The Midwife's Apprentice
by Karen Cushman

Fifth grade (on grade)
Section 2 (pages 25-47)

Discussion Director

Your job is to write down questions that your group can talk about.
*1 cause/effect
*1 character
*1 figurative language

EOG Question
1. In the story, Beetle got to go to which of the following:
a. the circus
b. a fair
c. a carnival
d. an amusement park
answer: b
(p. 27, line 4) Beetle finally finds a stroke of good luck, and gets the opportunity to go to the Saint Swithin's Day Fair.

2. How did Beetle get the opportunity to go here?

(p.26 par.1,2,3)  The midwife trips over Walter the Blacksmith's second best pig and twisted het left leg.  She claims it is broken and so, sends Beetle to the fair to replenish some of her goods.

3. Find a sentence in this section with two similes in it.

(p.26 par. 4) "Although bellowing that Beetle was stupid as a woodchuck and clumsy as a donkey in a dress, the midwife allowed her to help her into the cottage and onto her straw bed."

4. What is the most importatant thing that happened to Beetle in chapter 5?

(p.31 par. 1,2,3) Beetle renames herself Alyce!  While she is at the fair, a merchant begins to call her Alyce because he thinks she looks just like someone he knows named Alyce.  Beetle thought to herself that since she had never been named properly in her life, and she liked the name Alyce, that she would rename herself Alyce, and so it was.

Passage Picker
Section 2 (pages 25-47)

Your job is to pick passages from this section that you and your group can talk about.  Choose passages that satisfies these three reasons:

2. p.26 par. 5
3. "Broken by...wrong things."
4. This passage has a perfect example of a cause effect relationship.  Because the midwife broke her ankle, Beetle got to go to the fair.
5. Q: How did the midwife break her ankle?
    A: she tripped over the Blackmith's second best pig.
6. The author's purpose is to describe an event that would allow Beetle the opportunity to be trusted, and responsible.  This is another turning point in the story.

2. p.41 par.1
3. "It started...every cottage."
4. This passage is confusing because the reader has yet to hear of any witches or devils in the story.  It is also suspenseful because it makes the reader want to find out what is going on.
5. Q: What are two examples that people thought witches and devils had arrived in the village?
    A: a two headed calf was born and a magpie landed on the miller's barn and could not be chased away.
6. The author's purpose is provide a bit of confusion in the story that leads to suspense.  Because the reader seems confused at this point, suspense is building.

2. p. 31 par.2,3
3. "Don't race."
4. This passage is important because Beetle gets a new name!  The rest of the story, Beetle is named Alyce.  It is a turning point in the story because Alyce gains an identity.
5. Q: How does Beetle become Alyce?
    A: A man mistakes her for a girl named Alyce because she resembles someone he knows.
6. The author's purpose is to provide Beetle with an identity to develop the main character.  So far Beetle really has no true identity.  She doesn't have a family, and was never properly named.  This passage in the story is an awakening for Beetle.  Now that she has a real name, she can feel more like she belongs.

Character Sketcher
section 1 (pages 25-47)

    Your job is to find an interesting character from this section you read today.  You will find three words that describe the character.  For each word, or character trait, you will give the proof or example (including page and paragraph).
    The next thing you will do is tell one of your character goals, or what the character wants to do in this section.
    Then you will find one of the character's problems in the section and the solution or possible solution to the problem.
    Finally, you get to have fun and illustrate your character!


The midwife

Character traits:
1. bittersweet (p.26 par.4) The midwife seems bittersweet.  She appears to be a very bitter woman always yelling at Alyce and putting her down.  However, she did take Alyce in when she had no place to live, feeds her, and even allows her to go to the fair for her in this passage.

2. angry (p.33 par.1) The midwife seems like a very angry person.  She yells often, and never seems happy. She throws pots and pans around her cottage and threatens to squash Alyce.

Goal: The midwife is a very bitter and angry person.  She yells at Alyce and at her patients.  Her goal is to appear as awfula dn mean as possible so people will listen to her.  It seems that she has gained a reputation for being this way.  People react to her fearfully and do anything she says, including have babies!

Problem: Midwifery is a hard profession that requires a strong willed person willing to be patient and caring.

Solution: The midwife in the story has taken the opposite approach to midwifery.  She attempts to be mean and to scare the babies out!  This is how she feels is the best approach to midwifery because it has worked for her throughout the years.

Word Wizard
section 2 (pages 25-47)

    Your job is to look for special words in the story.  On your recording sheet, write down the following:
1. write down the word
2. Copy the sentence from the book in which the word appears
3. Look up the word in the dictionary
4. Using context clues from the sentence and the dictionary definition, write down in your own words the definition of the word.
5. Write down the correct part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb)
6. Write a sentence of your own with the word in it.
7. Make your word wizard card.  Be sure to include in big pint your word and the page and paragraph number.  On the other side of the card should be a picture, the word, and the definition of the word.

Choose four from the following:

departure p.25 par.2             millpond p.26 par.1               bellowing p.26 par.4

meandered p.27 par.2           pockmarked p.44 line 4

1. departure (p.25 par.2)
2. "And so the day before the midwife's departure, Jane set Beetle a score of tasks to accomplish in her absence and made ready to leave without the girl."
3. (look up word)
4. departure- act of taking leave
5. noun
6. The pilot of the airplane prepared for his departure to another country.
7. (see word card)

1. meandered (p.27 par.2)
2. " To get to Gobnet-Under-Green Beetle took the road north that followed the river, passed the mill, turnes east at Steven the Fletcher's cottage, cut across the abbey fields ablaze with the violet-blue flowers of the flax, turned north again at Barry-on-the-Birkenhead, then meandered easterly and northerly until it ended in the glory that was the Saint Swithin's Day Fair in the market square ofthe Gobnet-Under-Green."
3. (look up word)
4. meandered- wonder about
5. verb
6. The child meandered into a field of flowers.
7. Have kids make a word card.

section 2 (pgs. 25-47)
Your job is to draw some kind of picture related to the reading.  It can be a sketch, cartoon, diagram, flow chart, or stick figure scene.  You can draw a picture of something that's discussed specifically in your book, something the reading reminded you of, or a picture that shows any idea or feeling you got from the reading.  Use a separate sheet of paper that is provided by your teacher.  After finishing your picture, write a descriptive paragraph about your drawing.  Your paragraph should include:
Who or what my picture is about
Where my picture takes place
When it is happening
Why I drew this picture