Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!

 Schlitz, L., & Byrd, R. (2011). Good masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a medieval village (2nd pbk. ed.). Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.

This collection of vignettes is a rendition of stories from every member of the village, from the lord's daughter, to the miller's son, to the village tanner.  They are all beautifully written, but none are exempt from the details that display the rash reality that each character lives during the Medieval Ages.  There is also a variety in style as each tale is written.  Some are told in a more friendly tone, whether it's through poetry or with a partner.  Others are told in a more complicated verse for older readers.  Schlitz also incorporates background information to clarify and expand on certain stories.

Teachers, this is a dream come true! I thought of English IV, which focuses on English literature, but it can easily be introduced to students in elementary and middle school as well.  You can create activities like dramatic readings, character analysis, reading for enjoyment, or character of the week.

Parents can take this a step further and actually play dress up and talk about each character's actions and thoughts.  The stories are short enough to where parents can engage younger readers and talk about their lives in an interactive way.