The Trumpet of the Swan

Plot:
Louis the swan is born without a voice, a disability for swans. Without a voice, swans are unable to find mates. He learns to play a stolen trumpet and is thus able to communicate through music. He is hired by humans to play his trumpet in several settings. Louis befriends a boy named Sam who helps him learn to read and write. Together they have several adventures and Louis is able to win the love of Serena, another swan. In an effort to keep Serena from getting her wings clipped by a zoo, Louis agrees to bring any cygnet that needs help to the zoo.

Problems identified by students:

  • The eggs in the mother and father swan’s nest are in danger from predators
  • Louis is unable to communicate
  • It is difficult for the father swan to steal a trumpet
  • In order for Louis to play the valves on the trumpet, he will need to have slits made in his webbed feet
  • It was difficult for Louis to fly with his possessions (trumpet, slate, chalk, medal, and moneybag)

Solutions designed by students:

  • Alarm system of string and plastic cups that will alert the swans if a predator is getting near the nest
  • Protective fence to protect the nest
  • Device that goes on the swans’ wings so they don’t get as tired flying

Grade:
3rd to 5th