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The island of Gont, a single mountain that lifts its peak a mile above the storm-racked Northeast Sea, is a land famous for wizards. From the towns in its high valleys and the ports on its dark narrow bays many a Gontishman has gone forth to serve the Lords of the Archipelago in their cities as wizard or mage, or, looking for adventure, to wander working magic from isle to isle of all Earthsea. Of these some say the greatest, and surely the greatest voyager, was the man called Sparrowhawk, who in his day became both dragonlord and Archmage. His life is told of in the Deed of Ged and in many songs, but this is a tale of the time before his fame, before the songs were made.

He was born in a lonely village called Ten Alders, high on the mountain at the head of the Northward Vale. Below the village the pastures and plow lands of the Vale slope downward level below level towards the sea, and other towns lie on the bends of the River Ar; above the village only forest rises ridge behind ridge to the stone and snow of the heights.

A Wizard of Earthsea
By Ursula Le Guin

Oklahoma Priority Academic Student Skills (Grades 8 and 9)

Visual Literacy: The student will interpret, evaluate, and compose visual messages.

Standard 1: Interpret Meaning - The student will interpret and evaluate the various ways visual image-makers including graphic artists, illustrators, and news photographers represent meaning.

Standard 3: Compose Visual Messages - The student will create a visual message that effectively communicates an idea.

Reading/Literature: The student will apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, appreciate, and respond to a wide variety of texts. Participate productively in self-directed work teams to create observable products.

Standard 4: Literature: The student will read, construct meaning, and respond to a wide variety of literary forms. Read and respond to grade-level-appropriate historically or culturally significant works of literature that reflect and enhance a study of history and social science. Clarify the ideas and connect them to other literary works. Participate in self-directed work teams to create observable products.

Visual Arts

Standard 2: Visual Art History and Culture - The student will recognize the development of visual art from an historical and cultural perspective.

Standard 3: Visual Art Expression - The student will observe, select, and utilize a variety of ideas and subject matter in creating original works of art.

Vocabulary

  • Archipelago - An archipelago is a group, chain, cluster, or collection of islands.
  • Cartography - Cartography is the study and practice of making maps.
  • Island - An island is any piece of land that is surrounded by water.
  • Legend - A legend is the wording on the map or diagram, which explains the symbols that have been used.
  • Setting - The literary element setting includes the historical moment in time and geographic location in which a story takes place.
  • Topography – Topography is a detailed description or representation on a map of the natural and artificial features of an area.

Preparation

Look at different kinds of maps. Look at maps made at different times in history. Use a computer to find different kinds of maps for your location (climate, economic, resource, physical, political, road, topographic, and vintage). Compare print maps with the Google maps you can access on your smartphone or computer. Notice how maps differ and how they are the same.

Scan the novel A Wizard of Earthsea for passages that describe the setting . Make a list of place names along with words or phrases that describe them.         

Create

What you will need:

  • Heavy-weight drawing paper or watercolor paper
  • Tempera, water color, or acrylic paint
  • Markers
  • Water and containers
  • Brushes
  • Pencil
  • Masking tape
  • Spray bottle with water

What you will do:

  1. Take a single sheet of heavy-weight paper and secure it to your work surface with a small piece of masking tape at each corner.
  2. Prepare blue, brown, and green paint.
  3. Dilute the blue paint with water. Paint the entire surface of the paper with the blue water, leaving the surface damp but with no puddles.
  4. Load a brush with one of the other prepared paint colors. Hold it between 6 and 24 inches above the surface of the paper and gently tap it to make drops of paint fall on the damp surface. Do not let the brush touch the paper. Experiment with moving the brush around, up and down, as you drop paint to create a pattern of spatters. Repeat with the other prepared paint color. (If the paper dries out before you are finished, spritz it lightly with the water in the spray bottle.)
  5. Let dry.
  6. Using the markers, pencils, and brushes, add details to the paint spatters to make them into cartographic representations of the Kingdom of Earthsea by adding names, symbols, and topographic details. You may also want to indicate trade and travel routes among the different locations. If you use symbols or cartographic elements, be sure to include a legend on your map.

