Will Stanton, the seventh son of a seventh son, learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the last of the ‘Old Ones.’ These are people with ancient knowledge of the Light. The Old Ones have special powers and a destiny to save the world. Will receives instructions to go on a quest to collect six signs. These six signs form a completed circle to ward off the forces of the Dark.
Readers cheer Will in hopes that he will be able to collect the signs in time to beat the Dark.
The Dark is Rising Teaching Ideas
Activity #1 – Character Bags
After reading the first few chapters of The Dark is Rising, students decorated bags with characters and symbols from the story. Attaching pieces of yarn, textured fabric, and the like gave the drawings a 3D effect. On the reverse side of the bag, students made predictions about what symbols and objects may be important in the story. As the students read, they brought in objects to fill the bag. At the end of the novel, the actual objects were compared to the predictions that were written on the back of the bags.
Activity #2 Multiple Meaning Words Bulletin Board
In Lesson 6 of The Dark is Rising Book Unit, students studied multi-meaning words. One activity during this lesson is to purposefully misconstrue a multiple-meaning word to make a puzzle for others to solve.
See the bulletin board below with some of the students’ puzzles.
Activity #3 – Reading Makes You Bright
A second bulletin board idea came from Lesson 8 of the novel study on affixes.
Instructions for Students: Stack the four pieces of paper together. Fold them in half vertically. Turn the folded paper so that the fold is at the top like a tent. Staple along the folded edge. Cut two slits beginning at the bottom and heading toward the top of your book to divide the book into three equal sections. Be careful not to cut the whole distance so your book will stay intact. You should have three flaps. You will write prefixes on the first flap, base words in the middle flap, and suffixes on the last flap. Try to think of base words that will give you the most real words possible with the prefixes and suffixes you have chosen.
After cutting out your ornament, glue your flipbook onto your Christmas ornament. Flip through your book trying to find real words. Write each real word you find on your ornament.
If you would like to try out The Dark is Rising Book Unit before you buy it, these links contain free samples including:
Activity #5 Artwork
Have students describe the scenes that are taking place in each drawing.
Activity #6 Movie
Have students watch the movie version and compare it to the book. This free printable will help students compare and contrast.
Activity #7 Links on the Web
- Susan Cooper Website
- A Series of Video Interviews with Susan Cooper
- Book Guide from Scholastic
- Writing Prompts from Scholastic
- Vocabulary List
- Reading Strategies to use with the Book
- Curriculum Guide to use with The Seeker (the movie)
Activity #8 The Dark is Rising Book Unit
You can purchase this 400 page unit on Teachers Pay Teachers.