Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Exploring Fables: From Seamus Heaney to Arnold Lobel --Teaching With Analog & Digital Texts

A text set is a collection of related texts organized around a topic or line of inquiry.  In this post I reference a collections of texts (analog and digital) that I have used  (or plan to use) when teaching fables.  Most of these texts I have used with 2nd grade children, but given that these are fables--the texts will work with older children too. 

Read Aloud

  1. Lobel, Arnold. (1983). Fables. New York: HarperCollins. (540 L)
  2. Mora, Pat.  (2001). The Race of Toad and Deer. Illustrated by Domi. Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books. (Lexile N/A)
  3. Mora, Pat.  (2001). La Carrera del Sapo y el Venado. Illustrated by Domi. Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books. (Lexile N/A)
  4. Nunes, Shiho S. (2013). Chinese Fables: The Dragon Slayer and Other Timeless Tales of Wisdom. Illustrated  Lak-Khee Tay-Audouard. Tuttle Publishing.
  5. Pinkney, Jerry. (2015). The Grasshopper and the Ants. New York: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
  6. Pinkney, Jerry. (2013). The Tortoise & the Hare. New York: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
  7. Pinkney, Jerry. (2009). The Lion & the Mouse.  New York: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
  8. Rosen, Michael. (2013). Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Talleen Hacikyan. Tradewind Books.
  9. Subramaniam, Manasi. (2014). The Fox and the Crow. Illustrated by Culpeo S. Fox.  Karadi Tales Picturebooks.

Image result for seamus heaneys five fablesI-Pad App

Seamus Heaney: Five Fables. Touchpress Limited.  (The Fables: The Two Mice; The Fox, the Wolf and the Farmer; Preaching of the Swallow; The Fox, the Wolf and the Carter; and The Mouse and the Lion). Right now app is $2.99

Really, need I say more?

Partner Reading Bruchac's Turtle's Race with Beaver.
Independent/Partner/Small Group Reading/Reader's Theater
  1. Blau, Lisa (Scripted). The Lion and the Mouse. Reader's Theater Script. Download from here
  2. Brett, Jan. (2003). Town Mouse, Country Mouse. New York: Puffin. (530L)
  3. Brown, Marcia. (1989). Once a Mouse. New York: Aladdin. (530L)
  4. Bruchac, Joseph (Abenaki). (2003). Turtle’s Race with Beaver. Illustrated by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey. New York: Dial. (Lexile N/A)
  5. Daugherty, James. (1989). Andy and the Lion. New York: Puffin. (510L)
  6. Lionni, Leo. (1973).  Swimmy.  New York: Dragonfly Books. (640L)
  7. Meighan, Julie. (2015).  Aesop's Fables: A Collection of Children's Plays. Jem Books.
  8. Montgomery, Carol. (2010). The Beaver and the Lumberjack. Reader's Theater Script. Download from here
  9. Palatini, Margie. (2010). Lousy Rotten Stinkin' Grapes. Illustrated by Barry Moser. Reader's Theater Script.

Fables to Listen To (Audio Texts)

  1. Storynory. The Rat and the Elephant.  Read by Bertie. London, UK: Storynory. (Downloadable and also includes written text)
  2. Storynory. The Grasshopper and the Ants. Read by Bertie. London, UK: Storynory. (Downloadable and also includes written text)
  3. Storynory. The Fox and the Crow.  Read by Bertie. London, UK: Storynory. (Downloadable and also includes written text)
  4. Storynory. The Little Mouse.  Read by Bertie. London, UK: Storynory. (Downloadable and also includes written text)
  5. Storynory. Androcles and the Lion. Read by Natasha.  London, UK: Storynory. (Downloadable and also includes written text)
  6. Storynory. The Lioness and Small Respect.  Read by Natasha. London, UK: Storynory. (Downloadable and also includes written text)
  7. Storynory. The Hare and the Tortoise. Read by Natasha.  London, UK: Storynory. (Downloadable and also includes written text)
  8. Storynory. The Boy Who Cried Wolf Read by Natasha.  London, UK: Storynory. (Downloadable and also includes written text)
  9. Storynory. The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.  Read by Natasha.  London, UK: Storynory. (Downloadable and also includes written text)

Story Emulations: (Texts for Students to Emulate as Writers & Illustrators)

