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Copyright 2000

Created by Brian Thornton

Click here for more information Capo Creations, Box 1411, Haileybury, Ontario, CANADA. POJ 1KO

Not to be used or copied in any manner without specific written consent of the publisher All Rights Reserved

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The Door in the Wall

Student Study Guide

Marguerite de Angeli

All answers must be in sentence form.

Chapter One

  1. What caused Robin to cover his ears and shut his eyes?
  2. Why would Robin be sent away from his mother and father?
  3. Where was Robin's father?
  4. Why must Robin's mother leave?
  5. Describe Dame Ellen.
  6. Who is Brother Luke and why does he visit Robin?
  7. Find London, England and also the Thames River in an atlas.

Vocabulary: coverlet, vexation, liege, joust, fishmonger, grotesque, vespers, hospice, malady, curfew, sedately, habit (clothing), postern

Enrichment: Research the Cockney dialect or accent.  How did it originate?  Why might it be useful?

What is the plague and does it exist today?  What caused it to spread so quickly in Robin's day?

Make a cover for your book and illustrate it with something representative of the Middle Ages.


Chapter Two

  1. How does Marguerite de Angeli describe the month of May?
  2. What was an almonry?
  3. What did Robin want to create with the knife and piece of pine?
  4. Explain how Robin was able to recognize the different brothers as they walked through the corridor.
  5. How was Robin able to smooth out the rough spots on the cross.
  6. What was a scriptorium?
  7. When Robin saw Brother Luke writing and drawing, what request did he make?
  8. How does Brother Luke explain the origin of the surname Atte-Water?  Explain the origin of your own surname.

Vocabulary: clamored, devotions, breviary, chanting, pilgrims, minstrels, whittle, barged, sopped, garlands, despised, gait, awry, pruning, impertinent

Enrichment: Locate some chanting music by monks (For example, Gregorian Chants) and listen to it.  What would the purpose of chanting be?  Where would it originate?

Have the students create their own parchment and use a quill to write an imaginary message to one of the characters in the book.

Invite an experienced wood carver or whittler to give a talk to your classmates.  Attempt to carve or whittle something yourself.  It is probably best to start with a small project.


Chapter Three

  1. Why were the cloisters once more free of strangers?
  2. Why did Robin throw the wooden cross?
  3. Why did Robin dictate a letter to the monk?

Vocabulary: abated, cloisters, pallets, refrectory, fret, chisel, Orion, minced

Enrichment: Dress up as one of the characters in the book and answer questions about yourself from the class.

Pretend you are a television or radio reporter reporting live from an important scene in the story.


Chapter Four

  1. Why were the monks forced to do extra duties?
  2. What was Robin carving for the young girl?
  3. Why was Robin initially disappointed when the monk took him fishing?
  4. List a couple of Robin's duties at the church.
  5. Research the Holy Land.
  6. Why does Robin make the crutches from oak?

Vocabulary: hovel, crusaders, brook, droned, urchins, garment, jerkin, lectern, missal, staves, fervently, fennel

Enrichment: Research the history of the Romans in Britain.  Students may include towns such as Bath as well as Hadrian's Wall.

Make a illustrated bookmark and include on it a brief introduction to the novel.


Chapter Five

  1. What news did John-go-in-the-Wynd bring to Robin?
  2. Pretend that you are Robin.  Write a letter to your father describing your situation.
  3. Where is the group headed?
  4. Why do they end up spending their first night outdoors?

Vocabulary: cassock, verger, haste, pasty, saffron, faggots, rein, plodded, scudded, tethered

Enrichment: Discuss what type of research that Marguerite de Angeli must have done before writing, "The Door in the Wall"?

Write a brief biography about Marguerite de Angeli.

Design a poster for your book that could be used at a library, book fair or even by the publisher to promote sales of their book.


Chapter Six

  1. In what village is the White Hart located?
  2. Why did the friar think that the White Hart might not be a good place to stay the night?
  3. Why was it fortunate that the travellers had food in their saddlebags?
  4. What plan did Robin overhear the two ruffians discussing?
  5. How was Robin able to foil their plans?
  6. Where did the travellers end up spending the rest of the night?

