Arthur and The Golden Rope – Planning Overview

Written by Dan

Last updated

When it comes to engaging students and introducing them to the power of storytelling, few materials can accomplish that as powerfully as Arthur and The Golden Rope.

This creative story provides an exciting journey into a fantastical world where learners have agency over their characters’ actions, allowing for powerful self-reflection.

While there are many activities teachers can choose from when planning how best to use these materials in their classrooms, this article will outline a comprehensive plan for harnessing the full potential of Arthur and The Golden Rope – Enjoy!

Related: For more, check out our article on Skellig by David Almond  here.

Arthur and The Golden Rope – Story Outline

Act I

  • Introduction: Arthur, a young boy who loves to draw, lives in a small town where nothing exciting ever happens.
  • Inciting Incident: One day, while exploring the nearby woods, he discovers an ancient Viking map and a golden rope that can bring drawings to life.
  • Goal: Arthur decides to follow the map and find the missing pieces of the rope to use them to get his beloved dog back to life.

Act II

  • First obstacle: On his journey, Arthur encounters a fierce wolf who guards one of the missing rope pieces. He uses his drawing skills to create a clever trap and retrieve the piece.
  • Second obstacle: The following article is guarded by a giant spider. Arthur creates a distraction with his drawings and manages to sneak past them.
  • Third obstacle: The final report is held by a mighty dragon. Arthur uses all his drawing skills to create an epic battle scene between himself and the dragon but ultimately befriends it and obtains the last piece.


  • Climax: With all three pieces of the golden rope, Arthur returns home and brings his dog back to life.
  • Resolution: As word spreads about Arthur’s adventure, he becomes famous for his incredible drawing abilities. He continues exploring new worlds through his art, knowing that imagination makes anything possible.


  • A postcard from Isabelle (a character introduced earlier in the story) arrives at Arthur’s doorstep. She has discovered another treasure map and invites him on another adventure.

Themes and Characters


  1. The Power of Imagination: The story highlights the importance of imagination and creativity to overcome challenges and achieve remarkable things. Arthur’s ability to use his drawing skills to create solutions for obstacles he faces on his journey shows how powerful imagination can be.
  2. Perseverance: Another theme in the story is perseverance. Despite facing dangerous obstacles, Arthur remains determined to retrieve all three pieces of the golden rope to bring his dog back to life. His unwavering determination ultimately leads him to success.
  3. Friendship: A third theme in the story is friendship. Although Arthur initially sees the dragon as an obstacle, he ultimately befriends it and works together to retrieve the golden rope’s final piece.


  1. Arthur: The story’s protagonist, a young boy who loves drawing, embarks on a journey to find missing pieces of a golden rope that can bring drawings to life.
  2. Dog: Arthur’s beloved pet dog dies at the beginning of the story but is brought back to life with the help of the golden rope.
  3. Wolf: A fierce wolf who guards one of the missing pieces of the golden rope.
  4. Spider: A giant spider who guards another piece of the golden rope.
  5. Dragon: A mighty dragon who guards the final piece of the golden rope but ultimately becomes friends with Arthur after an epic battle scene between them.
  6. Isabelle: A character briefly introduced in Act I through a postcard sent to Arthur’s family, she invites him on another adventure at the end of the story.

Lesson Plan: Arthur and the Golden Rope

Grade Level: 3-5


Students can identify and analyze the themes of imagination, perseverance, and friendship in the story “Arthur and the Golden Rope” by creating drawings that represent these themes.


  • Copies of “Arthur and the Golden Rope” book
  • Drawing paper
  • Pencils, crayons, markers or any other drawing materials
  • Whiteboard or chart paper


Introduction (10 minutes):

  1. Introduce the book “Arthur and the Golden Rope” to the students.
  2. Discuss with students what they think imagination means.
  3. Explain to them that this story is about a boy who uses his imagination to overcome obstacles and achieve remarkable things.

Reading (20 minutes):

  1. Read aloud the story “Arthur and the Golden Rope”.
  2. Encourage students to ask questions or make comments throughout the reading.
  3. After finishing reading, discuss with students what they learned from the story.

