The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch (Book 1)

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Capturing witches
Binding boggarts
Driving away ghosts

For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the county, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. But who will take over for him? Twenty-nine apprentices have tried–some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive.

Only Thomas Ward is left. He's the last hope; the last apprentice.

Can Thomas succeed? Will he learn the difference between a benign witch and a malevolent one? Does the Spook's warning against girls with pointy shoes include Alice? And what will happen if Thomas accidentally frees Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the county ... ?

Curriculet Details
54 Questions
62 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 8th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining characterization, foreshadowing, and words specific to the setting of Northern England. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about theme and motifs. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of point of view, inference, and conflict. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

The curriculet is being added to your library

Chapter I: A Seventh Son

Point of view is an important aspect of a story. This story is told from the first person point of view, because one of our characters is the narrator. Watch the video below for more information on point of view.  (This annotation contains a video)
This story includes ghouls, boggarts, and other wicked beasts. Which of the following is most likely the genre of this story?  
Below you will find the picture that is on the front of this story. It seems as though the picture reflects what the main character describes here in this passage.  (This annotation contains an image)
What is a guinea?  
Irony occurs when we expect one thing to happen but the opposite happens. For example, you would expect a Spook to be comfortable in the dark; however, it sounds like the main character is uncomfortable in the dark, which we could consider ironic. Watch the video below for more information on situational irony.  (This annotation contains a video)
The characterization of Mam has been mostly indirect characterization. This means that we have to make inferences about her based on her actions and reactions. Which of the following is NOT something we know about Mam?  
This is a common superstition even today. You can read more about the superstition of throwing salt over your shoulder at the website below.  (This annotation contains a link)
"The cat got your tongue" is an example of when a phrase means something other than it's literal translation. This is called an 
When a character who is older and wiser gives advice to a younger character, as a reader we should take notice. We should ask ourselves, "what is the lesson here, and how might it affect the character?" 
What can we infer about Tom as a person from this passage?  
The end of this chapter is important because we learn something poignant about Tom and his mam. They are both able to see things and hear things that others can't. Think about what these "things" might be. Is this going to affect his work as a Spook?  

Chapter II: On the Road

A tinderbox is a small box that contains materials to start a fire. You can see a modern tinderbox in the photo below, along with the materials. (This annotation contains an image)
Here the author is hinting that something bad is about to happen. What is this device called?  
It has now been revealed that the seventh sons of seventh sons have a gift of seeing things that others can't. Is this what his mam was talking about? Also, does his mam also have this gift since she was able to tame them once?  
In your own words, explain the difference between ghosts and ghasts.  
The phrase "as the crow flies" means that the two villages are 15 miles apart if you were to draw a straight line, as if on a map. However, the actual distance it takes to walk there will most likely be different because it's not likely they will walk there in a straight line, but instead take roads and other walkways.  
Characterization is an important part of stories. There is direct characterization, when the author tells you directly what a character is like, and there is indirect characterization, when we make inferences about the characters. In the description of the Spook, there are examples of both direct and indirect characterization. Can you pick out examples of both? Watch the video below for more information on how characters develop throughout the story.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter III: Number Thirteen Watery Lane

Which of the following words or phrases does NOT create a mood of darkness and suspense? 
Think about how the author has created suspense in this chapter. The mood words give us a sense of the setting, but also, the Spook puts Tom in a frightening scenario and leaves after giving him three pieces of advice. Do you think those pieces of advice are foreshadowing what might happen? Will Tom let the candle go out? Will he be late going into the cellar?  
What type of figurative language is "Thump, thump"? 
A carthorse is a horse that carries a cart loaded with goods. Tom is comparing the breathing of this creature to a carthorse that has "just pulled a heavy load up a steep hill." Below is a drawing of a carthorse and its cart.  (This annotation contains an image)
Analyze the author's ability to create suspense. What helps to create this feeling? Use examples from the text to support your answer.  
In stories, random objects, such as the gift of a tinderbox, often have a purpose later. Here, we have found that the tinderbox has already helped Tom during this first test.  

