Novel Study: Word to Caesar

WORD TO CAESAR
by Geoffrey Trease

OBJECTIVES:  students will . . .
• participate in a novel read aloud in class
• increase their knowledge of vocabulary
• know more about ancient Roman culture
• be able to identify key details in a novel
• be able to connect a novel to real life
• improve their writing skills

LOGISTICS
1. Read the novel aloud in class with students reading aloud all then non-narrator parts.
2. Before each chapter (except the first), present the vocabulary and predict what will happen.
3.  After each chapter, identify key traits of the characters, the setting, the style and the plot.
4. After each chapter, allow time to take notes using the guide.
5. At the end of the novel, give a test for which students may use their notes.
8. At the end of the novel, create a booklet which includes neatly completed copies of all the written assignments.

ASSESSMENT
1. Participation while novel is read aloud
2. Participation in class discussions
3. Completion of written assignments
4. Completion of written test
5. Completion of final project

A NOVEL STUDY

a vocabulary list for each chapter
a one sentence summary of each chapter
20 examples of alliteration
20 similes or metaphors
20 examples of appositives
10 examples of foreshadowing
10 examples of humour with explanations
10 passages that are true to life today
a map of Paul’s journey
2 research sheets on Roman history
a paragraph comparing Julia and Matidia
an informal essay comparing yourself to Paul
a test

A PREVIEW OF THE TEST

1. Matching questions on vocabulary

2. Multiple choice questions on style, setting, plot and characterization

3. An essay question about your connection to the novel:
(You will choose one topic on which to write a 5-paragraph essay.)
Life today is, in some ways, similar to life in ancient Rome.
I have met people who are like some of the characters in the novel.
I, like Paul, have changed my views about life.
I, like Paul, have felt a sense of obligation towards others.

ASSESSMENT
• Participation while novel is read aloud.
• Participation in class discussions.
• Completion of written assignments.
• Completion of written test.
• Completion of final project.

WORD TO CAESAR CHAPTER ONE
VOCABULARY

Neatly write out the words and their definitions.

bangles
bracken
breeches
chamber
crags
daubed
depot
dwelling
emperor
fells
fingering
flicked
garrison
gratuity
haft
moor
naught
particoloured
pass
ragged
ramparts
rations
roved
searing
sentries
slack
tartan
well-trodden

• moved abruptly and suddenly
• soldiers who stand guard
• walls or embankments designed to protect a fort or castle
• relaxed, not following the rules
• wandered
• a place from where soldiers are sent out to other places
• steep rugged cliff
• pension money
• food supply for an army
• open rolling fields, like a hilly prairie
• head of the Roman Empire
• people on an army base
• wild ferns
• hills
• feeling something with one’s fingers
• bracelets
• handle
• burning
• walked on frequently enough to create a visible pathway
• a type of cloth
• nothing
• having different bright colours in different sections
• a lower area between two mountains
• worn
• painted in streaks
• trousers
• room
• living

World Book Online: Take Home Quiz
Read various artlcles related to ‘Word to Caesar’ and take notes.

Hadrian
1. Year of birth:
2. Year of death:
3. Cause of fame:  R_______ e____________
4. Key contributions:
a. a___________ to the Roman p____________
b. o______________ Roman law into a u_________ c_______
c. completed many b_____________ projects
5. Country of birth:
6. Guardian: ______________ , who became emperor when Hadrian was _______ years old
7. Became emperor himself when he was _________ years old
8. Interests:
a. p_________
b. a______________
c. G_______ c__________
9. His reign is known as being generally p_________________
Citation:

Virgil
1. Year of birth:
2. Year of death:
3. Cause of fame:
4. Most famous work:
5. Country of birth:
6. His works:
a. Eclogues tell about the lives of _______________
b. Georgics five advice to ________ but also show how ___________
started with f_________ and celebrate Italian ____________
c. Aenid, which is based on the _________ and the ___________
7. His influence:
a. writing used as t______________
b. in the Middle Ages, influenced D_______ Aligheiri
c. in the Renaissance, influenced P________ , John M___________
and John D___________
d. in the 1800’s, he influenced William W_______________
Citation:

