In "The Midwife's Apprentice", an adolescent girl lives in poverty, stealing scraps and sleeping in a dung heap. The girl becomes the apprentice to a local midwife and, over time, develops into a competent young lady with a dream. This Newberry Medal winning novel by Karen Cushman will excite your learners! This curriculum is appropriate for advanced/gifted 4th grade through middle school.
The major literary theme of "The Midwife's Apprentice" is the search for belonging that many adolescents feel, regardless of their station in life. Courage, perseverance and failure are also themes. Village life in Medieval England under the feudal system, is thoroughly explored in the novel. We will learn about Medieval medicine and superstition, midwifery, holidays, feudalism and the function of Medieval manors.
This novel study includes weekly student task lists (on a six week schedule), vocabulary exercises, writing prompts and lessons on characterization, imagery and dialogue. This curriculum is nicely complimented by the non-fiction book "The Medieval World" by Philip Steele.