  1. Wang, Gabrielle. (2013).  The Race for the Chinese Zodiac. Illustrated by Sally Rippin and Regine Abos. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.
  2. Charise Mericle Harper & Chris Duffy (Eds.) (2015). Fable Comics. New York: First Second Books.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Performing Joseph Bruchac's The Scattered Stars: Choral Reading & Comprehension

This poem is from: Bruchac, Joseph.  (1995). “The Scattered Stars.” In The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet:  Native American Poems of the Land.  New York:  Philomel Books. (Cochiti Pueblo Southwest)

Choral Reading 
  1. Read the poem aloud. Let the children hear the poem several times.
  2. Explain to students that they will be reading the poem together. Tell them that choral reading is simply reading in unison under the direction of a leader.
  3. Assign speaking roles based on interest and capacity and have students highlight their roles.
  4. Practice and practice some more until the poem can be read with expression.
  5. Consider audio recording the performance with Voice Recorder (or another app of your choosing) and making it available on iTunes--or you could make a podcast (see how here). 


Monday, July 27, 2015

Word Cloud Remix: Using Tagxedo to Rethink Theme and Reading Closely

Be One of the Crowd (M.A. Reilly, 2015)

Throw away the lights, the definitions/And say of what you see in the dark.
                                      - Wallace Stevens, “The Man With the Blue Guitar,” p. 183.

I. Reseeing
Tagxedo is an online word cloud generator.  An interesting aspect about it though is that one need not be limited to the shapes that Tagxedo provides as users can upload their own images and use these as outlines for word clouds.  

It was with this in mind that I began to think about the directive Mrs. Rosen gives to Annemarie at the beginning of the novel, Number the Stars. As you might recall, 10-year-old Annemarie, her friend and neighbor, Ellen Rosen, and Annemarie's younger sister, Kirsti, are halted by Nazi soldiers as the girls run home from school.  After some tense moments, the girls are sent on their way and as they near their apartments, Annemarie and Ellen decide to not tell their mothers about the encounter.  They live in Copenhagen and it is1943.  

Ellen returns to her family's apartment and as Annemarie enters her home she hears five-year-old Kirsti telling her mother and Mrs. Rosen all about the incident with the two soldiers. 

Alarmed, Mrs. Rosen says to Annemarie:
"You girls walk a different way to school tomorrow. Promise me, Annemarie. And Ellen will promise too."   
"We will, Mrs. Rosen, but what does it matter? There are German soldiers on every corner."
"They will remember your faces," Mrs. Rosen said..."It is important to be one of the crowd, always. Be one of many. Be sure that they never have a reason to remember your face" (p. 8).

When I reread the novel recently, I noticed that I had highlighted:

Even though these lines are delivered very early in the novel—they resonate as the advice offered is not limited to a particular geography or time. We need not be in Copenhagen in 1943 to be stopped by such a claim. As I thought more about the text, I recalled thinking about Kyleen Beers and Bob Probst's taxonomy of signposts in reading and at first recognized this exchange as an example of Words of the Wiser.

But after making the image, I'm not so sure that these words are words of the wiser.  Making art often invites revision of thought and theme is largely a matter of revision.

II. What Happens When Image-Making Shows Up

After importing the lines from the text into Tagxedo and then considering what image I wanted to upload, I found it necessary to not only reread the quotation, but to also reread a few pages prior to the quote so I could better recall the context.  Then I viewed images while wondering, What does it look like to be one of the crowd?  I must tell you that I looked at a lot of images, rejecting most and finally settling on one image.  I played with Tagxedo and 'discovered' that I could have the lines of text also be used within words, so I did that and downloaded, five images that when placed together formed the imperative, Be One of the Crowd.  I wasn't sure what I would end up making, but each iteration had me thinking more about crowds and selves; limits and possibilities.  

Word cloud remix. 

As I worked off line I began to consider the consequences of limiting one’s self-definition to being one of the crowd, always.  What does such action incur? What might well be lost by such positioning? Who gains in such a scenario? What might be forgotten against such a set of exchanges?

Such pondering is often what happens when image and word are remixed.  Transmediation—the process of making meaning through a range of symbol systems—affords learners with potentially more complex ways of knowing as constraints and liberations are co-specifying.  How we know a thing in one symbol system may or may not have a correlate in another system. 