WORD TO CAESAR CHAPTER TWO
VOCABULARY

Neatly write out the words and their definitions.

arsenal
comrade
din
flanks
flounder
fortnight
hasty
granaries
legion
peninsula
presently
quay
ravenously
rigging
spur
toga
trudged
tussocky
vital

• bumpy, grassy field
• two weeks
• building for storing grain
• march slowly and tiredly
• ropes used for sails on ships
• noise
• a group of Roman soldiers
• a wharf where ships may dock
• Roman clothing that drapes
• lively
• very hungrily
• land surrounded by water on 3 sides
• a sharp incentive to do something
• sides
• quick
• someone with whom one works
• in a while
• a place to store weapons
• struggle or start to fail

Start copying out examples of figures of speech.
1. Alliteration
“I had got my breath and my brain was clearing” (p. 17)
“There were a hundred hidden mountain trails… (p. 19).

2. Similes and Metaphors
“I caught the wink of metal in the sun” (p. 19).
“They could see me too, a beetle-like dot creeping along…” (p. 19).

Start copying out examples of appositives.
“Somehow I floundered through and dragged myself, gasping, on the other bank” (p. 16).
“I had been to Ravenglass once, about ten days before, when Father let me ride down with the supply-party” (p. 20).

 

WORD TO CAESAR: CHAPTER TWO
Use numbers to show the best sequence of sentences within each paragraph.

_1_ In Word to Caesar, by Geoffrey Trease, Paul shows an ability to persist in the
face of difficulties.
___ He doesn’t give up when fleeing to Ravenglass.
___ He is learning is be a good Roman and do his duty.
___ He doesn’t give up when the barbarians attack Hardknot.
___ Paul has the virtue of perseverance.

_1_ Paul does not succumb to fear when Hardknot is attacked.
___ Paul certainly shows courage while escaping Hardknot.
___ He stays still in the pool, even when a dead soldier’s leg is bumping against
him because he knows if he panics, he could be caught by the barbarians.
___ He wants to stay with injured Gito even though it will probably mean he,
himself, will die.
___ He tries to go and fight the raiders, even though he is very much afraid.
___ He thinks clearly enough to pick up a spear to use as a weapon before leaving
the bath house.

_1_ Paul doesn’t give up on the journey to Ravenglass, either.
___ Despite injuries, Paul has the courage to keep going, to keep staggering
onward until his body collapses.
___ He keeps going even after crossing through an icy river.
___ He reports what has happened to some officers, and then runs alongside a
soldier on horseback, hanging on to the edge of a blanket to help him keep
up the quick pace needed to get to Ravenglass on time.
___ Paul definitely is not a person to give up easily.
___ When he sees the raiders approaching, he even starts running.

_1_ Paul tries to behave like a Roman and soldier.
___ He tries to march along the road to Ravenglass as quickly as a soldier (p. 18).
___ He says to himself if he’s old enough to hunt, he’s old enough to fight (p. 13).
___   He says that he is willing to stay and die like a soldier next to Gito (p. 14).
___ Paul strongly shows that he has a clear concept of doing his duty.
___ His father was a soldier and Paul keeps his heritage in mind as he faces danger.

___ But will it be enough?
___ Paul has the virtue of perseverance.
_3_ Will he survive?

WORD TO CAESAR CHAPTER THREE
VOCABULARY

Neatly write out the words and their definitions.

absurd
appalling
backwater
benighted
blessed
bucketed
bulwarks
draught
fashion
forked
fringe
fumes
furthermost
hitherto
maunder
mew
muster
nymph
outlandish
pall
procession
recline
regimental
retort
rightly
tag
weld
wits

• moved back and forth and
up and down like a bucking horse
• British spelling of draft; a breeze
• something that covers
• awful
• edge
• a wall acting as a defence
• until now
• beautiful young woman
• thoughts
• come together
• the sound of a seagull
• ignorant or unenlightened
• slowly wander in thoughts or speech
• a short section of a memorized poem
• scent rising from something warm
• lean back
• strange, as from a faraway land
• favoured
• moving forward in a row
• a way of doing things
• a place where not much happens
• as far as one can go
• sudden and sharp reply
• bind together
• divided in two at a junction
• properly, as should be done
• belonging to a group of soldiers
• ridiculous or silly

