The Black Stallion Mystery

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Someone's set a treacherous trap for Alec and his horse... From the Trade Paperback edition.
Curriculet Details
58 Questions
62 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring character traits and sequencing, as well as annotations describing figurative language and asking questions. Students will explore the themes of adventure and a quest for discovery. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

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1. Black Fire

This story is Walter Farley's thirteenth novel in the Black Beauty series. Do not worry if you have not read the first twelve books. Walter does a nice job of filling in the blanks for you. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Which line below tells you that Black wins the race? 
You do not know why the man is looking for Black, but the fact that he went from disappointment to excitement after seeing the "black stallion" lets you know he is looking for the horse for some reason. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
After reading this paragraph, which statement below can you infer about Black? 
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
Using the Define feature, determine the meaning of the word doggedly. Which description below best describes a person that is doggedly doing something? 

2. Black Gold

All fictional stories have the same basic elements of plot. This video explains the first part of the plot, the exposition.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5
What is Walter Fraley revealing about the characters in this section? 
A yearling is a horse that is between one and two years old.  (This annotation contains an image)
This website has a diagram of a horse. It will show and explain the different parts that Alec and Henry are discussing.  (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.9
Compare Black to the yearling. Be sure to use evidence from this passage as well as the website above to support your response. 
John's statements in this paragraph explain why the chapter is titled "Black Gold". 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2
Why are Henry, Alec, and Black going to Spain? 

3. Black Angel

These two sentences help explain Black's popularity. Passports normally take several weeks to get. Also the Spanish Consul is very excited to help Henry in hopes that Black will race in their country. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5
Why does Walter Fraley include the two highlighted paragraphs in this chapter? 
This paragraph is full of descriptive words that help you visualize the landscape of Spain. If you are unsure how to visualize, this video will explain.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
What does the author want you to visualize in the highlighted paragraph? 
Authors frequently fully indent paragraphs so you pay close attention to them. In this case, you should pay attention to the words on the gate's sign.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.6
Alec thinks he is perceiving a tic when El Dorado is mentioned to Angel. Why does Alec suspect Angel is twitching? 

4. Black Bulls

When reading novels, it is important to read the titles of the chapters. Authors give the chapters titles to help you understand the main idea of what you are about to read. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Based on the highlighted paragraph, which word below best describes how Alec feels towards Black? 
Henry and Angel have a different point of view towards the bull and horse competition. Which person do you agree with? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Why does Alec feel like he is in the ring with a bull? 
Below is a picture of a bull. There is a herd of bulls in this pasture. Do you think Alec should be in the pasture with them?  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.6
What does Alec think the bull will do next? 
Not all bulls charge at moving objects. The bulls that the matadors fight in the Spanish bullfighting ring are bred and designed to charge and kill anything that moves, be it a human, a horse or a cape. The bulls that you see out in the pasture do not have this fight-breeding in them that the Spanish Fighting Bulls do. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
How is the moon affecting the series of events with Alec and the bull? 

5. Black MarĂ­a

Angel gives Alec a compliment, but Henry brushes it off as if to say Alec's work ethic is not a big deal. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
What about the house is troubling Henry? 
This page gives you evidence, or clues, explaining Maria's relationship with Gonzalez. This video explains why finiding evidence is important.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Using evidence from the text, describe Gonzalez and Maria's relationship. 
Here is a picture of a man with his horse and lance. Do you think the lance will protect Angel from a charging bull?  (This annotation contains an image)

6. Black Dance

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Based on the details in the highlighted sentence, what type of weather may be coming? 
The highlighted text includes an allusion. The characters are making a passing reference to Roman gladiators. The image below illustrates a gladiator with his lance.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5
Why does the author include the description in the highlighted text? 
"Barrera" is the Spanish word for barrier. In this case it is a wall that Gonzalez can hide behind, but not for long. 

