http://www.storyboardthat.com/teacher-guide/the-phantom-tollbooth-by-norton-juster

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Teacher Guide by Elizabeth Pedro

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our Elementary School Category!

Student Activities for The Phantom Tollbooth Include:

The Phantom Tollbooth is a fantasy novel about a young boy named Milo who was always unsettled and unable to find purpose in life. One day, a mysterious tollbooth appears and transports him to a life of magic, adventure, and wonder.

By the end of this lesson your students will create amazing storyboards like the ones below!




Start My Free Trial

A Quick Plot Synopsis The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth begins by introducing Milo, a young boy, bored by life, who has no interest or motivation to learn or do anything. He notices a mysterious package in his room containing a tollbooth and a map. Deciding he has nothing better to do, he builds the tollbooth, climbs into his toy car, and drives through. Milo immediately finds himself driving along a mysterious road in a strange environment. Before long, he comes to Dictionopolis, a strange city inhabited by King Azaz, and citizens who have a fascination with words.

As Milo enters this imaginary land of Dictionopolis, he quickly realizes that everything is peculiar - including his encounter with a talking watchdog named Tock. Tock continues on the voyage with Milo to Dictionopolis where they discover a kingdom of words and letters: five gentlemen provide synonyms of words, a Spelling Bee spells out words, and people eat words.

Spelling Bee and Humbug, a foolish people-pleaser, get into an argument in the marketplace. During the quarrel, Humbug accidentally knocks over all the tables in the marketplace, which causing chaos. Milo is accused by Officer Shrift of being the culprit, and is sentenced to prison for six million years. In prison, Milo and Tock meet Faintly Macabre, the not-so-wicked “Which”. Faintly Macabre shares the story of how everything came to be: a young prince sailed the Sea of Knowledge, built the Kingdom of Wisdom, and had a wife and two sons. These sons went their separate ways and created two lands, Dictionopolis and Digitopolis. A rift occurred between the family as the two sons attempted to outdo the other, one swearing that words were better, and the other swearing that numbers were better. The king also had adopted two beautiful girls, Rhyme and Reason. These girls grew up in Wisdom and were able to solve all disagreements and problems that were brought to them. The two brothers became outraged when Rhyme and Reason would not claim one of them as correct, so they banished the sisters to the Castle in the Air. Milo decides that he is going to help set Rhyme and Reason free.

Milo and Tock easily escape the prison, and, much to their surprise, are welcomed back into the kingdom. At the king’s banquet, Milo reiterates his wish to rescue the princesses. Humbug agrees to accompany Milo and Tock on the long, treacherous adventure through distant kingdoms, including Digitopolis and Mountains of Ignorance.

During their voyage, Milo, Tock, and Humbug, meet many strange characters and learn about the mysteries of the land: people growing down, an orchestra that controls the light in the sky, unpleasant sounds being created and captured, and the Silent Valley where no sounds are heard at all. Milo presses forward to rescue the princesses who will be able to solve all the land’s problems.

The three travelers find their way to Digitopolis, the land of numbers. Here, equally bizarre and magical occurrences push Milo to reach the princesses and set everything right. It isn’t easy; demons and giants chase Milo, Tock, and Humbug to the gates of the Castle in the Air, and are only stopped by the Armies of Wisdom. Everyone in the land congratulates the trio on the impossible success of their quest, with a parade and a three day carnival. At the end of the carnival, Milo is told he has to say goodbye and return home. A sad and disappointed Milo says farewell to his new friends.

When Milo returns home, he is sure his parents will be worried about him because he has been gone for so long. It turns out however, Milo had only been gone an hour. He returns to school the next day, bored as ever. When he returns to the tollbooth for another adventure, he finds has been replaced with a letter advising him that he can now travel to distant lands on his own. At first, Milo sits sadly at the window, but soon he opens his eyes to the possibilities of the world in front of him.


Essential Questions for The Phantom Tollbooth

  1. Why do people explore?
  2. Is it important to have an imagination? Why or why not?
  3. What influences our identity?
  4. What makes a person a hero?

The Phantom Tollbooth Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

The Phantom Tollbooth Themes


Copy Assignment



In this activity, students will identify a theme from The Phantom Tollbooth and support the theme with three scenes from the text.