World Book Online: Take Home Quiz
Read various artlcles related to ‘Word to Caesar’ and take notes.
ENGLAND
I. Look in the yellow column on the left.
A. Find the section on ‘History’.
B. Look below it for the section on ‘The Roman conquest’; click on it.
II. Notes
A. Julius Caesar
1. crossed the __________ Channel in ______ B.C.
2. returned the next year with an ________
3. defeated some of the _______ tribes
4. returned to __________
B. Claudius
1. ordered ________ armies to invade ___________
2. in the year ________ A.D.
3. soldiers conquered the tribes in the ____________
4. conquered a revolt by Queen ____________ in ____ A.D.
5. conquered all of _________ England in the ______
6. never conquered _____________
C. Building
1. the Romans built _____ and ___________
2. built ________ to connect places
3. the most famous road started at the English Channel
town of D_______ and ran to C_________
4. built ______ and ________ to keep out people in Scotland
5. the most famous wall was named after Emperor _________
6. it was built in the _________
D. Influence of Romans
1. the roads helped to create for buying or selling, or t_____
2. to camps were the beginnings of t__________
3. Londinium started to become an important ____________
4. the religon of ______________ arrived
III. Copy the citation line at the bottom of the article:

WORD TO CAESAR: CHAPTER THREE
Use numbers to show the best sequence of sentences within each paragraph.

_1_ Even after only three chapters, it is clear to see that Word to Caesar is
an excellently written novel.
___ This novel is both informative and interesting.
___ The author, Geoffrey Trease, sets the scene by describing the setting.
___ Finally, he shows us what it was like to live in ancient Roman times.
___ He employs a lot of action to keep readers interested.

_1_ The author uses lots of details to show us what ancient Britain looked like.
___ He describes the misty, cold weather so well that readers can almost feel it.
___ Trease uses powerful language to set the scene.
___ He tells about the peaks, the crags, the “fells” or hills, the high waterfalls
and the icy river winding through the “dale” or valley.
_2_ He describes the scenery of northern Britain.

_1_ The author also uses a lot of action to keep readers interested.
___ Trease keeps readers in suspense through the use of action.
___ He shows Paul talking with the girl, Barbara.
___ He vividly describes his rescue by Severus, a Roman poet visiting Britain.
___ He shows Paul running, desperately, from the armed barbarians.
___ He shows Paul hiding in the bath house from the raiders.

_1_ The author, finally, gives us lots of clues about life in ancient times.
___ Readers can learn about ancient times just by reading this novel.
___ The duties of a Roman citizen are mentioned in chapter two.
___ Even the literature of ancient Rome is quoted in chapter three.
___ The customs of a Roman fort are described in chapter one.

_1_ Word to Caesar is a great book.
___ The setting is well-described.
___ Geoffrey Trease sure did a great job in writing this novel.
___ Life in ancient times is revealed.
___ The action is quick-paced.

WORD TO CAESAR CHAPTER FOUR AND FIVE
VOCABULARY

Neatly write out the words and their definitions.

colonnades
crude
disdainful
dowry
gilt
hankering
hard-headed
prattling
punctured
queer
recline
roved
ruddy
stoked
trifles
uncouth
villa
vineyard

• rude or uncivilized
• a series of columns joined by an entablature
• money or goods paid to the groom by the family of the bride
• swearing or vulgar language
or something rough and unfinished
• unusual
• talking on and on about unimportant things without listening to others
• lean back
• wanting something
• reddish
• covered with a gold-covered finish
• a field of grape vines
• roamed
• to stir or add fuel to a fire
• a superior attitude that thinks others are inferior
• stubborn
• large home with open verandas looking onto beautiful scenery
• pushed through to create a hole
• little or unimportant things

WORD TO CAESAR: CHAPTER 4
Number the sentences in each paragraph to show the best sequence.