In “Seeing Our Way into Learning,” Shirley Brice Heath (2000) summarizes how human neural mechanisms work. She tells us, “seeing and attending to specific features of perceived images engages us in calling up information we have stored through prior experiences and can now recall and recount verbally” (p. 122). We are most often co-authoring as we read and view and the marks we use to form ideas need not be limited to print alphabet.

Against the thoughts I had brewing about limitations of self-definition, I also considered the historical implications that likely (in)formed Mrs. Rosen’s dictum and wondered how Annemarie’s early life lessons would have continued to shape her later life. So often after a difficult experience 'concludes' we think it rests quietly or disappears.  So much of theme naming rests in the resurrection of past experience that we newly name as we come to consider characters and their circumstances. Theme is a complex matter.

In the same article by Heath she explains that the shift from image to word to image engages the visual brain, which “resonates with remembered experiences and linguistic representations” (p. 123).  What we cannot name with words alone—might well be spoken by image.  

And now I am wondering what remembered experiences gave form to the final image I made. Wow, heady stuff for a Sunday night in July.

III. Throw Away the Definitions

Let me confess that it makes me nervous when I hear educators talking about the merits of close reading and limiting that discussion to acts akin to overly simple detective work.  How unfortunate to situate reading as if it might be nothing more than finding authorial clues and assembling them into a final verdict.  What was at play tonight had little to do with being a detective. As I made the images, rethought the text, and recalled earlier and perhaps even sketchy experiences that shadowed, in part, the multiple and conflicting ways I was understanding the idea of being one of the crowd, always--I was acting far more like a bricoleur, than a detective. 

Meaning wasn't being chiseled out of some known and unchanging tome. It was emerging and unstable. 

I want to suggest here that it is a wide range of experiences that are so often art-based that help youngsters to best ponder theme. Theme is not "finding" an author's life lesson as if such matters might be nothing more than bits of crumb you follow. Yes there may well be crumbs, but the linearity of following is a mistake. 

Our job as teachers is to open spaces of permission for young people to wander, linger, and hopefully, contradict us. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Comparing First- and Second-Hand Accounts in Grade 4

Iconic image of Buzz Aldrin on the moon. 
Yesterday morning Rob read a small article to me about the what Americans believe.  According to the article, 7% of Americans believe that the July 1969 moon landing was a hoax.  Yes, a hoax. I was thinking about that a bit and was pleased at the new unit of study fourth graders will be engaged with this coming year as it focuses on the first moon landing.  In this unit, students spend some time reading and viewing first-hand accounts of the July1969 moon landing, and playing a simulation game. They also read a few second-hand accounts. (bibliography at end of post)

One of the culminating tasks students undertake is to compare and contrast a first-hand and second-hand accounts.  The task initially is:
  1. Reread the text (Moonshot) again. 
  2. Ask students to compare this second-hand account with the first-hand accounts by Collins and Aldrin they have read and the video-based first-hand account by Neil Armstrong. 
  3. Ask them to write responses to these questions. Provide copies of Aldrin’s book so students can review it and the Collins’ chapter they already have, as well as access to the video:

  • How are these accounts similar?  
  • In what ways are the first-hand accounts different from Moonshot
  • How does the author's participation in an event shape the focus and information presented in an account? 
  • What is the value of reading both firsthand and secondhand accounts of the same event? (RI. 4.6)
After students have had sometime to gather and record some thoughts, it's time to talk. Using the Snowball Technique students discuss their views.

  1. After students have completed their responses invite them to partner with a student and discuss the first two question:
How are the accounts similar? In what ways are the first-hand accounts different from Moonshot
  1. After about 3 to 5 minutes of conversation, ask students to make groups of four (partners should remain together) and discuss the question.
  2. Then provide the group of four with a third question:
How does the author's participation in an event shape the focus and information presented in an account?
  1. Have the groups of four discuss this question for about 5 minutes and then have them join with another group of four and discuss both questions.
  2. Have the groups of eight discuss the question for about 5 minutes.
  3. Then invite the entire class to discuss the last question for about 6 to 8 minutes.

What is the value of reading both firsthand and secondhand accounts of the same event?