Time

The main character is always rushing to be nowhere in particular, or wasting time because he has nothing to do. Later, he meets Tock, a watchdog whose job it is to make sure that nobody ever wastes any time. At the end of the novel, Milo believes that his parents will be worried because he had been gone for such a long time. However, it turns out that Milo had only been gone an hour.


(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes in The Phantom Tollbooth. Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Identify the theme(s) from The Phantom Tollbooth you wish to include and replace the "Theme 1" text.
  3. Create an image for an example that represents this theme.
  4. Write a description of each of the examples.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.



(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





Copy Assignment

Start My Free Trial

The Phantom Tollbooth Character Map


Copy Assignment



In this activity, students can display the characters of the story, paying close attention to the physical characteristics and the character traits of major and minor characters. Students should also provide detailed information regarding the character’s actions, and how they influence the plot. Students could identify how specific events caused the character to change, and the significance of the characters to the plot.


The Phantom Tollbooth Characters included in this character map:

  • Milo
    The young protagonist

  • Tock
    A "watchdog"

  • Humbug
    A boastful individual who looks a bit like a beetle

  • Rhyme & Reason
    Two sisters imprisoned in the Castle in the Air

  • Faintly Macabre
    A "which"

  • King Azaz
    Ruler of Dictionopolis

  • Mathemagician
    Brother of Azaz, and ruler of Digitopolis

  • Alec Bings
    A boy who sees through things and grows down rather than up

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a character map for the major characters.


  1. Identify the major characters inThe Phantom Tollbooth and type their names into the different title boxes.
  2. Choose a Storyboard That character to represent each of the literary characters.
    • Select colors and a pose appropriate to story and character traits.
  3. Choose a scene or background that makes sense for the character.
  4. Fill in the Textables for Physical Traits, Character's Actions, Change After Dictionopolis, and Important Quote.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





Copy Assignment

Start My Free Trial

The Phantom Tollbooth Figurative Language


Copy Assignment



The Phantom Tollbooth is full of figurative language including:

  • Similes
  • Hyperbole
  • Allegory
  • Idioms
  • And more!

In this activity, students will directly quote figurative language from the text, and display their understanding by creating a literal and figurative portrayal of it. In this novel, the figurative language is frequently meant literally in context, as shown in Example 3. Comprehending the figurative language is essential to comprehending the plot as a whole.

The first example includes several idioms:

“The duke here can make mountains out of molehills. The minister splits hairs. The count makes hay while the sun shines. The earl leaves no stone unturned.”

The second example demonstrates personification and alliteration:

“The late-afternoon sunlight leaped lightly from leaf to leaf, slid along branches and down trunks, and dropped finally to the ground in warm, luminous patches.”

The last quote is also an example of an idiom:

“I didn’t know that I was going to have to eat my words.”

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows three examples of figurative language in The Phantom Tollbooth.


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Identify use of figurative language in the text.
  3. Put the type of figurative language (such as simile or metaphor) in the title box.
  4. Give an example from the text in the description box.
  5. Illustrate the example using using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.



(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





Copy Assignment

Start My Free Trial

The Phantom Tollbooth Vocabulary Activities


Copy Assignment



In this activity, students demonstrate their understanding of vocabulary words using sentences and images. The Phantom Tollbooth is rich with challenging vocabulary words. Students may be provided the vocabulary words, or they can use words that they have discovered through their reading of the text. The sentences and images validate the understanding of the word, and the context that it was used in the novel.


Example The Phantom Tollbooth Vocabulary Words

  • rapt
  • doldrums
  • gallant
  • ragamuffin
  • tumult
  • rigmarole
  • balderdash
  • speculate
  • minstrels
  • surmise
  • conciliatory
  • reticence
  • lethargy
  • quagmire
  • flabbergast
  • pandemonium
  • macabre
  • superfluous

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary words in The Phantom Tollbooth by creating visualizations.


  1. Choose three vocabulary words from the story and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary.
  3. Write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word.
  4. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.