Student Variations

  • Create a “Google Street View” of one location on your map.
  • Earthsea is a fantasy place. Create a map of a fantasy kingdom of your own.

Teacher Variations

  • Create a “Treasure Map” of your library or classroom and have the students use it to find resources or books related to this or other lessons.
  • Have students search for and share—or create— maps of other fantasy locations such as Oz, Neverland, Middle Earth, Panem, Whoville, Parthalon, Asgard, Narnia, Atlantis, Dinotopia, or Uriel. 
  • Encourage students to read other literary works that feature maps or journeys such as:
    • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
    • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Encourage students to explore how maps are used as elements in other literary genre
    • Children’s Picture Books
      • Henry’s Map – Elliot, David
      • Pirate Treasure Map – Hawkins, Colin
    • Children’s Beginning to Read and Easy Books
      • Kat’s Map – Scieszka, Jon
      • There’s a Map on My Lap!: all about maps – Rabe, Tish
    • Children’s Fiction
      • Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye – Stilton, Geronimo
      • 39 Clues: Cahill vs Vespers: Kings Ransom – Watson, Jude
      • Mystery Map – Dixon, Franklin W.
      • Slippery Map – Bode, N.E.
      • Quest of the Missing Map – Keene, Carolyn
    • Teen Fiction
      • Frozen – De la Cruz, Melissa
      • Storm Thief – Wooding, Chris
      • Planesrunner – McDonald, Ian

List of Islands and Places

The names below are given as found in the map on the endpapers of Tales from Earthsea, with variants found elsewhere given in parentheses. Indented names are locations on the islands.