I've used Snowball frequently and have found that it really does help to open conversations at the whole class level.  If you try it, let me know what you find:)


  1. Aldrin, Buzz. (2008). Reaching for the Moon. Paintings by Wendell Minor. New York: HarperCollins. (860L)
  2. Armstrong, Neil.  (1969). Video: First Steps on the Moon. Retrieved 6.24.15 from
  3. 60 Minutes Interview. (2002). Interview with Neil Armstrong. Retrieved 6.27.15 from . 
  4. Collins, Michael. (1994). Flying to the Moon: An Astronaut’s Story.  New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. (1170L)
  5. Floca, Brian. (2009). Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11. New York: Richard Jackson Books. (990L)
  6. Granath, Bob. (2015). “Former Astronauts Recall Historic First Moon Landing. ” NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Retrieved 6.24.15 from . 
  7. Kennedy, John F. (1962). We Chose to Go to the Moon. Video. “Retrieved 7.1.15 from .
  8. We Chose the Moon Interactive Site. John F. Kennedy Library. 
  9. Walliman, Dominic. (2013). Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space. Illustrated by Ben Newman. London UK: Flying Eye Books.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Unit of Study About the Medieval Period: Choices & Dilemmas

Visual response to Beowulf (Reilly, 2015)
I. The Slipperiness of Background Knowledge: Whose?  

I have been hard at work designing a fifth grade unit of study focusing on the medieval period.  What motivates me most is the remembrance of a comment a child made last year in fourth grade.  I recorded the child's inquiry this way:

It's early morning in a fourth grade classroom in Newark, NJ and the children and their teacher are at work studying Greek mythology. Beyond the classroom windows the weather hints at the possibility of spring.  But March has already been fickle and most anything could occur. Against the quiet of the classroom you can hear cars and trucks rumble by--the highway that splits this city runs just a few feet from the school. And in this mix of sounds it is the voice of one boy that we must pay attention to.  
He turns and says to his teacher and classmates, "I've been thinking about the myths we are reading. How they are thousands of years old.  Do you think a thousand years from now people will think Christian and Muslim religions are myths, too?" from here

It's occasioning big questions that most interests me when I compose possible curricula.  I know the work is mostly about possibilities and less about certainties as curriculum is complicated conversation.  What gets engendered is almost always more interesting and compelling that what gets written.  So in the unit I'm currently composing I am thinking about the medieval period and why it resonates.  Mostly, I have been thinking how people at the time made sense of the world through spiritual, natural, or religious lens and how these lens would give way (in part) to naming the world through more scientific reasoning and then through valued economic systems.  As I write, I'm cognizant that I want to be leave room in the curriculum for students to be able to generate bigger questions about world naming and faith; reason making and the potential effect of that economic systems have on all of that.

As I write I'm reminded that the way is often not clear when writing curriculum.

II. Lots of Books: Check It Out Circles & Padlet

So, I have been assembling a lot of books, a couple of tasks, and just a few questions to help students get grounded--as best one might.  Here's the initial set of questions that will no doubt undergo revision:

  1. What questions do you think are most important to pose about the this time period?
  2. Based on your reading, what’s important to know about the Medieval period? 
  3. Based on your reading, whose voices are represented?  Whose voices are missing? What do you make of that?
  4. Based on your reading, what were some hardships people at that time faced? Who? How did they respond to these hardships? 
  5. Based on your reading, what seems to matter most to people? What did they value? What did they believe in? 
Initially students will be introduced via Check it Out Circles (Sibberson & Szymusiak, 2003) to two collections of book--the first focusing on information about the time period and the second focusing on people (biographies) who lived during that time. Students will make initial book choices, partner and buddy read. They'll read as much as they like. While reading, I'd like them to be mindful of the questions--their own and the one's for the class.  As this unit is designed for midyear, there's a likelihood that some of these books may have already been read by students and if so, that will surely inform their peers' choices too. Students will post initial understandings of the text(s) and the period through Padlet--so that the larger community of students are able to read what their peers are thinking.  The postings will be organized using the set of questions.  So one could read a question and then read a lot of responses that were informed by reading different texts. As in most of the work I do, students' responses to the questions can take many forms: written, spoken, visual (still & moving), musical and so on... The beauty of Padlet is that one can post and link so media can easily be represented.

