The Once and Future King Pre-Reading Packet directions



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The Once and Future King Pre-Reading Packet




DIRECTIONS: As we are about to begin reading The Once and Future King—a book about King Arthur, Merlin, and a cast of other famous and infamous characters—we need to learn a bit about the Arthurian legend, itself. Please follow the below instructions carefully, and answer your questions on a separate sheet of paper.





ACTIVITY #1

The purpose of the below activities is to give you a basic understanding of who King Arthur was—both in legend and history—as well as a simple understanding of the setting and characters in the Arthurian legends. After all, we’ll be reading a lot about him in The Once and Future King.



  1. Go to our class website and click on the “Literature Units” link. Use the following links to help you with your research, but make sure to follow the below directions in order.

Website #1



http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/anglo_saxons/arthur_01.shtml
Website #2

http://www.britannia.com/history/h12.html
Website #3

http://www.castles-of-britain.com/castle6.htm
Website #4

http://www.learner.org/interactives/middleages/feudal.html
Website #5

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Arthur_in_various_media
Website #6

http://www.kingarthursknights.com/


  1. Click on “Website #1” and read the accompanying information.


  1. Answer the following questions by using the information from the above link:




    1. When is the historic (“real”) figure of King Arthur supposed to have lived? About how many years ago is this?




    1. According to the above site, the King Arthur we know today is, “a composite of layers of different legends.” What does this mean?




    1. According to the above site, what are some (more than one) possible reasons why King Arthur MUST be a composite of different historical heroes—and not just one person?



  1. Go back to our website—specifically the “Once and Future King” link. Click on “Website #2”.


  1. Once you are brought to a new page, click on the “Arthur the King” link and answer the following questions.




    1. Although King Arthur could have been a real person, there are many recorded Arthurs in history that he could have been based off of. After reading through some of the paragraphs on this website, who is the Arthur you believe is the REAL Kin Arthur and why?


  1. Go back to the home page of the same website. Identify the below characters and items from Arthurian legend. NOTE: You should click on the links to see pictures and read more about each term. DO NOT just give the one line answer next to the links.

    1. Guinevere

    2. Merlin

    3. Uther Pendaragon

    4. Ygerna

    5. Nimue

    6. Camelot

    7. Excalibur

    8. The Holy Grail

    9. The Round Table






TURN OVER 

ACTIVITY #2

The purpose of this next activity is to give you a basic understanding of castle life during the time of the legendary King Arthur. Not only will this help you better understand the class novel, but it will also give you an idea of what it was like to live in a real castle.



  1. Using Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, or another credible online source, define the below vocabulary words.

    1. Monarch

    2. Quest

    3. Chivalry

    4. Feudalism


  1. Go to “Website #3” in the “Once and Future King” link of our class website. Answer the following questions based on the various topics of information:




    1. Why were castles built?




    1. How were castles built?




    1. What were some of the basic characteristics of a castle?




    1. Look at the “Bird’s Eye View” link on this page to get an idea of what some castles might have looked like.




    1. Look at the “Life in a Castle” link and jot down AT LEAST TEN notes about what life in a castle might have been like.




    1. Look at the “Medieval Jobs” link and describe AT LEAST TEN different jobs people would’ve had during this time period. Note: You must be able to explain what these jobs are to the rest of the class.




    1. Read the “Knights” link and summarize the major duties, purposes, AND characteristics of a typical knight.




    1. Choose TWO other links on this page you’d like to explore. Jot down some information you found helpful or interesting.




ACTIVITY #3

The purpose of this next activity is to give you a basic understanding of regular life during the time of the legendary King Arthur. Not only will this help you better understand the class novel, but it will also give you some background knowledge of our true world history.


  1. Go to “Website #4” in the “Once and Future King” link of our class website. Answer the following questions based on the various topics of information. NOTE: YOU WILL NEED TO CLICK THE “READ MORE ABOUT FEUDAL LIFE” LINK AT THE BOTTOM OF EACH PAGE.




    1. In a nutshell, what is the feudal system? Summarize your ideas in FIVE sentences or less.




    1. Define the following terms:




      1. Lord/master

      2. Noble

      3. Fief

      4. Serfs

      5. Vassals




    1. What was peasant life like?




    1. How did peasants’ lives differ from those of the knights you read about in Activity #2.


  1. Click on the “Homes” icon/link to the right of the page. What were most medieval homes like, and how did they differ from the castles you read about in Activity #2? (Be sure to click the “Read More About Homes” link at the bottom of each page.




ACTIVITY #4

The purpose of this activity is to give you an understanding of just how popular the Arthurian legend has become over time. Just imagine—something that came to be over a thousand years ago is still as famous today! The hit BBC show Merlin, for example, is currently in its second season, and characters like Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series and Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings trilogy were based off of characters from King Arthur’s tales.


  1. Go to “Website #5” in the “Once and Future King” link of our class website. Write down the following:

    1. Two television shows based on Arthurian legend

    2. Three movies based on Arthurian legend

    3. Five books based on Arthurian legend. Try to choose those you’ve heard of before.

    4. Three video games based on Arthurian legend.


  1. OPTIONAL: For more information about King Arthur and the Arthurian legends, please check out http://www.kingarthursknights.com/ . This website has a TON of written information, pictures, maps, and timelines, and I’m sure you’ll find it extremely interesting and helpful. (Note: On our class website, this site is listed as Website #6.)







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