Drawing Activity (30 minutes):

  1. Ask students to choose one of three themes from the story – Imagination, Perseverance, or Friendship – that resonates with them most.
  2. Provide drawing materials for each student.
  3. Instruct them to create a drawing that represents their chosen theme based on what they understood from reading ‘Arthur and The Golden Rope’.
  4. Once done, collect all drawings.

Class Discussion (15 minutes):

  1. Display each drawing on a whiteboard or chart paper.
  2. Lead a class discussion in which each student describes their picture while others share their thoughts.
  3. Please encourage students to talk about how their drawings relate to one of the three themes selected from the book.

Conclusion (5 minutes):

  1. Summarize what was discussed during class activities.
  2. Remind students of the importance of imagination, perseverance, & friendship as critical components in achieving success.


Students’ understanding can be assessed through observation during class discussion activity and by reviewing their final drawings representing one of three themes mentioned in ‘Arthur And The Golden Rope’.

Learning Opportunities

“Arthur and the Golden Rope” provides several opportunities to teach literary devices, including:

  1. Foreshadowing: The story foreshadows Arthur’s journey and eventual success through hints such as the postcard he receives from Isabelle, setting up his next adventure.
  2. Imagery: The author uses vivid descriptions throughout the story to create mental images for readers. For example, when Arthur draws a bridge to cross over a river, the description of the bridge being made of leaves and vines helps readers imagine what it looks like.
  3. Personification: The use of personification can be seen in the story when objects are given human-like qualities. For instance, the spider guarding one of the pieces of golden rope is described as “cunning” and “clever,” which makes it more interesting for students.
  4. Symbolism: The golden rope can be considered a symbol in the story, representing both life and death since it can bring drawings back to life but also causes danger if used irresponsibly.
  5. Characterization: Each character in “Arthur and the Golden Rope” has unique traits that make them memorable. Students can analyze each character’s actions and motivations to understand their personalities better.

Using these literary devices found in “Arthur and the Golden Rope”, teachers can create lessons that focus on identifying and analyzing these devices within the literature. This will help students better understand how authors use literary devices to enhance their writing and engage readers.

Activities such as creative writing assignments or group discussions centred around these themes can allow students to practice using literary devices while gaining a better appreciation for literature.

In “Arthur and the Golden Rope,” the author employs foreshadowing in several ways to hint at Arthur’s journey and eventual success.

Foreshadowing In Arthur and The Golden Rope

Firstly, before his adventure even begins, Arthur receives a postcard from Isabelle depicting a dragon drawing. This image is later revealed to represent Nidhoggr, the dragon who guards one of the pieces of golden rope that Arthur must collect.

By introducing this image early on in the story, the author can foreshadow Arthur’s encounter with Nidhoggr later.

Additionally, when Arthur first meets Wart, a talking fish who becomes his guide throughout his journey, Wart tells him that he has been waiting for someone like him for a very long time.

This statement establishes that Arthur has been chosen for an important task and implies that he will succeed in his mission.

Furthermore, when Arthur reaches the final piece of golden rope guarded by Hel, she tells him that he will not be able to defeat her because no one ever has before.

However, Arthur remembers something his mother told him about never giving up and uses it to overcome Hel’s challenge. This moment serves as a callback to an earlier conversation and foreshadows how Arthur will ultimately succeed.

Overall, using these instances of foreshadowing throughout “Arthur and the Golden Rope,” the author can create tension and anticipation for what will happen next while providing clues about how the story will eventually unfold.

Website Resources

Here are the summaries of the three web pages:

  1. Literacy Shed Plus: This website offers a resource on “Arthur and the Golden Rope” by Joe Todd-Stanton. The resource includes a video of the author reading the story and various teaching resources for educators. Link
  2. Teaching Sparks: This website provides a lesson plan specifically designed for lower Key Stage 2 students based on the book “Arthur and the Golden Rope.” The lesson plan includes various activities and resources to help engage students with the story. Link
  3. Mr P ict’s Website: This website offers resources and activities related to “Arthur and the Golden Rope.” Created by Mr Pict, these resources include discussion prompts, drawing exercises, and more to help children explore the story in depth. Link

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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