circumstances, so he forces his whipping boy Jemmy to run away for a little adventure. A couple of cutthroats who want a ransom from the king capture the boys. Read this novel by Sid Fleischman to find out how Prince Horace and Jemmy survive in the hands of these cutthroats.

The Whipping Boy Activities

The Whipping Boy Book Unit Samples

The Whipping Boy Novel Study

This sample contains vocabulary practice, a comprehension quiz, and a constructed response question for Chapters 1-2.   

Teaching Idea #1 ~ Anchor Charts

The day before beginning The Whipping Boy, I displayed the following anchor charts in the classroom. These stayed up for the duration of the novel. As students read, we added character traits. Once we had read approximately half the book, the characters’ main problems were added. At the end of the novel, the solutions to these problems were also added.

Anchor Chart
Anchor Chart

Teaching Idea #2 ~ Newbery Medal Winner

Newbery Award Medal

The Whipping Boy won the Newbery Medal in 1987. Have students research to learn about the Newbery Medal. 


  • The Newbery Medal was established on June 22, 1921.
  • The Medal is given annually by the American Library Association.
  • The award goes to an American children’s book published the previous year.
  • The runners-up are called honor books.
  • Winners are selected by a committee of the Association for Library Service for Children.
  • Winners receive $10,000. Finalists receive $1000.
  • Winners are announced in the fall.

Things to Do:

  • Have students research to determine which authors have won multiple times.
  • Create a class list of Newbery-winning books students have read.

Teaching Idea #3 ~ Book Covers

The Whipping Boy Novel Study

Have students compare different book covers to determine which best represents the story. This webpage shows six different covers for comparison.

Teaching Idea #4 ~ The Whipping Boy – Full Movie on YouTube

In 1994, The Whipping Boy was turned into a full-length, 1 hour and 43 minutes, movie. This is one film you don’t have to worry about. It’s G-rating makes it perfect for classroom viewing. With more than a hundred ratings, the movie has an 81% likability score. 

Comparing the book to the movie is a great learning activity for students. In this instance, the movie follows the major elements of the story. The film adds several new characters making it an interesting comparison. Look for Annie Rose, Blind George, and Queen Mum in the movie.

Teaching Idea #5 ~ On the Web

Reading is Fundamental (RIF) 

On the RIF website, you’ll find memory games, crossword puzzles, and word searches. These interactive activities are great fun for students and greatly improve vocabulary skills.

You’ll find great discussion questions, vocabulary exercises, and character traits at the Appalachian State website. The book is divided into three sections with activities for each. Click the links below to go to each section.

See the product that inspired this post.

The Whipping Boy Novel Study

The Whipping Boy Novel Study includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.  

Gay Miller

Permanent link to this article: