Macaulay, D. (1973) Cathedral: The story of its construction. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company
Based off of the title of this book, I assumed that this text would give us information about how a cathedral was constructed. Although I was right in my predictions, I thought that this book was quite interesting. To be honest, during the first 10 pages of the book, I was struggling to read it; however, as I continued the book was very interesting because it described just how a cathedral in Europe (particularly France) may have been built in the 1200s.
I have never read a book like this, but I thought that the illustrations were very in-depth, and for me the illustrations brought the book more to life than the book. In my opinion, this book’s illustrations make the book interesting, and without them it would be entirely too hard for me to read.
When reading this book to students, I think that I would first preface the book as an informational text (which is what it is) and ask them to pay attention to the details and the workmanship that the people who built this cathedral put into making it so wonderful. By prefacing this book in that way, I think students can appreciate how difficult it was to create such a magnificent piece of architecture.
My opinion of this book (as I mentioned earlier) is that the illustrations make the description of this book much more appealing. This book mainly describes how a cathedral was built over 800 years ago, and many students may not have even seen a building that old in their lives, yet. To be able to explain the craftwork and determination to create this church is something I think is the most important aspect of this book.
Part Four (7th Grade)
Know: What do you know about building large buildings?
Think: What do you think would be the most difficult thing about building such a large building in more than 800 years ago? Economically, contextually, religiously?
Want to know: What did you learn in this book that made you want to research something further?
Lesson Objective: After reading Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction, students will build their own Gothic style cathedral using only three types of material/mixed media.
For this activity, students will be given the creative license to build a scale model cathedral of their own, using only three types of material. Students can use virtually any material (but they must use three types, no more, and no less). Once the student creates their own replica of a cathedral they will write their step-by-step method of how they created their replica.