  • The Allernots – islands of the North Reach.
  • Andrad – an island of the northeastern Archipelago. (444 sq. mi/1135 km²)
  • The Andrades – islands of the northeastern Archipelago, near Andrad
  • Apso – an island of the East Reach, between the islands of Kopp and Rolameny. (25 sq. mi/64 km²)
  • Ark – an island of the Archipelago, in the Inmost Sea. (200 sq. mi/512 km²)
  • Arrins – an island of the West Reach, between Kaltuel and Faltuel
  • Astowell – the furthest southeast island of the East Reach, also known as Lastland. Astowell is the easternmost land of Earthsea. (42 sq. mi/108 km²)
  • Atnini – an island of the Kargad Lands. (324 sq. mi/830 km²)
  • Atuan – an island of the Kargad lands, home of the Tombs, the site of one of the Old Powers. Most of the events in The Tombs of Atuan, the second book of Earthsea, take place here. (550 sq. mi/1412 km²)
    • Entat
    • Tenacbah
  • Barnisk – an island of the northeast Archipelago. (126 sq. mi/322 km²)
  • Bars of Uny – southeastern islands of the Archipelago, north of Uny, eastern border of the Closed Sea
  • Bereswek – an island of the North Reach
  • Besu – one of two islands in the Pelnish Sea, south of Bishi. In the map in A Wizard of Earthsea it is the northern island and the southern one is Esen. In the map in Tales from Earthsea it is the southern one and the northern island is Ebishi.
  • Bishi – an island of the western Archipelago, near Semel, at the northern end of the Pelnish Sea. (36 sq. mi/92 km²)
  • Borth – an island of the North Reach
  • Chemish – an island of the North Reach
  • Derhemen – an island of the West Reach
  • The Dragon’s Run – group of islets in the West Reach, south of Selidor
  • Dromgan – one of the Ninety Isles
  • Dunnel – an island of the South Reach
  • Éa – an island of the Archipelago in the Sea of Éa, between Enlad and Havnor. According to the Earthsea creation myth, The Creation of Éa, the island of Éa was the first land raised by the creator, Segoy, above the waters. Note that the first and last letters of the word Éa correspond to the first and last letters of the word Earthsea.[1] (630 sq. mi/1612 km²)
  • Ebéa – an island of the Archipelago, south of Éa. (246 sq. mi/630 km²)
  • Ebishi – an island of the Archipelago, south of Bishi. In the Tales from Earthsea map only. In the map in A Wizard of Earthsea this island is labeled Besu.
  • Ebosskil – an island of the northwest Archipelago, southwest of Osskil
  • Enlad – an island of the northern Archipelago, home of Morred. Enlad is shaped like a crocodile with an open mouth, hence the bay between the two eastern peninsulas is named "The Jaws". (1290 sq. mi/3302 km²)
  • Aol
  • Berila
  • Semermine
  • Serilune
  • Temere
  • The Enlades – islands of the Archipelago, west of Enlad
  • Ensmer – an island of the southwest Archipelago.
  • Enwas, North – an island of the North Reach
  • Enwas, South – an island of the North Reach
  • Eppaln – an island of the western Archipelago, southeast of Paln
  • Esen – an island in the Pelnish Sea, just south of Besu. On the map in A Wizard of Earthsea only. In the map in Tales from Earthsea this island is labeled Besu.
  • Eskel – an island of the Archipelago, just east of Havnor
  • Ettil – an island of the West Reach
  • Faltuel – an island of the West Reach
  • Far Sorr – an island of the South Reach
  • Far Toly – an island of the East Reach, east of Sneg
  • Felkway – an island of the Archipelago, west of Way
  • Ferrins – an island of the North Reach
  • Gale – an island of the East Reach
  • Gar-hirion (Gar-hirien) – a small island east of Éa
  • Gate of Selidor – a small island just east of Selidor
  • Geath – one of the Ninety Isles, where whale-oil is extracted. On the map in A Wizard of Earthsea, it is an isle somewhere near the centre of the ninety isles. However, on the Tales from Earthsea map, it is the isle nearest to Roke, labelled in the A Wizard of Earthsea map as Serd. In A Wizard of Earthsea it is stated that "The nearest (of the ninety isles) to Roke is Serd," so the former arrangement, therefore, should probably be considered the 'correct' one.
  • Gmet – an island in the Pelnish Sea
  • Gont Port
  • Kemay
  • Ovark
  • Valmouth
  • Wiss
  • Gont – an island of the northeast Archipelago, home of such famous wizards as Heleth, Aihal (Ogion), and Ged
  • Gosk – an island of the extreme East Reach
  • The Gravels – island group west of Ebosskil, leading north into the "Gut of Osskil"
  • Great South Shoals – islands of the South Reach, near The Isle of the Ear
  • Hand, East – where Ged met his shadow at the end of a long inlet
  • Easthill
  • Eolg
  • Endlane – Village northwest of Mount Onn
  • Faliern Mountains (Faliorn Mountains)
