“This tiny village has been excommunicated and cursed with a spell so powerful that only the Pope can lift it”
By: Inka Piegsa-Quischotte
Published: 27 April 2016, BBC http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20160418-spains-cursed-village-of-witches
Level of Difficulty: *
WATCH AND LISTEN
1. Why is the situation of the Spanish village surprising? Because….
2. What is the name of the village in question?
3. What makes the village special?
4. Ruiz was a typical witch/ wasn’t a typical witch because she was/wasn’t dressed like one and she had/ didn’t have the usual stuff witches have with her.
5. Circle the answer(s) that fit(s) : The story of witchcraft was a trick/ a cover-up/ a fabrication/a hoax.
6. What was going on at the castle was a business venture / a criminal activity. How do you know?
7. What political advantage did Trasmoz have?
8. What practical advantage did Trasmoz have that helped the locals in their activities?
9. The whole of Trasmoz was excommunicated because they were practicing witchcraft. True or False? How do you know?
10. The monastery started diverting water from Trasmoz because the excommunication hadn’t worked. True or False?
11. What does “the defeat” refer to in the phrase “the Church never forgave the defeat”?
12. Why is it necessary for the Pope to lift the curse?
13. Circle the correct answer: After the curse, Trasmoz flourished/ was deserted / was ruined/ was neglected.
14. Read the story of La Tia Casca and decide which of the following fits best:
· Casca was blamed for the epidemic because she was a witch
· Casca was blamed for the epidemic because they couldn’t find any treatment
· Casca was blamed for the epidemic because of her personality
15. The festival organized in Trasmoz every year proves that……………………………………..
16. Is Ruiz telling the truth when she says she can’t cast a spell?
17. Why did the writer throw rice and salt over her shoulder?
SPAIN’S CURSED VILLAGE OF WITCHES KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
This exciting and interesting yet simple text should go with a bang in class given the title. The structure of the text has given me the opportunity to pose some serious comprehension questions which will, I hope, come more easily thanks to the subject matter.
1. Because it was excommunicated in its entirety and cursed with a spell so strong that only the Pope can lift it
3. It has centuries of witchcraft history
4. Wasn’t atypical witch because she wasn’t dressed like one and she didn’t have…
5. They are all true
6. A criminal activity; They were forging fake coins
7. It was a lay territory
8. It had rich iron and silver mines
9. False: the Church was angry because they weren’t paying taxes to the Church. The witchcraft was an excuse
11. King Ferdinand’s decision that Trazmos’ actions were justified
12. Because/ since a pope sanctioned the curse
13. Was ruined
14. The second one
15. The tradition of witchcraft seems to be alive and well
16. Personal answer
17. To ward off evil spirits