III. Book Clubs

After this initial opening, students will have some choices regarding a literary text they'd like to study with a small group of peers. The texts are either from the medieval period or about medieval legends or mythologies. They are brief texts--not novels. The clubs will establish questions, focus, and timelines after making a text selection. Students will have already been taught a set of response tools that they might select to use so as to (in)form their discussions. Whereas a goal of book clubs is for meaningful discourse to occur--the method is not in giving them a set of accountable talk tag lines as I think this may well inhibit thought, but rather a set of tools to help them make sense of text.

IV. Beowulf: Whole Class/Read Aloud Text

Once book clubs are launched, the students will also begin reading Beowulf.  This will be conducted as a teacher read aloud--although students will have copies of the text in hand. Beowulf is meant to be heard. It is here that the question about beliefs and values will be more acutely studied and the use of drama and art making will play a larger role. As students will have experienced a lot of methods of text analysis by this time in the year, they will co-design the engagements that they most value. Knowing some of the students I can imagine the use of Minecraft showing up.  We'll see.

Below is the bibliography of written texts (I haven't curated the visual ones yet). If you have other suggestions, please let me know.  Thanks:)


Whole Class/Read Aloud Text
  1. Morpurgo, Michael. (2006). Beowulf. Illustrated by Michael Foreman. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. (1180L)