___ Paul is not unlike teenagers today.
___ He, nevertheless, shows his youth in numerous ways.
_1_ Paul, in Word to Caesar by Geoffrey Trease, is in some similar to teenagers
today.
___ He wants to be considered an adult and, in some ways, does behave like an adult.
___ He doesn’t always do as he’s told.

___ He disobeys his father and becomes friends with a native northerner, Barbara.
___ Paul sometimes goes his own way and doesn’t do what is expected of him.
___ He sneaks into the bath house at Hardknot despite knowing his father would
disapprove.
_1_ Paul doesn’t always do as he’s told.

___ He is ready to fight the raiders as he comes out of the bath house in the
first chapter.
___ Paul clearly shows that he want to do his duty as an adult Roman citizen.
___ He is willing to stay with Gito, even if it means his death.
_1_ Paul is very responsible, though, much of the time.
___  He struggles against pain and exhaustion to reach Ravenglass and warn the
soldiers of the barbarian attack.

_4_ He is unable to imagine any way of life being good unless it is the Roman life
to which he is accustomed.
___ He is certain he will never want to be friends with any girls ever again since
he is sure Barbara must have betrayed him.
_1_ Paul isn’t an adult, though, and that is revealed in small ways.
___ Paul inadvertently reveals his youth in various small ways.
___ He freely tells Barbara all about the security measures at Hardknot without
considering the possible consequences.

___ Paul, a character created by Geoffry Trease,  is a typical teenager.
___ He, nevertheless, sometimes shows great maturity.
_1_ In Word to Caesar, the main character shows that his much like modern
teenagers.
___However, his youth is revealed by his thinking patterns.
___ He isn’t always obedient.

WORD TO CAESAR CHAPTER SIX AND SEVEN
VOCABULARY

Neatly write out the words and their definitions.

aghast
blandly
cauldron
conjured
discreet
doggerel
dumbfounded
estate
exile
fair
flanking
furtive
glimmering
mirthful
mission
query
racketeers
ranks
sketching
scribe
scribbling
shoddy
southward
spineless
testimonial
treason

• faintly lit
• piece of property
• poorly written poetry
• writing
• someone who writes something down for others
• poorly or cheaply made
• goal
• good or polished or attractive
• quiet or unobtrusive or unnoticable
• a very big pot
• people who make money illegally by cheating other people
• funny or humorous
• found on either side of something
• created like magic
• series or groups
• made to live away from the group;
similar to ‘expelled’
• to betray someone or something
• so astonished that one cannot think of anything to say
• horrified
• without self-discipline or self-control
• a letter saying that one believes a person or product is of great value
• question
• without regard for others
• making rough, undetailed plans
• sneaky  – towards the south

WORD TO CAESAR: CHAPTERS 8-10 VOCABULARY

Neatly write out the words and their definitions.

accession
apt
barbaric
beacon
calculated
colleague
currencies
draught
damsel
forking
Gaul
inquisitive
menagerie
mere
pointedly
palm
papyrus
reckon
recoil
resume
spectacle
swab
taint
taut
titanic
vanity
venture
• not tactfully

• designed
• rise to power or
taking up a position of power
• someone with whom one works
• take back or start again
• take and quickly hide in one’s hand
• uncivilized
• types of money from various places
e.g. Cdn. dollar, British pound
• huge
• British spelling for ‘draft’, a wind
• dividing
a light for people faraway to see
• move out into another area
• interested or curious
• estimate
• tight
• pull back suddenly in distaste or fear
• young woman
• mop or wipe with something absorbent on the end of a stick
• insignificant amount
• a type of paper
• stain
• likely or probably
• something extraordinary to watch
• the area now known as France or someone who comes from that area
• a collection of animals
• unwarranted pride

WORD TO CAESAR: CHAPTERS 11-14 VOCABULARY

Neatly write out the words and their definitions.

a lift
addressing
brandishing
chivied
clambering
fairweather
fresh
friend
gained
grave
keen
petition
provincial
rigging
score
valet
vapour-bath
veer
vessel
vestibule
waning
wantonly
well versed
• climbing