(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





Copy Assignment

Start My Free Trial

Plot Diagram | The Phantom Tollbooth Summary


Copy Assignment



A common use for Storyboard That is to help students create a plot diagram of the events from a story. Not only is this a great way to teach the parts of the plot, but it reinforces major events and help students develop greater understanding of literary structures.

Students can create a storyboard capturing the narrative arc in a work with a six-cell storyboard containing the major parts of the plot diagram. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the story in sequence using: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.



Example The Phantom Tollbooth Plot Diagram

Exposition

Milo is uninterested with both school and home life. He is in his room complaining about boredom, when he notices a package in the corner of the room.


Conflict

Rhyme and Reason have been locked away because of the two dueling brothers, King Azaz and Mathemagician.


Rising Action

Milo experiences The Lands Beyond, and all of its mysterious and peculiar characters, laws, and discourse, including the boy who grows down instead of up.


Climax

Milo, Tock, and Humbug are chased by demons attempting to stop them from rescuing the princesses.


Falling Action

The princesses are rescued. Milo, Tock, and Humbug are congratulated by the kings and all of the people on their brave victory.


Resolution

Milo finally realizes he could experience adventure in his life, even in his own bedroom.


(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of The Phantom Tollbooth.


  1. Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
  2. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
  3. Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.



(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





Copy Assignment

Start My Free Trial

The Phantom Tollbooth Central Idea

This activity, involving the central idea, or main idea, of the novel, will demonstrate students’ comprehension of the text and can be displayed through three or more events.

The first substantial event is when Milo expresses his boredom and disinterest with everything in the world. Here, the reader begins to infer that something will happen to Milo to stop him from being bored.

Next, Milo is taken to The Lands Beyond, where he goes from one adventure to the next. Through these experiences, Milo realizes there is value in learning, reading, and seeing things around him.

In the end, Milo has come full circle; he is back in his room thinking that everything is boring. However, this feeling is short lived. He receives a letter from The Lands Beyond, encouraging him to find an adventure of his own.

Start My Free Trial

Help Share Storyboard That!

Looking for More?

Check out the rest of our Teacher Guides and Lesson Plans!


All Teacher Guides and Lesson Plans Ed Tech BlogElementary SchoolMiddle School ELAHigh School ELAForeign LanguageSpecial EdUS History and Social StudiesWorld History

Our Posters on ZazzleOur Lessons on Teachers Pay Teachers
http://www.storyboardthat.com/teacher-guide/the-phantom-tollbooth-by-norton-juster
© 2017 - Clever Prototypes, LLC - All rights reserved.
Want a Free Trial? Learn More about our Educational Edition     Start My Free Trial
Explore Our Articles and Examples

Try Our Other Websites!

Photos for Class – Search for School-Safe, Creative Commons Photos! (It Even Cites for You!)
Quick Rubric – Easily Make and Share Great Looking Rubrics!
Prefer a different language?

•   (English) The Phantom Tollbooth   •   (Español) El Phantom Tollbooth   •   (Français) Le Phantom Tollbooth   •   (Deutsch) Die Phantom-Mautstelle   •   (Italiana) Il Casello Fantasma   •   (Nederlands) The Phantom Tollbooth   •   (Português) O Phantom Tollbooth   •   (עברית) בתא אגרת הפנטום   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) فانتوم محصل الضرائب   •   (हिन्दी) प्रेत Tollbooth   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Phantom Tollbooth   •   (Dansk) The Phantom Tollbooth   •   (Svenska) Milos Fantastiska Tullhus   •   (Suomi) Phantom Tulliasema   •   (Norsk) The Phantom Bomstasjonen   •   (Türkçe) Hayalet Tollbooth   •   (Polski) Phantom Tollbooth   •   (Româna) Phantom Tollbooth   •   (Ceština) The Phantom Tollbooth   •   (Slovenský) Phantom Tollbooth   •   (Magyar) A Phantom Tollbooth   •   (Hrvatski) Phantom Tollbooth   •   (български) Франклин Бягство от Затвора   •   (Lietuvos) Phantom Miesto Kalėjimas   •   (Slovenščina) Fantom Tollbooth   •   (Latvijas) Phantom Nodevu Kabīnes   •   (eesti) Phantom Kassa