Informational Texts for Partner Reading
  1. Allen, Kathy. (2011). The Horrible, Miserable Middle Ages: The Disgusting Details About Life During Medieval Times. North Mankato, MN: Capstone Press.  (850L)
  2. Cels, Marc. (2004). Life on a Medieval Manor. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (1070L)
  3. Eastwood, Kay. (2003). Women and Girls in the Middle Ages. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (1070L)
  4. Eastwood, Kay. (2003). Places of Worship in the Middle Ages. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (1090L)
  5. Eastwood, Kay.(2003). Life in a  Castle. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (1020L)
  6. Eastwood, Kay. (2003). Medieval Society. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (1060L)
  7. Eastwood, Kay. (2003). The Life of a Knight. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (1020L)
  8. Elliott, Lynn. (2005). Medieval Medicine And the Plague. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (1150L)
  9. Elliot, Lynne. (2004). Children and Games in the Medieval Ages.  Minneapolis, MN: Crabtree Pub Co. (1110L)
  10. Elliott, Lynn. (2004). Food and Feasts in the Middle Ages. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company.  (1170L)
  11. Elliott, Lynn. (2004). Clothing in the Middle Ages. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (1100L)
  12. Elliott, Lynn. (2004). Medieval Towns, Trade, and Travel. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (1140L)
  13. Findon, Joan. (2004). Science and Technology in the Middle Ages. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (1080L)
  14. Galloway, Priscilla. (2003). Archers, Alchemists, and 98 Other Medieval Jobs You Might Have Loved or Loathed. Illustrated by Martha Newbigging. New York: Annick Press.
  15. Gibbons, Gail. (1998). Knights in Shining Armor. New York: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. (930L)
  16. Groves, Marsha. (2005). Manners and Customs in the Middle Ages. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (1090L)
  17. Johnson Sherri. The Medieval Plague. North Mankato, MN: Capstone Press. (620L)
  18. Major, John S. (1996). The Silk Route: 7,000 Miles of History. Illustrated by Stephen Fieser. New York: HarperCollins. (1140L)
  19. Scandiffio, Laura. (2009). Crusades: Kids at the Crossroads. Illustrated by John Mantha. New York: Annick Press
  20. Steele, Phillip. (2009). History News: The Aztec News. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. 
  21. Steele, Tara. (2003). Medieval Warfare. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (1010L)
  22. Tembeski, Donna. (2005). Medieval Law And Punishment. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (1100L)
  23. Trembinski, Donna. (2005). Medieval Myths, Legends, and Songs. Minneapolis, MN: Crabtree Pub Co. (1040L)
  24. Whiting, Jim. Medieval Knights. North Mankato, MN: Capstone Press. (620L)
  25. Whiting, Jim. Medieval Castles. North Mankato, MN: Capstone Press. (610L)
Biographical Texts for Partner Reading
  1. Ashby, Ruth. (2006).  Caedmon’s Song. Illustrated by Bill Slavin. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. (No Lexile Level)
  2. Conklin, Wendy. (2007). Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler: World Cultures Through Time. Huntington Beach, CA: Teacher Created Materials.(610L)
  3. Demi. (2009). Rumi: Whirling Dervish. Tarrytown, NY: Marshal Cavendish.
  4. Demi. (2009). Genghis Khan. Tarrytown, NY: Marshal Cavendish.
  5. Demi. (2008). Marco Polo. Tarrytown, NY: Marshal Cavendish. (950L)
  6. Demi. (2003). Muhammad. New York:  Margaret K. McElderry Books.
  7. Denham, Joyce. (2008). Saint Francis of Assisi. Illustrated by Elena Temporin. Brewster, MA:  Paraclete Press. 
  8. Engle, Margarita. (2010). Summer Birds The Butterflies of Maria Merian. Illustrated by Julie Paschkis. New York: Henry Holt. 
  9. Goldberg, Enid. A (2009). Vlad the Impaler: The Real Count Dracula. Illustrated by Norman Itzkowitz.  New York: Scholastic. 
  10. Goodman, Joan. (2001). A Long and Uncertain Journey: The 27,000 Mile Voyage of Vasco Da Gama (Great Explorers). Illustrated by Tom McNeely. New York: Mikaya Press. (990L)
  11. Krull, Kathleen. (2010). Kubla Khan: The Emperor of Everything. Illustrated by Robert Byrd. New York: Viking Books for Young Readers. (1080L)
  12. Look, Lenore. (2013). Brush of the Gods. Illustrated by Meilo So. New York Schwartz & Wade. (580L)
  13. Mattern, Joanne. (2012). Geoffrey Chaucer: Medieval Writer (Primary Source Readers). Huntington Beach, CA: Teacher Created Materials.  (710L)
  14. Matthews, Sally Schofer. (2001). The Sad Night: The Story of an Aztec Victory and a Spanish Loss. New York: Clarion Books. (950L)
  15. Robertson, Bruce. (1999).  Marguerite Makes a Book (Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum). Illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt. Los Angeles, CA:  J. Paul Getty Museum. (570L)
  16. Ross, Stewart. (2014). Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air. Illustrated by Stephen Biesty. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.  (1150L) 
  17. Rumford, James. (2004). Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta 1325-1354. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers. (650L)
  18. Rumford, James. (2012). From the Good Mountain: How Gutenberg Changed the World. New York: Flash Point. (800L). 
  19. San Souci, Robert D. (2010). Robin Hood And The Golden Arrow. Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. New York: Orchard Books. (930L)
  20. Serrano, Francisco. (2012). La Malinche: The Princess Who Helped Cort├ęs Conquer an Empire. Illustrated by Pablo Serrano. Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books. (No Lexile Level)
  21. Sharafeddine, Fatima. (2015). The Amazing Discoveries of Ibn Sina. Illustrated by Intelaq Mohammed Ali. Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books. (No Lexile Level)
  22. Sharafeddine, Fatima. (2014). The Amazing Travels of Ibn Battuta. Illustrated by Intelaq Mohammed Ali. Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books. (No Lexile Level)
  23. Sis, Peter. (1991). Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus. New York: Knopf.
  24. Stanley, Diane. (2002). Joan of Arc. New York: HarperCollins. (980L)
  25. Tembeski, Donna. (2004). Famous People of the Middle Ages. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company. (1110L)
  26. Waldman, Stuart. (2007). Magellan's World (Great Explorers). Illustrated by Gregory Manchess. New York: Mikaya Press. (No Lexile Level)
  27. Wisniewski, David. (1999). Sundiata: Lion King of Mali. New York: HMH Books. (820L)

Book Club Texts
  1. Chaucer, Geoffrey. (1982). Chanticleer and the Fox. Illustrated by Barbara Cooney. New York: HarperCollins. (840L)
  2. Hodges, Margaret. (1990). Saint George and the Dragon. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. New York: Holiday House. (1080L)
  3. Hodges, Margaret. (1993). The Kitchen Knight: A Tale of King Arthur. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. New York: Holiday House.
  4. McCaughrean, Geraldine (Retold by). (1997). The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. New York: Puffin. 
  5. Yolen, Jane. (1998). Merlin and the Dragons. Illustrated by Li Ming. New York: Puffin Books. (640L)