7. Black Sand

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
What disruption is the rain having on the match-up between Gonzalez and the bull? 
There is a noticeable change in Gonzalez's character. He is going from brave and confident to fearful and cautious. These words describe Gonzalez's character traits. To learn more about character traits, watch the video clip below. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Which word below best describes Gonzalez at this point in the novel? 
Gonzalez is not telling Henry where they are flying to. He is only saying it is called the "Pass." Why do you think he is keeping the destination a secret from Henry and Alec? 

8. Black Wings

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Why are Henry and Alec trying to observe landmarks outside the windows? 
Alec trusts Black's reaction. Many times animals can smell and hear things before humans can. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Why are Henry and Alec feeling anxious as the sun rises? 
Quiz 1 

9. Black Wind

Henry and Alec's trust in Black has paid off. They now have a road to follow. They do not know where it will lead them, but they must try to head somewhere. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
What does Alec's refusal to ride tell you about his character? 
The "tableland" Henry is referring to is the plateau. This is the landform that the path is heading to. Below is a picture of a plateau. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5
Why is this paragraph about Alec's dream included? 
Sometimes you are asked to write a summary of a chapter or novel. This video explains what elements to include in a summary.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2
Write a summary of Chapter Nine, "Black Wind." Include the most important events from the chapter in your summary. 

10. Black Magic

What did Alec and Henry see? Was it a horse? Was it a ghost? Was it just a dream? Read on to find out! 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Why does Henry state that the ranch was "like a fairy tale on top of a nighmare"? 
The description in this paragraph helps you visualize the sight Alec and Henry see. Below is a picture of what they may be viewing.  (This annotation contains an image)

11. Black Welcome

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
The man is described as having a "loud yet casual" voice and eyes that are "bright and direct." What does this tell you about the man's character? 
The author is comparing Tabari and her husband in this paragraph. This strategy is frequently used to help you better understand a story. The video below explains comparisons. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Why is Tabari confused by her husband's concern? 
Describing Black as being "as proud as a peacock" is an example of a simile. Similes compare two things using the words "like" or "as." Authors use similes to help you better visualize an event, character, or setting. In this case, Walter Farley is comparing Black to a peacock because both are very pleased with themselves. 

12. Black Ghost

Below is a picture of a stone house surrounded by mountains and lush green grass. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.9
Compare the photo above with the description given on this page of Abd-Al-Rahman's house. Include evidence from this passage and the photograph in your response. 
While leaving workers out in a tent instead of indoors may seem harsh, Alec noticed that the workers do not seem to be bothered by their living conditions. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
Why is Henry prodding Abd-al-Rahman? 
Some horse breeders do the breeding in a barn. These horses are bred in the pasture or field. This means Ziyadah could have access to them. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
How does Ziyadah get away? 

13. Black Heat

The colors black and gold are seen throughout the area owned by Abd-al-Rahman. The uniformity of the color scheme is another example of how rich the man is if he is able to afford matching uniforms for his staff, horses, and carriage. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
Which type of figurative language is used when the man's eyes are said to be "as yellow as a cat's"? 
What is the genre of this novel? The video below explains different types of literature. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5
What is the genre of this novel? 
This chapter explains what Abd-al-Rahman's purpose is for being on this land. It also explains how he is hoping Black can help. If you did not understand any of his explanation, you should reread the section. It is important to the rest of the story. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2
Why does the Sheikh need Black's help? 

14. Black Art

The room Alec is in is very large and full of beautiful accents. This shows how much work and money Tabari has put into the home. Below is a picture of an alcove, similar to the one Alec is standing in as he surveys the land.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
How is Alec feeling about Abd-al-Rahman's story? 
Alec states the the barn "stood on the high knoll." When an author gives human qualities to a non-human thing, he is using a type of figurative language known as personification. To learn more about personification, watch the video clip below.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
Which statement from the novel below is an example of personification? 
Alec is unsure what to believe. He knows his eyes are seeing the sparks, but he also does not believe in ghosts. He is feeling very conflicted. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Why do you think the Sheikh is not using a fancy bridle with feathers? 
Alec and Abd-al-Rahman are working together to find Ziyadah. They are partners now. 

