Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

On a Medieval Day: Story Voyages Around the World

Arato, Rona (Author)
Ferguson, Peter (Illustrator)
Owlkids 2010. 96 pages
First published: 2010
ISBN: 9781897349953 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

character, conflict, multimodal, point of view, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This book offers nine compelling stories depicting life in the Middle Ages. Told from the perspective of nine fictional teen and pre-teen children, the book chronicles a single day in their lives, based on the real events and customs of the time. Central to each story – whether about arranged marriage or a popular sporting event – are the usual adolescent concerns associated with growing up. A departure from the usual focus on knights and castles, readers receive a cultural tour through some of the world’s greatest civilizations.

The author’s careful blend of fact and fiction includes believable descriptions of family, food, customs and home. As dawn breaks over Baghdad, the eastern sky is “stained a light pink.” At breakfast, a young Japanese girl breathes in “the fragrant aromas of steamed rice, miso, and paper-thin slices of sea snails called abalone.”

In each story, a luminous oil portrait of the protagonist partners with a two-page factual spread to lend context to the fictional account, and further engage readers. The illustrated spread includes a map comparing the setting of the story with its current location.

The stories afford a marvelous opportunity for children to learn about past cultures by inviting them to walk in the shoes of another.

  •  

    Locate the story settings on a current world map. Use a timeline to show other important events and people from the medieval era.

  •  

    Choose one of the stories and research what life would be like today for a teenager in the country where that story is set. Use a graphic organizer to display your findings.

  •  

    Write a letter to one of the protagonists, sharing your impressions of the quality of life they had and reflecting on their experiences compared to yours.

  •  

    Discuss whether it is better to be a teenager in modern times or in the medieval era. Write a list of pros and cons.

  •  

    Read the author’s notes at the beginning of the book and on page 96. What else do you know about the medieval period of history? What movies or shows depict that era? What popular fiction books take place in this period?

  •  

    Read one of the stories and create a story map (characters, setting and events at the beginning, middle and end of the story). Include how the main character finds a solution to his or her problems. Retell the story to the class using the story map to guide you.

  •  

    Use a Venn diagram to compare your lifestyle with that of a protagonist in one of the stories. Share with a student who has focused on a different protagonist.

  •  

    Invent a true-or-false game using the factual information that accompanies each story.

  •  In teams, answer an online teacher-selected True or False medieval quiz to activate your prior knowledge.
  •  After reading one of the stories, discuss whether it is preferable to be a teen in modern times or in the medieval era. List the pros and cons of each option.
  •  Based on one of the stories, write a script with a partner for a Reader’s Theatre presentation. Perform it for the class.
  • To communicate appropriately
  • To cooperate with others
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Geography, History and Citizenship