Medieval Times and Stories  - Independent Reading Texts
Avi. (2004). Crispin: The Cross of Lead. New York: Disney-Hyperion. (780L)
Avi. (2011). Crispin: The End of Time.  New York: Disney-Hyperion. (690L)
Biesty, Stephen. (2013). Stephen Biesty's Cross-sections Castle. New York: DK.
Bosse, Malcolm. Tusk and Stone.
Bulla, Clyde Robert. (2000). The Sword in the Tree. Illustrated by Bruce Bowles. New York: HarperCollins. (380L)
Coombs, Rachel. (2007). A Year in a Castle. Minneapolis, MN: Orpheus Books. (500L)
Cushman, Karen. (2012). The Midwife’s Apprentice. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers. (1240L)
Cushman, Karen. (2012). Catherine, Called Birdy. New York:  HMH Books for Young Readers. (1170L)
Cushman, Karen. (2011). Alchemy and Meggy Swann. New York:  HMH Books for Young Readers. (810L)
Dalkey, Kara. (1996). Little Sister. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Dalkey, Kara. (1998). The Heavenward Path. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
De Angeli, Marguerite. (1998). The Door in the Wall. New York: Laurel Leaf. (990L)
Demi. (2011). Joan of Arc.  New York: Two Lions. (950L)
Fletcher, Susan. (1999).  Shadow Spinner. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. (710L)
Giblin, James Cross. (1997). When Plague Strikes: The Black Death, Smallpox, AIDS. Illustrated by David Frampton. New York: HarperCollins. (990L)
Grant, K.M. (2006). Blood Red Horse. New York: Walker Childrens.
Gravet, Christopher. (2007). Knight. New York: DK Eyewitness Books.  (1140L)
Green, Roger Lancelyn. (2008). King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. New York: Puffin. (1130L)
Green, Roger Lancelyn. (2010). The Adventures of Robin Hood. New York: Puffin. (1110L)
Gross, Gwen. (1985). Knights of the Round Table. Illustrated by Norman Green. New York: Random House Books for Young Readers. (340L)
Ingle, Annie. (1991). Robin Hood. Illustrated by Domenick D'Andrea. New York: Random House Books for Young Readers. (360L)
Kelly, Eric P. (1992). The Trumpeter of Krakow. New York: Aladdin. (1200L)
Langley, Andrew. (2011). Medieval Life. New York: DK Eyewitness Books.  (1120L)
Lattimore, Deborah Nourse. (1991). The Sailor who Captured the Sea: A Story of the Book of Kells. New York: HarperCollins.
Lloyd, Alison. (2010). Year of the Tiger. New York: Holiday House. (600L)
Macaulay, David. (2013). Castle. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers. (1180L)
Macaulay, David. (2013). Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction, Revised and in Full Color. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers. (1120L)
McCaughrean, Geraldine. (2003). The Kite Rider. New York: Harper Trophy.
Meehan, Bernard. (1995). The Book of Kells: An Illustrated Introduction to the Manuscript in Trinity College, Dublin. London, UK: Thames & Hudson.
Millard, Anne. (2012). A Street Through Time. Illustrated by Stephen Noon. New York: DK. (680L)
Morpurgo, Michael. (2004). Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Illustrated by Michael Foreman. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. (1050L)
Morris, Gerald. (2009). The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great. Illustrated by Aaron Renier. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers. (830L)
Napoli, Donna Jo. (1993). Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast. New York: Harper Teen.
Napoli, Donna Jo. (2006). Bound. New York: Simon Pulse.
O’Brien, Patrick. (1998). The Making of a Knight. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge. (760L)
Osborne, Mary Pope. (2002) Favorite Medieval Tales. New York: Scholastic. (860L)
Parks, Linda Sue. (2011). A Single Shard. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Parks, Linda Sue. (2010). The Kite Fighters. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Paterson, Katherine. (1998). The Sign of the Chrysanthemum. Illustrated by Peter Landa. New York: HarperCollins. (870L)
Paterson, Katherine. (1989). Of Nightingales that Weep. ew York: HarperCollins. (950L)
Platt, Richard. (2003). Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess. Illustrated by Chris Riddell. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. (1010L)
Pyle, Howard. (2005). The Story of King Arthur and His Knights. New York: Sterling. (1350L)
Williams, Marcia. (2008). Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. New York: Walker Books
Williams, Marcia. (2010). King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. New York: Walker Books
Yolen, Jane. (1996). Encounter. Illustrated by David Shannon. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers. (760L)