  • Glade – Town in western Havnor
  • Great Port – City at the heart of the world, chief city of the Kingdom of Earthsea
  • Onn – Great mountain in the center of Havnor
  • Revnian Mountains
  • South Port
  • Hand, West – where Ged stayed for several days and obtained the boat Lookfar
  • Havnor – the largest island of the Archipelago and site of Havnor Great Port, capital of the Kings of Earthsea. It is shaped roughly like a horseshoe. Havnor is about the size of Sicily. (10166 sq. mi/26025 km²)
  • Hille – the furthest northwest island of the West Reach
  • Orrimy
  • Mesreth
  • Ismay
  • Hogen Land – the northernmost land of Earthsea, northwest of the North Reach; uniquely among the lands of Earthsea, the whole boundary of this land is not visible on the map, and it is possibly the southern peninsula of a larger landmass.
  • Holp – an island of the East Reach
  • Hosk – an island of the Archipelago, west of the Inmost Sea and northeast of the Ninety Isles. Ged met a servant of the Terrenon in Orrimy, the main town here.
  • Hur-at-Hur – an island of the Kargad Lands; dragons that have devolved to beasts are found here. Hur-at-Hur is the second largest island of Earthsea, but it is a lot smaller than Havnor, the largest.
  • Iffish – an island of the East Reach, the home of Estarriol (Vetch) and his sister Kest (Yarrow).
  • Ilien – an island of the Archipelago, in the Inmost Sea
  • Ingat – an island of the West Reach
  • Insmer – a small island of the East Reach
  • The Isle of the Ear – a large island of the South Reach, uninhabited by men but full of bones.
  • Awabath
  • Issel – an island in the Inmost Sea
  • Jessage – an island of the West Reach
  • Kaltuel – an island of the West Reach
  • Kameber – a small island of the northwest Archipelago, in the Gontish Sea
  • Kamery – an island of the Archipelago, in the Inmost Sea
  • Karego-At – an island of the Kargad Lands, home of the capital of the God-King at Awabath.
  • Kargad Lands – The four islands of Atnini, Atuan, Hur-at-Hur, and Karego-At.
  • Komokome – an island of the North Reach
  • Kopp – an island of the East Reach
  • Sosara
  • Koppish – an island of the East Reach
  • Kornay – an island of the extreme East Reach
  • Korp – an island of the East Reach
  • Lef – an island of the North Reach
  • Leng – an island in the Inmost Sea
  • Long Dune – an island, or long sandbar in the far South Reach, west of Wellogy
  • Lorbanery – an island of the South Reach
  • Losso (Lossow) – an island in the Pelnish Sea
  • Low Torning – an island of the Ninety Isles, south of Torning
  • O Port
  • O-tokne
  • Misk – an island of the South Reach
  • Namien – a southern island of the Archipelago. Forms part of the border of the closed sea.
  • Narveduen – an island of the West Reach
  • Near Kaltuel – an island of the West Reach, near Kaltuel
  • Nesh – one of the Ninety Isles
  • The Ninety Isles – islands of the Archipelago between Hosk and Ensmer, west of the Inmost Sea. They include Dromgan, Geath, Low Torning, Nesh, Seppish, Serd, Torning, and Tesk. Depending on how one defines an "island," there may be more or less than ninety.
  • Norst – an island of the northwest Archipelago, southeast of Sorresk
  • Neshum
  • O – a long, skinny island of the Archipelago, between the Inmost Sea and the Closed Sea. (840 sq. mi/2150 km²)
  • Obb – an island of the West Reach
  • Obehol – an island of the South Reach. Called Ohol by the Raft People.
  • Omer – an island in the Inmost Sea, just south of Havnor
  • Onon – an island of the West Reach
  • Ontuego – an island of the West Reach
  • Orandrad – an island of the northwest Archipelago, east of Andrad
  • Telio — Port town of Pody.
  • Oranéa – an island of the Archipelago, east of Éa
  • Osskil – a long and skinny northern island of the Archipelago, whose inhabitants speak a non-Hardic language akin to Kargish. The Court of the Terrenon is here, on the Keksemt moors north of Neshum. Osskil is the home to talking ravens. Gelluk (Tinaral) and Benderesk were mages from Osskil; Serret was half-Osskilian. Osskil is the fourth-largest island of Earthsea (after Havnor, Hur-at-Hur and Way). (2142 sq. mi/5484 km²)
  • Thwil
  • Otrad – an island of the eastern Archipelago, just east of Way. This island is mislabeled "Eskel" on the Tales from Earthsea map.
  • Outer Innran – an island of the Archipelago, south of Way
  • Paln – a western island of the Archipelago; adjective Pelnish
  • Pelimer – an island of the extreme East Reach
  • Pendor – easternmost island of the West Reach, formerly ruled by the dragon-hunting Sealords of Pendor, but laid waste and taken for a home by the dragon Yevaud.
  • Perilane – an island of the eastern Archipelago, just south of Way