15. Black Hours

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2
Based on what you read on this page, why is this chapter titled, "Black Hours"? 
Many events have led up to Alec and Black's search for Ziyadah. It is important to remember the sequence of these events. This video explains sequencing.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Which phrase below contains clue words to the sequence of events in this section? 
While Tabari's tone is gracious, she does not answer or acknowledge Alec's statement about her father's death. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
When did Alec and Tabari "share a friendship in the desert"? 
The last sentence in this chapter is the first bit of proof that the horse may be a ghost after all. 

16. Black Hunter

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5
Why does Walter Farley choose to italicize this paragraph? 
This dialogue between Abd-al-Rahman and his wife helps describe their relationship. Tabari is definitely the one in charge.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
If Black were permitted to do as he pleases, what would happen? 
You can see a fawn in the picture below. Black could hear and smell it, but it's size is a clear indicator that it is not a horse.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
Alec is wondering if the vast wall of rock will halt Ziyadah. Which word below is a synonym for halt? 
Quiz 2 

17. Black Eyes

Determining the point of view in a novel helps you understand who is telling the story. This video explains the different points of view found in literature.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.6
From which point of view is this story told? 
Alec takes a careful look at each of his dinnermates before answering Tabari's question. He is looking for any sign to tell him who set the trap. Unfortunately he is not seeing one. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Why is the room suddenly tense? 
Is Tabari fearful of Alec or her husband? 

18. Black Room

On the website below, choose the passage titled "The Horses of Chincoteague" and read it.  (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.7
Compare the ponies from Chincoteague to the horses on Tabari's ranch. Cite evidence from both passages in your response. 
The mood in Henry's bedroom is tense and uneasy. Neither man can relax until they are out of this home. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Why is Alec telling Henry what he is doing if Henry is sleeping? 
Henry is learning that Ziyadah may not be able to breed. Abd-al-Rahman has probably been after Black all along.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
In Alec's dream, the horse is laying at the foot of the bed. Which animal below can you compare the horse to when you read about Alec's dream?  
Alec seems to be putting clues together to help him solve the mystery. Have you determined if Ziyadah is a ghost or a real horse yet? 

19. Black Depths

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2
If Alec were to summarize his basement findings to Henry, what would he say? 
A theme is an underlying message in a story. This video will explain more about themes. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2
Which statement below is a theme of this novel? 

20. Black World

Alec says he is listening to the reckless inner voice and exploring the tunnel. Do you ever feel like you have parts of your brain that tell you to do the right or wrong thing? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Walter Farley wrote "The skin on his throat tightened..." How is Alec feeling here? 
Rubber sheath's for horses' hooves are sold, but not with sparkly sequins.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2
Who do you think is staying down here and why? Which characters do you think are involved in the Ziyadah "ghost horse" charade? 
Not only has Alec discovered what makes the blinding "fire tail," he now knows that the horse has a rider who opens and closes the gate. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
During Alec's discovery of the basement rooms his attitude shifts from nervous to determined. What causes this shift? 
Do you know whose bedroom this is? If you guessed Abd-al-Rahman, you are correct! 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Who is Alec going to find in the basement? 

21. Black Death

Earlier in the story Angel did his horse and bull contest in the rain. It did not end well because the rain made the ground difficult for the horse to navigate. Now this big race is also being done in the rain. Will the horses have difficulty? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Why is Alec letting Black run the race the way he wants, instead of Alec controlling Black? 
Black always makes a sound when he smells another horse. This time he must sense that it is not wise to make a sound. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Who does the rider want to kill? 

22. Black Curtain

Do you remember back in the first chapter when someone was watching Black's race on television? That someone was Tabari. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
How does Tabari become aware of Ziyadah's whereabouts? 
Alec is trying to sympathize with Tabari, but he is having difficulty. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2
Explain the two meanings of Tabari's words "It's a long way back." 

23. Black Flame

Alec is protective of Henry and does not want him to have a bad memory of Ziyadah. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.6
Based on Henry's words, what does he think Abd-al-Rahman's reaction will be? 
Henry is asking Maria to tell him about the paper because the newspaper is written in Spanish, not English. Henry cannot read Spanish, but Maria can. 
Quiz 3