Chapter IV: The Letter

How does the story of the miner and his wife affect Tom and the Spook?  
Why is the Spook telling Tom this story? Do you think he's going to do the same thing and lock him down in the cellar to face his fears?  
What is your opinion of the Spook? Do you think he's a good mentor? Support your claim with examples from the text and your own reasoning.  
This is what could be considered an "Aha Moment." Tom realizes and understands that it's the fact that he's his mam's son that makes him special. We should stop and ask ourselves, "How might this change things?" or "What does this mean for Tom and his mam?" 

Chapter V: Boggarts and Witches

The County that the author writes about is based on a real county in Northern England called Lancashire. Most of the towns names in this book are based off of real life towns. For example, Chipenden is based on the real town Chipping. Below is the website for Chipping.  (This annotation contains a link)
What type of figurative language can be seen in this passage?  
A fell is a term used in Northern England and Scotland to describe a mountain range or a moor-covered hill. Below is a photo of a fell.  (This annotation contains an image)
The author uses imagery in order to paint a picture in the reader's mind. Watch the video below for more information on imagery, and think about what specific phrases create the imagery in this passage.  (This annotation contains a video)
The author has used the term "flag" several times in this story. This means a floor that has been paved with flagstones. You can see a picture of a "flagged passage" below.  (This annotation contains an image)
Tom wants to know where the cook is, but he doesn't ask. He is also given advice from the Spook on how to behave in the morning. What might the author be doing here?  
Earlier, we learned the difference between a dynamic and a static character. Do you think the Spook is dynamic or static? Has he changed? Or has Tom's perception of him changed?  
Which of the following lines from this section of the chapter could be considered foreshadowing that something bad is going to happen?  
The Spook has given Tom the advice to stay away from the witches, particularly Mother Malkin. Again, we should take advice when someone older and wiser gives the characters advice. Do you think Tom will encounter these witches?  
Section 1 Quiz 

Chapter VI: A Girl with Pointy Shoes

A hyperbole is an extreme exaggeration, and this is a perfect example of a hyperbole. There is no way that the Spook could smile so much that his face splits in two, but it's a way to give us a vivid image of how wide his smile is. Hyperboles are a popular form of figurative language. Watch the video below for the pronunciation of hyperbole.  (This annotation contains a video)
Use context clues to make a prediction on what the expression: "It doesn't dribble from a cow's udder" means.  
This advice makes us wonder why it's important to avoid village girls with pointy shoes. We know that stereotypically, witches wear pointy shoes, so is that why he gives us this warning? Again, the Spook has given advice that we should listen to, but how will this affect Tom?  
Hamlets are settlements that are usually smaller than a village. So individuals from hamlets probably came to the village to do their shopping.  
What can we infer from the reaction of the customers?  
The Spook has just given Tom advice about village girls. How do you think this advice will come into play now that one has entered the scene?  
Which of the following is the best question we might ask ourselves after reading this?  
"What happened to the last apprentice?" is a question that comes up a lot. The answer to this question might provide insight onto the nature of the job, and what Tom needs to be careful of in particular.  
After the exposition of a story, the characters often run into a problem/conflict that propels the action forward into the rising action. The fact that Tom lied to the Spook and made a promise to Alice may be the problem that puts our character on his specific journey. It will be interesting to see how these decisions affect the course of his journey from here on out. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter VII: Someone Has to Do It

Define ley in your own words.  
Why do you think the Spook had Tom make his own maps instead of just studying his? When you're learning in school, do you learn best from doing, or from seeing others do it?  
What type of conflict is Tom going through right now? Watch the video below for more information if needed. 
Tom's brother Jack has changed. The question that is raised is, "What caused this change in Jack's personality?" 
What can we infer based on Mam's reaction? 
What might be the reason that Jack feels that Tom has stirred something up?  
Although the mood of this scene is happy and cheerful, there's also a feeling of anxiety. It's almost as though we are waiting for something bad to happen. Think about what might be causing this anxiety.  
The problem of the story has definitely escalated and we are now in the  