  • Perregal – an island of the northeastern Archipelago, beyond Gont; home of the Mage Ard of Perregal
  • Pody – an island of the southwestern Archipelago, where the wizard Ath left his book of names. Otaks are found here.
  • Risk – an island of the West Reach
  • Rogmy (Rogm, Rogma) – an island of the North Reach
  • Roke – an island of the Archipelago, in the Inmost Sea, home of Roke Knoll, the Immanent Grove and the School for Wizards. Otaks are found here.
  • Rolameny – an island of the East Reach
  • Rood – an island of the South Reach
  • The Sand Isles – islets between Lorbanery and Obehol
  • Sattins – an island of the East Reach, where Yevaud dwelt for a few years after seizing Pendor (The Rule of Names)
  • Selidor – the westernmost island of the West Reach, and of the whole of Earthsea; inhabited solely by Dragons. Few humans have ever visited it. Known for the saying "As long ago as forever and as far away as Selidor"
  • The Sellets – small island group near Soders
  • Semel – an island of the western Archipelago, site of Mount Andanden
  • Seppish – one of the Ninety Isles
  • Serd - one of the Ninety Isles. On the map in A Wizard of Earthsea, it is the triangular isle directly west of, and closest to, Roke island. However, on the Tales from Earthsea map, it is the smaller, more southerly isle, and the former is labelled "Geath". In A Wizard of Earthsea it is stated that "The nearest (of the ninety isles) to Roke is Serd," so this, therefore, should probably be considered the 'correct' arrangement.
  • Elini
  • Meoni
  • Set – an island of the South Reach
  • Simly – an island of the West Reach
  • Sneg – an island of the East Reach
  • Soders – an island of the East Reach
  • Soléa – a formerly existing island in the sea of Éa. Soléa sank beneath the sea in ancient times as a result of a dispute between the king Morred and an unnamed enemy.
  • Sorresk – an island of the northwest Archipelago
  • Sort – an island of the North Reach
  • Sowl – a southern island of the Archipelago
  • Spevy – an island of the northeast Archipelago, laid waste by the ravages of the Kargs
  • Springwater Isle – originally a sandbar, where Ensar and Anthil, descendants of the house of Hupun, were marooned. Ged gave it its freshwater spring, after which it was named. Note that this isle is too small to be marked on the Earthsea map.
  • Sudidi, North — One of the Ninety Isles. ("The Finder")
  • Taon – a northern island of the Archipelago, famous for its harps
  • Teeth, North – islands east of Enland, continuing the northern ridge of "The Jaws of Enlad"
  • Teeth, South – islands east of Enland, continuing the southern ridge of "The Jaws of Enlad"
  • Mishport
  • Tesk – an island of the Ninety Isles
  • Tok – an island of the East Reach
  • Toom – an island of the South Reach
  • Hort Town
  • Shelieth
  • Kembermouth
  • Toop – an island of the northern Archipelago, south of Osskil
  • Torheven – an island of the eastern Archipelago, prey to Kargish invasions
  • Torikles – island group of the eastern Archipelago, southeast of Torheven
  • The Toringates – island group of the West Reach, east of Ingat
  • Torning – an island of the Ninety Isles
  • Udrath – a deserted island where the bones of a dragon, thought to be Yevaud, were found (The Rule of Names)
  • Ully – an island of the West Reach
  • Uny – a southeastern island of the Archipelago. Forms part of the border of the closed sea.
  • Usidero – an island of the West Reach
  • Vemish – an island of the East Reach
  • Venway – an island of the East Reach
  • Vissti – an island of the Archipelago, in the Inmost Sea, between Ilien and Kamery.
  • Wasny – an island of the South Reach
  • Wathort – an island of the Archipelago, populated by pirates and slavers, south of the Inmost Sea
  • Way – an island of the eastern Archipelago, where Erreth-Akbe turned the fountains of Shelieth against the Kargs. Home of the Archmage Gensher of Way. The third-largest island of the Archipelago, it is slightly larger than the Indonesian island of Bali. (2346 sq. mi/6006 km²)
  • Waymarsh – a small island or island group southeast of Way
  • Wellogy – an island of the South Reach. Called by Welwai by the Raft People.
  • The Whale Isles – islands of the North Reach, east of Hogen Land
  • Yor – an island of the East Reach, east of Sattins
  • On the Tales from Earthsea map, there is an unnamed island just south of the Isle of the Ear. It does not appear on the Wizard of Earthsea map. No other island of this size is unnamed, and many named islands are smaller. Note that part of this island's border are formed by a dotted line, which seem to indicate that it is largely unknown.