• sharp
• nagged, scolded or chased after
• new
• solemn or serious
• a ride in a vehicle driven by someone else
• steam room
• twenty or a euphemism for ‘many’
• letter asking for something
• someone only around for good times
• entranceway or lobby in a building
• ship or boat
• unsophisticated
• a servant who helps with clothing
• carelessly, wastefully or cruelly
• got to, achieved, reached
• holding out in a threatening way
• talking to
• suddenly turn in a new direction
• ropes holding up the sails on a ship
• knowledgeable  – coming to an end

WORD TO CAESAR: CHAPTERS 15-18 VOCABULARY

Neatly write out the words and their definitions.

ample
aqueduct
brazen
byway
chamber
cluster
curtly
eloquent
foresee
grimy
gusto
innumerable
inquisitive
manifold
nettled
perils
plunge
portly
receding
scheme
sordid
sundry
trudging

• dirty or shameful
• bold, in a rude way
• room
• a group sticking together
• enough or more than enough
• manmade channels carrying water
• abruptly, without friendliness
• fall or jump in
• secretive plan
• dangers
• going back or disappearing from view
• predict
• irritated
• very many
• street
• impressive with words
• various or assorted
• enthusiasm
• walking or marching tiredly
• curious
• dirty
• fat (used for men only)
• more than can be counted

ONE-SENTENCE SUMMARIES

Start with a basic sentence for each chapter, and then elaborate. (Tip: use appositives.)
Here are some basic sentences to help you get started:

1. Paul escapes.
2. Paul is saved.
3. Paul learns more about Severus.
4. Paul and Severus arrive in Bath.
5. Paul decides not to marry Julia.
11.  Paul arrives in Rome.   E.g.: Paul, after battling a black-maned lion aboard the stormed-tossed ship, arrives in Rome, a beautiful bustling city, and finds a room to rent.
12. Paul searches for Hadrian.

 

COLLECT EVIDENCE FROM THE NOVEL

FORESHADOWING (10)
Complete the sentences that explain the quotations.

“She knew just what was going to happen in the morning (p. 1).
This shows that something is going to happen, something ….

“’Nothing ever happens at Hardknot.’ I only wish to Heaven he had been right” (p. 3).
This shows that something is going to happen, something ….

TRUE TO LIFE TODAY (10)
Complete the sentences that explain the quotations.

1. “I learnt soon enough that there’s no bigger fool than a boy when there’s a girl willing to sit quiet and listen to him boasting and laying down the law” (p. 4)
Even today, sometimes boys…

2. “There is something about darkness. It helps one to talk more freely about the things that matter most” (p. 68)
Even today, it is sometimes easier to have difficult conversations if one doesn’t have to look at the other person…..

METAPHORS AND SIMILES (20)

1. “…she had a certain talent for hitting the nail on the head” (p. 59)

ALLITERATION (20)

1. “Fumes of warm wine drifted up my nostrils” (p. 29)

2. “Some could be bribed, some blackmailed” (p. 71)

APPOSITIVES (20)

“I had been to Ravenglass once,about ten days before, when Father let me ride down with the supply party” (p. 20)

HUMOUR (10)

“…Matidia kept up a non-stop flow of talk, largely composed of questions which she never waited to have answered” (p. 51).

On the lines, it means that

Between the lines, it means that

“She showed a certain glue-like tendency,…” (p. 59).

On the lines, it means that

Between the lines, it means that

“There would be no hurry about a wedding. You would have that to look forward to!” (p. 65).

On the lines, it means that

Between the lines, it means that

Write a comparison paragraph:  Julia and Tonia

Julia and Tonia, in Word to Caesar by Geoffrey Trease, are two very different characters. While Julia ________________________ , Tonia _____________________________________________ . While Julia ________________________ , Tonia ________________________ _______________ .  Julia ________________________ . On the other hand, Tonia _______________________________________ .  Julia _______________________________________________. In contrast, ____________________________________ . Both characters have a few features in common: they are both ______-__________________ and both ______________________________. But, on the whole, these two girls are not at all alike.

