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The Story of King Arthur & His Knights

Last updated Monday, March 23, 2015

Author: Howard Pyle and Tania Zamorsky
Illustrator: Dan Andreasen
Date of Publication: 2006
ISBN: 1402725345
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: May 2014

Synopsis: From the sword in the stone and the founding of Camelot to the famed Round Table and the Lake of Enchantment, the legend of King Arthur will never lose its magic. Though simpler, this version includes all the wonderful stories—such as King Arthur’s winning of Guenievere and Merlin’s tragic downfall at the hands of the evil Vivien.

Note to readers:
•  This is an easy read and you should be able to read to page 41. Make sure to read the Prologue as well. You may want to show the kids where this story takes place on a map or globe in the room.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you heard of King Arthur and his Knights?
•  Why are King Arthur and his Knights famous? (They were honest men who fought to protect others and sat at a round table which meant no man was the “head” of the table and all were equal.
•  Is the story of King Arthur and his Knights a true story or a fairytale? (The history of England was not documented until about 500 years after Arthur would have lived. The earliest chronicler (Nennius) referred to a King Arthur who won many battles)

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why do you think Arthur could pull the sword and not the others? (because he was good, honest and innocent? Because he was King Uther-Pendragon’s lost son?)
•  Why was Arthur considered a good king? (because he made friends with other kings and when he couldn’t, he didn’t kill them but took their sons to be part of his kingdom and his famous knights—pg 27, 40)
•  If the story of King Arthur is a true story, do you think there was magic when he ruled Britain?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a Mother’s Day card.
•  Draw a “Crest” for your family which can be placed on a “shield” or tshirt. A “crest” is a symbol used on a “coat of arms”. The colors of the crest say something about your family—red is symbol of eagerness to serve ones country/warrior; silver is the symbol of cleanliness/wisdom/innocence/joy; gold is the symbol of understanding, respect, generosity, majesty; blue means strength, loyalty, fidelity; green is freedom/beauty/health/hope; purple mans majesty/justice/sovereignty etc..Items such as fruit symbolize happiness/peace/generosity; antlers represent strength; an arm represents hard work; an ant is the symbol of people who are strong and wise; an antelope means harmony/peace/political wisdom; bear is a symbol of healing/bravery; leaves are a symbol of peace/victory etc…

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!