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Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman

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1 Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman

2 Table of Contents 1 – Guest Speaker Notes 2 – Chapter worksheet
4 – Chapter 1, The Dung Heap, Questions 5 – Chapter 2, The Cat, Questions 6 – Chapter 3, The Midwife, Questions 7 – Chapter 4, The Miller’s Wife 8 – Attribute Web #2 (blue paper) 9 – Character Traits and Textual Evidence (yellow paper) 10– Chapter 5, The Merchant 11– Chapter 6, The Naming 12 – Review Summary 13 – Chapter 7, The Devil

3 14 – Chapter 8 – The Twins 15 – Chapter 9 – The Bailiff’s Wife’s Baby 16 – Chapter activity 17 – Chapter activity 18 – Chapter 10 – The Boy 19 – Chapter 11 –The Leaving 20 – Chapter 12 – The Inn 21 – Chapter 13 – Visitors 22 – Chapter 14 &15 – The Manor & Edward 23 – Chapter 16 – The Baby 24 – Chapter 17 – The Midwife’s Apprentice 25 – Author’s Notes

4 13 – Chapter 8 – The Twins 14 – Chapter 9 – The Bailiff’s Wife’s Baby 15 – Review Summary 16 – Chapter 10 – The Boy 17 – Chapter activity 18 – Chapter activity 19 – Chapter 11 –The Leaving 20 – Chapter 12 – The Inn 21 – Chapter 13 – Visitors 22 – Chapter 14 &15 – The Manor & Edward 23 – Chapter 16 – The Baby 24 – Chapter 17 – The Midwife’s Apprentice 25 – Author’s Notes

5 The Dung Heap 1 – Why is the chapter titled “The Dung Heap?” What is the importance to the story? 2 – Describe the main character. How does she look? What are her names? How did she get the three different names? 3 - What happens to Brat at the end of the chapter?

6 The Cat 1 – Why didn’t Beetle feed the frozen nest of mice to the cat?
2 – How did the town boys treat the cat? 3 – Compare how the cat and Beetle are similar. 4 – What is important or significant about the cat and Beetle’s relationship?

7 The Midwife 1 – Tell what chores Beetle does for Jane Sharp.
2 – Why did the villagers get angry with Jane? On whom did they take it out? 3 – How did Beetle deliberately begin to pick up some midwifery skills?

8 The Miller’s Wife What food items became plentiful in the midwife’s cottage that summer? Where did they come from and why? How did Beetle solve the mystery of the excess food? Describe Beetle’s first experience as a midwife. Who was it for? How did it go?

9 The Merchant Why couldn’t Jane Sharp attend the Saint Swithin’s Day Fair as planned? How did Beetle react to being told she must go in Jane’s place to the fair? What did Beetle have to buy? What else did she acquire? How / why? A number of positive events happened to Beetle at the fair. What were they? Why does Beetle choose to rename herself Alyce?

10 The Naming How does everyone react to Beetle’s new name? Explain the situations. What does Beetle name the cat and why? What predicament does Alyce help Will Russet out of at the end of chapter 6?

11 The Devil How was Alyce treated in the village after she saved Will? Examples How did Alyce become aware of how the villagers spent their time? What phenomenon appeared within the village that fall? What activities were revealed by the presence of the strange footprints? What did Alyce throw into the river after the baker’s wife discovered her husband’s folly?

12 The Twins Why was Will calling out from the pit to Alyce?
Why did Will tell Alyce she had brought him great luck? What did the villagers notice about Alyce in the late fall of that year?

13 The Bailiff’s Wife’s Baby
How did Alyce startle the town boys when she saw them teasing the cat? Why did Jane desert Joan, the bailiff`s wife, during her labor? How was Alyce able to help Joan along her delivery? How does the bailiff respond to Jane when she returns for her fee?

14 The Boy How did Alyce begin to learn more of the midwife’s skills?
When Alyce goes to visit Tansy’s calves, what does she find? Where does Alyce send Edward and why?

15 The Leaving Why did Emma Blunt request Alyce to deliver her baby?
How did Emma Blunt’s delivery go? How did Alyce react to her inability to deliver Emma’s baby? Where did Alyce go?

16 The Inn Whom did Alyce become fascinated with watching at the inn?
How does Alyce learn to recognize letters and words? How does Alyce answer Magister Reese’s question, “Inn girl, what do you want?”

17 Visitors What two familiar visitors come to the inn that spring?
How did Alyce react to the visitors? What information did Jane Sharp share with Magister Reese that Alyce overheard?

18 The Manor & Edward Are Edward and Alyce really related? Why did Edward tell the cook that they were? In what way did Alyce learn the lesson of the “mighty distance between what one imagines and what is” when she traveled to the manor? What chore did Alyce volunteer to do while visiting Edward at the manor? What does Alyce see in her reflection in the river? What is the symbolism between washing the lamb and Alyce?

19 The Baby What does the prosperous-looking man claim is his wife’s ailment (illness)? What actually is the woman’s condition? How does Alyce help the situation? After the ordeal that night, what does Alyce do and why?

20 The Midwife’s Apprentice
What three offers does Alyce get that June from people she knows at the inn? What does Alyce decide she must do? When Alyce returns to Jane’s the first time,what is Jane’s response? What does Alyce say to Jane the second time that gets her to open her door and let her and the cat in?

21 Author’s Notes In medieval England was midwifery an honorable profession? Why or why not? What three things were the mainstays of medieval midwifery?

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