Welcome to the The Wizard of Oz Virtual Learning Guide!

by Sophie Rich, with contributions by Kay Elliott and Rosalind Bevin

We here at WFT@BU are thrilled that you have decided to engage your class in educational activities surrounding our production of The Wizard of Oz!

In this virtual study guide, you will find a variety of exercises and activities designed to engage students in the history of this beloved story, in exploration of its themes, and in the creative process of producing a musical. Many activities can be conducted either in-person or in a virtual classroom. You can use this virtual study guide like a curriculum, either working through all of the activities or picking and choosing those that best suit your class and its goals.

Most exercises in this virtual learning guide are suitable for students in late elementary through middle school grades. Many can easily be adapted to work well with younger students, or to challenge high school students as well. There is a specific section of the study guide with additional activities for early childhood grades.


This study is organized in 7 sections, each labeled by a character from the story of The Wizard of Oz. Each section contains activities surrounding a specific theme or topic.

Hover over the different characters to learn more about that section. Click the box to learn more!

Activities Around Home
This section explores the importance of home as a theme in The Wizard Of Oz, asking students to embody Dorothy’s quest for home, to analyze Dorothy’s character arc from multiple perspectives, and to empathize with and activate the concept of home through personal connections with the theme.
The History of The Wizard of Oz
This section explores both the facts and figures and the impacts of L. Frank Baum’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Students will hypothesize about key dates and terms, discover the unique facets of Baum’s book, and question the responses that the book elicited.
Activities around Empathy & Emotions
This section explores the meaning of empathy, asking students to define empathy, articulate and embody their emotional responses to the story, and imagine themselves in the shoes of a character from the story.
Activities Around Self-Discovery
This section explores self-discovery through applying and performing the well-known structure of the hero’s journey, analyzing the journeys of the characters, and personalizing the experiences and discoveries of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tinman, and Lion.
Activities Around Stagecraft & the Theatrical Process
In this section, students will examine the designs that create the conceptual world behind WFT@BU’s production of The Wizard of Oz, develop their own ideas about the world of the play, and experiment and play with tools of the trade through hands-on activities.
Wicked Witch
Activities Around Adaptations
In this section, students can explore two of the most well-known adaptations, create adaptations of their own, and examine the challenges of preserving and continuing to tell beloved stories.
Activities for Early Childhood Students
This section is designed for the young Munchkins in our world, our K-2 students, whose sense of joy and imagination are boundless. In this section, you will find three activities to engage youngsters in the story of Oz, whether at school or at home, through movement, crafting, drawing, and lots of imagination!


All sections contain activities that aim to build cross-curricular connections. Many activities contain reflection questions that you might choose to use to wrap up the learning from that activity. In addition, we would like to introduce you to the following thinking routines (Ritchhart, Church & Morrison, 2011; Ritchhart & Church, 2020), which can be used to synthesize students’ thinking and generate actionable ideas for future learning any time during your exploration of the virtual study guide:


  • Ask your students to reflect on the following questions:
    • How is what I have just learned connected to what I already know?
    • How is what I have just learned expanding or pushing my thinking in new ways?
    • What new challenges or questions have arisen in my mind from what I have just learned?
  • In particular, these questions might encourage active listening during videos in the Watch It section. Pose questions before watching for students to take notes on, or introduce them immediately after watching.

(Ritchhart, Church & Morrison, 2011, p. 132)

What/So What/Now What 

  • To conclude an activity or unit, ask students to respond to the following prompts:
    • WHAT — what did we do or learn?
    • SO WHAT — why did we do or learn these things, what am I taking away?
    • NOW WHAT — what will I do or learn next, now that I know this?

(Ritchhart & Church, 2020, p. 174)


If you have any questions or would like to share how you and your class engaged with the VLG, send us an email at WFTEd@bu.edu. We’d love to hear from you!


Sophie Rich
Virtual Learning Guide Content Creator, Coordinator,
& Teaching Artist

Click on their photo to learn more


View the VLG’s work cited page Here.