Chapter VIII: Old Mother Malkin

A motif is a reoccurring symbol that has meaning. In fairy tales, the numbers three and seven are often important, and we can see that they are important in this novel. It's obvious why seven is important, but three has also appeared several times. There were three rules when Tom was in the house where the Spook grew up, there are three witches, there are three gardens, and finally, there are three cakes Tom needs to give Mother Malkin. Watch the video below for more information on motifs, and consider how the number three may help develop the theme.  (This annotation contains a video)
In addition to the motif of the number three, there is a reoccurring event that happens that could also be considered a motif. What is it?  
A cairn is a man-made stack of stones that marks a place. You can see an example of one in the image below.  (This annotation contains an image)
We have determined that this story is similar to fantasy and fairy tales. Knowing what you know about fantasy stories and fairy tales, do you think Tom will be able to refuse to give Mother Malkin the final cake? Support your answer with evidence.  
Is it possible that the witch had something to do with the missing child? Maybe both children?  
What type of conflict is occurring between Alice and Tom?  
"Wet behind the ears" is a phrase or idiom that means someone is lacking in experience, not that he actually is wet behind his ears.  
What information is Tom looking for?  
This information could become useful to Tom since now he knows a method that worked to contain Mother Malkin before. Will he need to use this method? Or is he going to need to problem solve and figure out his own method of controlling her?  

Chapter IX: On the Riverbank

Watch the video below for more information on theme, and then answer the following question. What theme seems to be emerging at this point of the story? 
The imagery used to describe the way Mother Malkin looks, as well as how Tom feels when he sees her, creates a vivid image in the reader's mind, which is important when connecting the reader to the story.  
Analyze the creation of suspense during this scene. What sentences or phrases are most effective in creating this feeling?  
The Spook said that Mother Malkin was more dangerous dead than alive. But he also said for Tom to follow his instincts. Which piece of advice should Tom follow?  
Make a prediction. What do you think caused Mother Malkin to die unexpectedly?  

Chapter X: Poor Billy

Think about how the point of view connects to conflict. What type of conflict would we possibly not see if the point of view was from the third person perspective?  
What type of figurative language is "high hawthorn hedge"? 
The author must have had a purpose in naming the child the same name as our main character. Look for clues as to what this purpose may be.  
Which of the following is what protected Tom and Tommy? 
The butcher probably means that Mother Malkin, Bony Lizzie, Alice, and Tusk need to be taken care of so that they aren't causing problems like this in the future. Do you think he meant that as a message to Tom and the Spook, or is it possible that the Butcher feels obligated to try and stop them?  
So what was it that killed Mother Malkin?  
The motif of Rules and Order is emerging again. The Spook has told Tom about how to get rid of the witch permanently, but has also mentioned that neither way is appropriate because they are barbaric. This motif is also supporting the theme of following the advice of those who are older and wiser. The fact that this motif repeats, reiterates the lesson that Tom and the readers should learn.  
Look at the title of this chapter. What might you predict the Spook is going to reveal during the lessons?  
This seems like the most important advice given about how to bind a boggart. Therefore, it's likely that this is the advice that Billy did not follow. Again, the motif of rules and order emerges.  
Section 2 Quiz 

