Study Guide > Old Stormalong

PDF version

"Old Stormalong" is a story from the national touring production "Water Wonder Tales"; revised for the 2016-17 tour "Tales Afoot". This page is for teachers to use to extend the learning experience after your school assembly.

On this page: Cast of Characters| Synopsis | Language Arts | Math | Fine Arts | Geography

Kimberly as Captain Snard
Kimberly Goza: Captain Snard, Cow, Sailor, Kraken

Dennis as Sailor/Pirate
Dennis Goza: Sailor, Pirate, Cook , Cowboy

Zephyr Goza: the voice of Old Stormalong

Music by Dennis; sets and costumes by Kimberly; props by Dennis and Kimberly


Alfred Bulltop Stormalong is a giant of a man who becomes a sailor at only 14 when he’s already huge. After earning a promotion by coming up with an idea for capturing a gang of pirates attacking the ship, he tangles with the mythical sea creature called a kraken, but fails to defeat it. Discouraged, he decides to quit being a sailor for the time being, and become a rancher instead. He discovers, however, that this life also has its drawbacks, so he goes back to being a sailor just in time to become a captain and have his own ship built, the largest ever to set sail. He encounters the kraken again, and this time defeats it through ingenuity. And he continues being the greatest sea captain of all time until he accepts the challenge to race a newfangled steamship. He wins the race, but dies in the process.

Language Arts

Tall Tale

Definition: A tall tale is a story with unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual. Some such stories are exaggerations of actual events, The tall tale is a fundamental element of American folk literature. The tall tale's origins are seen in the bragging contests that often occurred when the rough men of the American frontier gathered.

Related Reading

  • Look for books about these characters: Old Stormalong, Pecos Bill, Sally Ann Whirlwind Crockett, Paul Bunyan, Davy Crockett, John Henry
  • Read the story of Old Stormalong and Davy Crockett right here.


  • ABS: Able-Bodied Seaman / Alfred Bulltop Stormalong
  • Bulkhead: wall on a ship
  • Brig: holding cell/jail on ship
  • Cattle: cows
  • Cowpoke: cowboy
  • Deck: the floor on a ship
  • Fathom: unit of length used especially for measuring the depth of water – between 5 and 6 feet
  • Gross/gross: (pun) 12 dozen = a gross / disgusting
  • Harpoon: a long spear-like instrument used in fishing to catch fish or large marine mammals such as whales
  • Head: the bathroom on a ship
  • Heard/herd: (homonym) past tense of hear / a group of animals such as cows
  • Hull: side of ship
  • Keel: underside of ship
  • Kraken: a mythical sea creature
  • Landlubber: A person unfamiliar with the sea or seamanship
  • Lasso: (verb) to use a lariat
  • Lariat: A long rope with a running noose at one end
  • Molasses: syrup produced in processing sugar
  • OK Corral: is the famous historical site in Tombstone, Arizona, where Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Virgil and Morgan Earp fought the Clantons and McLaurys
  • Porthole: window on a ship
  • Prow: front of the ship
  • Schooner: a type of sailing vessel
  • Shiver Me Timbers” an expression used by pirates/seaman to express shock or surprise.
  • Swab: to sweep or mop
  • Yankee Clipper: clipper ships developed by New Englanders in the mid-19th Century

Tall Tale Math

  • 1 Fathoms equals the distance between the fingertips of a man's outstretched arms, about 5 feet. If Stormalong was 6 fathoms tall how big was he? As big as a car? As big as a bus? A football field? Measure it out to see.
  • We say the Kraken is ½ Octopus, ½ Sea Creature and ½ something else. Is it possible to have something that is made of 3 halves? (No, this is utter silliness on our behalf.)
  • Stormalong stayed in his cabin for 19 days and 23 nights. Is this possible? (Of course not)
  • Old Stormalong used a 50 foot harpoon to conquer the kraken. Is the harpoon bigger than Stormy? How much bigger? Draw a picture showing the size of Stormalong and his harpoon.
  • A gross = 12 dozen. How many is that?
  • Why did the cook serve him Ostrich Eggs instead of chicken eggs? (They are bigger.)

Act!vated Act!vities (Art)

Kraken Art

Draw a kraken with your computer art program or take a picture of one you draw and email it to us so we can consider adding it to the Kraken Collection. Put "Kraken Art" in the subject line.

Knot Tying

Knot tying is very important on a ship and on the ranch Pecos Bill invents the lasso. Try some knot tying yourself see if you can tie a double-half hitch, a honda, or a slip knot.


Turn the synopsis into a storyboard. A storyboard is a series of illustrations that outline the plot of the story.

Coloring Pages

Sing “Home on the Range”

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day.


Home, home on the range,
Where the deer and the antelope play;
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

Where the air is so pure, the zephyrs so free,
The breezes so balmy and light,
That I would not exchange my home on the range
For all of the cities so bright.


Where did he go? Old Stormalong got around. Can you remember all of the places he visited? (Boston, Massachusetts; China to deliver 500 barrels of molasses; Pecos, Texas; Gulf of Mexico; English Channel between England and France/White Cliffs of Dover; Bermuda Triangle; Liverpool, England.) See if you can find them all on map or globe.