Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bullwhip Griffin vs. By the Great Horn Spoon

I discovered a trailer online for the movie Bullwhip Griffin, which is Disney's version of Sid Fleischman's By the Great Horn Spoon. The movie is quite entertaining and stars Roddy McDowal. Students might recognize his voice from animated Batman films. Richard Haydn, who I immediately recognized from watching The Sound of Music one too many times (oh, no, not just at Christmas, but all year around), plays Quentin Bartlett. This is Disney's version of Dr. Buckbee.

Since I've been working on materials that help students develop better sentence structure through the use of adverbials and transitions, I took a look at the video to see if it had enough comparison and contrast to be worth an activity.

Examples of contextualized sentences using adverbials and transitions follow.

Some important similarities exist between the novel and the movie, for example, the qualities of the main characters, the setting, and the sequence of events.

Though Sid Fleischman details the race between the Lady Wilma and the Sea Raven in his story, Disney chose to leave the race out completely.

In the movie version of Sid Fleischman's story, Arabella is Master Jack's aunt. However, in the book Arabella is Jack's aunt. (transition)

Whereas Jack learned how to pan gold from Pitch-pine Billy in the book, in the movie he reads a pamphlet and practices with his washbasin at home in Massachusetts. (adverbial)

The character of Arabella's butler appears in both the film and book and comes from a generation of butlers. In the movie he is called Eric Griffin, but in the book he is called Praiseworthy. (conjunction)

In Bullwhip Griffin, Jack and his butler sail on the Lady Wilma; similarly, Master Jack and Praiseworthy depart Boston on a ship of the same name in Sid Fleischman's novel.


What a fabulous movie! I'm usually disappointed with the movie version of a book, but this time I wasn't. Of course, the movie was less about the Gold Rush and more about the characters and their stories. There were elements of Gold Rush history appropriately woven in, though.

I devised a 4-page movie guide; By the Great Horn Spoon vs. Bullwhip Griffin is available on TpT and below are the answers to the grammar section. Not only does this worksheet help students decipher the relationship between ideas, but it also challenges them to understand the rules of punctuation.

Part D: Conjunctions, Adverbials and Transitions that show CONTRAST

1. Whereas/While
2. but
3. however,
4. While
5. but
6. Whereas/While
7. Whereas
8. However,

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