Young Merlin: Prepping for Unit 6, Literary Heroes

Benchmark is right around the corner! But what comes after that for 4th grade? 
Common Core Unit 6: Literary Heroes
I don't know about you, but I haven't read all of the books that are listed for student reading yet. So yesterday, I grabbed The Young Merlin Trilogy by Jane Yolen and started reading.

After the first page, I grabbed a pad of sticky notes and started marking.

And after the second "book," I ran out of sticky notes and had to stop!!

If you haven't read this book yet and plan on reading it with your students, you need to know two  very important things.
         1. This book is AMAZING, and your boys will love it!
         2. The vocabulary in this book is killer!

Just to give you an idea:
I have noted these words, along with many others, that 4th graders will probably have trouble with:

  • tincture
  • wodewose (which are explained as the wild people)
  • Matins
  • stolid
  • yearning
  • perilous
  • imperceptibly
  • sotto voce
  • oblation
  • haunches
  • capricious
  • wanton
  • cosseted
  • penance
And the list goes on, and the list goes on (la da da da de, la da da da di (insert music from Sonny & Cher here))

Seriously, though. You need to know that this is coming before your students ask you these words. The book has a healthy amount of figurative language as well. Boys (and girls) will love the few magic things that happen, but you may have a few that feel dissapointed. With a book titled Young Merlin, they (and I) assume that this will be a story of magic, and swordfighting, and dragons, and knights in shining armor. The only knights are in the army that marches through, the only magic in the last few chapters of the book. And all the dragons are in his dreams.

I can't WAIT to read this with my students, but I have no idea how this roller coaster is going to be. It may be pretty bumpy!

Has anyone ever taught with this book before? I would love to hear how your students did with the deeper, underlying currents of the book!



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