Chapter XI: The Pit

A stile is a ladder-like structure that allows an individual to go up and over a wall or fence. The image below shows a ladder that will allow one to climb over the stone wall.  (This annotation contains an image)
Below is an image of a hawthorn hedge, similar to the one that Tom is walking next to on his trip back to the Spook's house.  (This annotation contains an image)
What might be significant about Alice's comment? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.  
What type of characterization is the author using when describing Tusk and Bony Lizzie?  
Where have we heard of someone who only had thumbs left?  
What literary device is the author using when describing this insect?  
Think about what we know about Alice as a character. Does Tom have a weakness for her when he shouldn't? Or is she different from her Aunt and Mother Malkin?  
Do you think Alice will eventually help Tom? Why or why not?  
Another theme that has emerged in this story is the idea that women are strong. We have been told that Tom's mam is the strongest woman he knows, that Mother Malkin is so strong she's even stronger in death, and that Alice and Bony Lizzie are strong as well.  
Which of the following events is most likely the climax of the story?  
The fact that the Spook wants Tom's mam to help is interesting. We may finally discover what makes Tom's mam so special.  

Chapter XII: The Desperate and the Dizzy

What did Alice's breath reveal to the Spook? How does this relate to Alice as a character?  
What significance do you think this has on the story?  
What is Jack likely upset about?  
The author is giving the reader clues to the fact that the baby and the witches have a connection. First she was born on the night Tom killed Mother Malkin, and now she is fascinated by Alice. Was there any advice or information that was given to Tom that would explain their connection? If not, continue to look for clues that will reveal the connection between the baby and the witches.  
Which of the following is the best prediction as to what will happen?  
What might the consequences of asking Alice be? Would that give her too much information? Would the Spook disapprove? Or will it help bond Tom and Alice, making her more of an ally instead of an enemy?  
Using what we know about the Spook and his life, who probably wrote this book on possession?  
Tom's thought process reveals a good amount about the town in which they live. The fact that they believe that men should be outdoors and woman should be indoors is quite out-dated. Think about how this connects to the theme of women being strong.  
Why should we as readers pay attention to the information that is revealed in this book about possessions? 
Dogs and animals can often sense when something bad is going to happen before humans. For example, they can predict when a storm is coming. The fact that these dogs are barking could be foreshadowing that something bad is coming.  
What type of figurative language is used here?  
What was Bony Lizzie doing when she was standing above the pit? Alice must be reciting a spell.  
Why do you think Ellie staggered suddenly?  
This part of the story could be considered dramatic irony. As readers, we believe it might be possible that Ellie is the one possessed because she staggered after the incident with the mirror, but Tom didn't make that connection. When the audience knows more than the characters, this is what we consider dramatic irony, and it creates an incredible level of suspense. Watch the video below for more on dramatic irony, and keep reading to find out whether our prediction that Ellie is possessed is right!  (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the plot diagram, which portion of the story are we likely in?  

Chapter XIII: Hairy Pigs

As the book comes to a conclusion, think about some of the questions that are still left unanswered. While reading, be on the lookout for answers to these important questions that were raised in the beginning of the story.  
This comment that Alice makes mostly relates to which of the following?  
While reading the next page or two, think to yourself why the author drags on the description of the day. What effect does this have on the reader?  
How does the description of Snout connect to Alice's description of the perfect body for possession?  
A gale is a very strong wind. If Alice was walking into a very strong wind, her hair would be blowing straight back.  
How was Mother Malkin finally defeated? 

Chapter XIV: The Spook’s Advice

Look at the title of this chapter. Think about how the motif of rules and order and the theme of listening to the advice of elders is coming full circle.  
According to the plot diagram, what portion of the story have we now entered?  
The Spook and Tom's mam are going to have a discussion. Both of them seem to know more than Tom, and the question of why Tom is special because of his mother may soon be answered.  
What type of character is Tom at the end of the book? Remember:Round - characters that are fully developedFlat - characters that are not fully developedDynamic - characters that go through a change during the novelStatic - characters that do not go through a change in the novel 
Is the big question of the book going to be left unanswered?  
In your opinion, what should Tom do about Alice? Use evidence from the text, and your own reasoning.  
Is it possible that Alice in someway claimed Tom by causing him to bleed like that? Does what Alice said have some significance?  
Which of the following themes might motivate Tom to offer to help Alice?  
Section 3 Quiz