 WRITE AN EXPOSITORY INFORMAL ESSAY

READ THIS PASSAGE FROM  Word to Caesar.
“”I am a poet,’ said Severus, ‘and a poet prefers the adventures of the mind.’
“’At the moment, sir, I feel rather like that myself.’” (p. 48)

In Word to Caesar, by Geoffrey Trease, two ways of experiencing life are portrayed. The first is through direct experience or action. The second is through thought or reflection. The poet Severus says he prefers “the adventures of the mind” (p. 48). In contrast, the protagonist Paul generally prefers physical activity. I, myself, have enjoyed both types of adventures in life.
I have enjoyed life vicariously through books and movies. Some that have taken me to other places and times include _______________________ and _______________________. They have shown me different ways of life and different problems people face in this world. For example, in _________, the protagonist _________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
In ___________________, the protagonist _______________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
I have also enjoyed adventures in real life. I have gone on vacations and played sports that allowed me to experience life quite directly. For example,
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
Like Paul in Word to Caesar, I have had adventures of the mind and through direct experience. Both can be fun. My preference is for _________________
________________________________________________________ .

Name _______________
Div. _______
Word to Caesar: A Test

A. Match the characters to the descriptions.                / 10
1. Paul        __ a self-important girl who wants to marry Paul
2. Severus        __ a secretary who transcribes Severus’s poems
3. Veranius        __ the head of a gang of crooks
4. Tonia        __ a Roman writer in exile
5. Julia        __ a bossy mother
6. Matidia        __ a British estate owner wiithout a son
7. Barbara        __ a famous charioteer
8. Theodore        __ an orphaned teenager
9. Calvus        __  the daughter of a writer
10. Manlius        __  a girl from the tribes of northern Britain

B. Match the words to the definitions.                    / 25
__ ample
__ appalling
__ beacon
__ brandishing
__ byway
__ clambering
__ currencies
__ eloquent
__ forked
__ gilt
__ grave
__ inquisitive
__ reckon
__ recline
__ taint
__ taut
__ trifles
__ uncouth
__ venture
__ vessel
__ vestibule
__ vineyard
__ wantonly
__ weld
__ well-versed

1. awful
2. climbing
3. build or bring together into one
4. covered with a gold-coloured finish
5. urious or interested
6. divided in two at a junction
7. entranceway or lobby
8. field of grape vines
9. guess, figure out or think
10. holding out in a threatening way
11. impressive with words
12. knowledgeable
13. lean back
14. light for faraway people to see
15. little or unimportant things
16. more than enough
17. move out into a new area
18. road
19. rude or uncivilized
20. serious
21. ship or container for liquid
22. stain
23. tight
24. money from different places
25. wastefully

C. Sequence the events in correct order.                    / 10
__ Paul runs away from Fort Hardknot.
__ Paul meets Tonia at her father’s estate.
__ Paul runs along an aquaduct to get away from chasing dogs.
__ Paul visits Veranius’s estate in Bath.
__ Paul escapes from a house and falls into a river.
__ Paul talks to Barbara.
__ Paul is rescued by Severus.
__ Paul encounters a lion on board a ship.
__ Severus asks Paul to take a letter to Rome.
__ Paul sneaks into a wealthy estate to find evidence to free Severus.

D. Classify the quotations.                            / 10
alliteration        appositive        simile        metaphor
1. _____________ …lightly as a cat… p. 141
2. _____________…as we reached the rockstrewn fringe of the river. p. 14
3. _____________ …rattling and bouncing like marbles…  p. 139
4. _____________ Behind me the Esk boiled and foamed over the rocks. p. 15
5. _____________ After that point, however many troubles pile up, the brain just does not respond. p. 38
6. _____________ At least I was of free blood, no sidling slave. p. 32
7. _____________ Fresh air flowed into the room. p. 122
8. _____________ Barefoot, my boots still slung around my neck… p. 126
9. _____________ Yet up here, under the roof, I had my own… p. 151
10. _____________ Out of the bushes they came, fawn streaks of murder… p. 246

E. Write an essay.                                 / 20
Choose one of the following sentences and write a 3-5 paragraph essay giving evidence for your point of view.
1. Life today is, in some ways, similar to life in ancient Rome.
2. I have met people who are like some of the characters in the novel.
3. I, like Paul, have changed my views about life.
4. I, like Paul, have felt a sense of obligation towards others.

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