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Table of Contents
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children’s book written by L. Frank Baum about Dorothy Gale who finds herself on an adventure in the land of Oz after a tornado hits her house. The book was illustrated by Baum’s friend and collaborator W.W. Denslow, who also co-held the copyright. It was first published by the George M. Hill Company on 17 May 1900.
See the fact file below for more information on The Wizard of Oz or alternatively, you can download our 26-page The Wizard of Oz worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
HISTORY OF THE WIZARD OF OZ
- The first edition was sold in advance of the publication date of 1 September 1900 and had a printing of 10,000 copies. For the time, the design of the book was expensive because of the colored illustrations on every page.
- On May 17, 1900, the first copy came off the press and Baum assembled it by hand and presented it to his sister, Mary Louise Baum Brewster. The public saw it for the first time at a book fair at the Palmer House in Chicago, July 5–20. By October 1900, it had already sold out and the second edition of 15,000 copies was nearly depleted.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has been translated into over 40 languages, and in modern times it is widely held as a classic of children’s literature. Sometimes however it has received criticism because of the witches in the book.
- Not only did Baum’s book become one of the best-known movies of all time, but it also became a stage play in 1902.
- Unfortunately, L. Frank Baum died twenty years before the Wonderful Wizard of Oz was made into a film.
THE WIZARD OF OZ PLOT
- The story is about a little girl named Dorothy Gale who is a fictional character.
- Dorothy lives with her Cairn Terrier, Toto, on a farm belonging to her aunt and uncle in Kansas.
- When a tornado approaches the farm, Dorothy takes refuge in her bedroom, where a window is blown in and hits her on the head, knocking her unconscious.
- The tornado also sends the house spinning into the air.
- Dorothy lands in Munchkinland in the Oz’s magical kingdom. She inadvertently lands on the house of the Wicked Witch of the East, killing her. The Munchkins who were enslaved by her celebrate their freedom.
- Dorothy wears the ruby slippers of the east Witch, which angers the Wicked Witch of the West.
- Dorothy starts a journey where she makes friends with a scarecrow, a tin woodman, and a cowardly lion. Each of the characters is seeking something to better themselves. The scarecrow wants a brain, the tin man seeks a heart, and the cowardly lion seeks courage.
- Dorothy suggests they visit the ruler of the land, Oz, to request those desires.
- The group follow a yellow brick road to meet with Oz and overcome the Wicked Witch of the West trying to stop them with spells and magic.
- When Dorothy and her friends meet Oz, he agrees to give them what they wish if they bring him the broomstick of the evil witch.
- In the process of trying to get the witch’s broomstick, Dorothy is captured. The witch tries to take off her ruby slippers but realizes that can only happen when Dorothy is dead.
- Her friends come to her rescue and a fight breaks out. The Wicked Witch is destroyed when Dorothy throws a bucket of water on her.
- Upon returning to the wizard with the broomstick, the group discovers that the Oz is actually a fraud.
- Nevertheless, he reveals that each of the characters had achieved their desires by helping each other on their adventure. He gives Lion a medal for bravery, the tin man a clockwork heart, and the scarecrow a diploma.
- Dorothy discovers she can return home by using her magical ruby slippers. All she has to do is tap her heels together and repeat three times “There’s no place like home.”
- The story ends with Dorothy waking up in her bedroom surrounded by her family, who insist the whole “adventure” she relates was just a dream.
THE WIZARD OF OZ FILM
- The film was first produced in 1939. The rights to make it were bought by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
- The script went through many revisions before it was ready.
- The main characters in the film were Judy Garland (Dorothy), Ray Bolger (Scarecrow), Jack Haley (Tinman), and Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion)
- Dorothy’s house was recreated using a model.
- In the book Dorothy’s shoes/slippers were silver but for the film they were changed to ruby red.
- Fox Studios would not loan Shirley Temple to MGM Studios to play Dorothy, so the role went to Judy Garland.
- MGM sold CBS the rights to televise the film for $225,000 (equivalent to $1.67 million in 2020) per broadcast.
- The film premiered on television 3 November 1956.
- According to the U.S. Library of Congress, it was, at that, time the most seen film in movie history.
- The British Film Institute list of “50 films to be seen by the age of 14” featured The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the top 10.
The Wizard of Oz has a long history in TV…
- 1957 – Rainbow Road to Oz was a proposed Walt Disney live-action production
- 1960 – the Land of Oz is the 1960 premiere episode of The Shirley Temple Show, known in previous seasons as Shirley Temple’s Storybook
- 1961 – Tales of the Wizard of Oz is a 1961 animated series of short episodes based on the Oz characters from the book.
- 1967 – Off to See the Wizard is a 1967 television anthology series which showcased then-recent MGM family films. The Oz characters appeared in animated segments.
- 1982 – The Wizard of Oz is a feature-length anime adaptation of the story produced by Toho in 1982 and directed by Fumihiko Takayama, with music by Joe Hisaishi.
- 1990- 91 – The Wizard of Oz, an animated series based on the 1939 film, was broadcast on ABC during the 1990–1991 TV season.
- 1996 – The Oz Kids is a 1996 animated series by Hyperion Pictures and Nelvana featuring the children of the original characters.
- 2015 – On December 3, 2015, NBC aired the live television production The Wiz Live!- a soul/R&B reinterpretation of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
THE MUSIC AND SONGS
- The songs for The Wizard of Oz were composed by Harold Arlen and are famous for the musical selections and soundtrack.
- The songs were recorded in the studio’s scoring stage before filming, and some were deleted in the editing process.
- “Over the Rainbow” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
The Wizard of Oz Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about The Wizard of Oz across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching about The Wizard of Oz which is a children’s book written by L. Frank Baum.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- The Wizard of Oz facts
- Characters Match
- Wizard of Oz Words
- Colorful Creations
- Quizzical Questions
- Quotes and Analysis
- Adaptations of the Wizard of Oz
- Film Adaptation of the Wizard of Oz
- Movie Greats
- Casting Collage
- Movie Credits
- Film Poster
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.