Great Literature: King Arthur

Week 8: Great Literature: King Arthur


Read K – 2: King Arthur: The Sword in the Stone* by Hudson Talbott

3 – 4: King Arthur: The Sword in the Stone* by Hudson Talbott & Excalibur* by Hudson Talbott

5 – 6: King Arthur: The Sword in the Stone* by Hudson Talbott & Excalibur* by Hudson Talbott & King Arthur and the Round Table* by Hudson Talbott & Lancelot* by Hudson Talbott

7– 8: Arthur: High King of Britain** by Michael Morpurgo OR Books listed for Grades 5 – 6 (see above)

*Note:  I love these books!  They are beautifully written and illustrated.  You can flip through the first few pages of each book by clicking here:

** Note: Arthur: High King of Britain by Michael Morpurgo gives a more complete version of the tales of King Arthur. Consequently, it tells the tales of many of King Arthur’s knights. It tells of the relationship (adultery) between King Arthur’s queen, Guinievere, and his knight, Lancelot, and it tells of the sorceress, Morgan Le Fay, and the illegitimate birth of King Arthur’s son, Mordred. This book is beautifully and tastefully written, and it is written for junior high school students. However, the subject matter is for more mature students. If you are uncomfortable with this reading material, please have your 7th or 8th grader read the books listed for 5th and 6th graders.


  • Who was Arthur raised by ? (Sir Ector or Sir Egbert)
  • Who was Arthur’s foster brother? (Sir Kay)
  • Describe Kay’s personality? (boastful, liar, selfish)
  • Who was Arthur’s real father? (Uther Pendragon)
  • How did Arthur become king? (pulled a sword from a stone)
  • What great wizard put the sword in the stone and advised Arthur? (Merlin)
  • Were all the people happy to believe Arthur was the true king? (No)

Questions for Grades 3 – up:

  • What great knight did Arthur face when his sword was broken? (Pellinore)
  • Who saved Arthur from death when fighting Pellinore? (Merlin)
  • What was Excalibur? (sword)
  • Where did Arthur receive Excalibur? (from the Lady of the Lake)
  • What was more important, the sword or the scabbard? (the scabbard)
  • Why? (protected wearer from harm)

Questions for Grades 5 – up:

  • What was the name of Arthur’s true love? (Guinevere)
  • What two great gifts did Arthur receive from Leodegrance? (daughter Guinevere as queen, round table)
  • Why were knights considered as equals sitting at the round table? (no one at the head)
  • Why was Merlin against Arthur’s marriage? (foresaw trouble in his future if he married her)
  • What great knight was “the queen’s champion”? (Lancelot)
  • What great monster did Lancelot fight and defeat? (dragon)
  • Who became the mother of Lancelot’s son, Sir Galahad? (Lady Elaine)

Questions for Grades 7 – 8:

  • Who was Mordred? (Arthur’s son by his half-sister, Margawse)
  • Who was Morgan Le Fey? (half-sister of Arthur and sorceress; Arthur’s enemy)
  • What was the name of Arthur’s kingdom? (Camelot)
  • Who stole Arthur’s scabbard? (Morgan Le Fey)
  • Who was Arthur’s greatest knight and best friend during most of his kingship? (Lancelot)
  • Why did Guinevere end up being a poor choice for queen? (in love with Lancelot)
  • Which great knight began the search for the Holy Grail? (Galahad)
  • Whose son was Galahad? (Lancelot’s)
  • Why was Mordred a disappointment? (unhappy child, negative, scheming)
  • Who did Sir Gawain fight? (the Green knight)
  • What happened to the Green knight’s head? (it was cut off, but he still remained alive)
  • How did Mordred destroy Arthur’s kingdom? (exposed relationship between Lancelot & Guinevere; later fought against Arthur to kill him)
  • Did Mordred survive? (no)
  • What happened to Excalibur? (thrown back into the lake)
  • Why do you think the King Arthur stories have remained so popular for so long? (answers will vary)


K – 3: Draw your own picture of a scene from the King Arthur story you read.

4 – 6: What King Arthur story did you enjoy the most? Why? Which character from the King Arthur stories do you find most interesting? Why? Write the answers to both of these questions in paragraph form.

7 – 8: Write a 5 paragraph, 3 proof essay on one of the following topics:

    • Your favorite King Arthur story (which one and why)
    • 3 Favorite characters from the tales of King Arthur
    • Why are the King Arthur stories still popular today?

Copyright August 5th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette

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Filed under Charlotte Mason, Dark & Middle Ages

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