Vocabulary: yonder, host, manor, peasants, ruffians, slatternly, noggins, hefty, befuddled, granary, oafs, farthing

Enrichment: Write a diary pretending you are Robin.

Write a letter to Marguerite de Angeli, the author of The Door in the Wall, suggesting that she add a new character or scene that you have created for her book.

In this book the English are portrayed as the heroes or "good guys".  Briefly research the history of the Welsh and the Scottish to understand their perspective.


Chapter Seven

  1. What town had they reached by the fourth day?
  2. Using an atlas find what river flows through both this town and London?
  3. Describe what the travellers saw and experienced at the Wychwood Bec fair.
  4. Where did the travellers spend their first night after leaving the fair?
  5. Where according to John would they be able to spend the night while travelling through the forest?
  6. Who received the travellers in the Great Hall at Castle Lindsay?
  7. Why was Robin excused from his normal duties of serving at the high table?

Vocabulary: spires, punts, barge, cavalcade, caparisoned, linger, flitted, abbey, abbot, marauding, flagons, hearth, emissaries, ruefully, coveted, domain, armory, heath, newel, belfry

Enrichment: Pretend you are the school librarian and give a book talk to your classmates.  Remember your job would be to entice the students to read the book without revealing the ending.


Chapter Eight

  1. Who is D'Ath?
  2. What was the measure of success according to Brother Luke?
  3. What is Robin constructing in woodworking and why does he require a deer to finish his project?
  4. Why were there so few people gathered to eat in the Great Hall that evening?
  5. Where did Robin go swimming each day?
  6. What games did the young people play?
  7. Describe Alan-at-Gate.
  8. What news did Adam the Yeoman relay when he burst into the Hall.
  9. Why did the townspeople head toward the castle?

Vocabulary: lingering, billowing, tapestries, retrieve, flageolet, mimicking, fording, heath, bannock, commotion, slain, treacherous, breached, swarmed

Enrichment: Construct a model castle with some of your classmates.  Be able to identify the various parts of the castle including the keep, tower, turret, dungeon, bailey, moat, portcullis, drawbridge, gatehouse, inner ward, outer ward and courtyard.

Make some puppets and present a show to your classmates from one of the chapters that you enjoyed.


Chapter Nine

  1. Why were the inhabitants of the castle forced to send for outside help?
  2. Who does Adam the Yeoman think may be willing to come to their aid?
  3. Describe Robin's escape from the castle and his journey to John-go-in-the-Wynd's cottage.
  4. How did John-go-in-the-Wynd and Robin intend to enter the town?
  5. How were Robin and John able to get up to the shoemaker's house?

Vocabulary: yeoman, catapulting, lathe, bastion,larder, dwindled,refuge, mutton, drought, retainers, smock, fidget, forge, pikes, sentry, clod, meek, hedgerow, bracken, coaxed, famished, siege, priory, jig, windlass

Enrichment: Pretend you are a minstrel and write a some a song about the story.  Set the words to some popular music of the day such as Greensleeves. Present it to the class.

Pretend you are writing for the local newspaper in town.  Write a report about the battle and subsequent results.  Think about the type of headline that would get the reader's attention.


Chapter Ten

  1. How did John signal the others that it was time to attack the Welsh invaders?
  2. Why was Brother Luke teaching Robin to sing a carol?
  3. Describe Robin's feelings when he realized his parents were approaching the castle.
  4. How does the king reward Robin for his brave deeds?
  5. Explain the significance of Brother Luke's comment to Robin indicating that Robin had found the door in the wall.

Vocabulary: sanctuary, sacristan, pickaback, hail, routed, peal, portcullis, cavity, yule, timid, tumult, dais, tutor, boar

Enrichment: The Door in the Wall is about a period in history referred to as the Middle Ages.  Write a few paragraphs highlighting what life would have been like in Britain during these times.

Make a video with your classmates about one of the chapters in the book.

Make a time line for the book.  Remember to include the important characters and events.

Write a different ending for this book.

Retell the story to some younger students.


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Copyright 2000

Created by Brian Thornton, Capo Creations, Box 1411, Haileybury, Ontario, CANADA. POJ 1KO

Not to be used or copied in any manner without specific written consent of the publisher All Rights Reserved

Click here for a complete list of the novels