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The Ramsay Scallop Medieval Unit Study

Updated on October 6, 2013

The Ramsay Scallop - A Medieval Unit Study

The Ramsay Scallop by Frances Temple provides the basis for our next unit study. Set during the Middle Ages, the Ramsay Scallop tells the tale of two young nobles who are betrothed to each other. Eleanor is 14 and Thomas is 21. Thomas has been away on a Crusade for the past 8 years and the story begins as they reunite as strangers who learn to become friends as they learn to take on the responsibilities of Lord and Lady, knowing that some day they will marry.

The Ramsay Scallop is also a tale of travel and wonder, learning and discovery, and acquiring knowledge of the world beyond their village. While Eleanor and Thomas are getting to know each other, they are also going on a pilgrimage from England, through France and Spain taking the sins of their people to Santiago de Compostela. Along the way we are introduced to life in the Middle Ages through their eyes.

Along the Pilgrim Way, Eleanor and Thomas get to know many people of many classes and professions. Gradually they get to know each other as well.

Come join Thomas and Eleanor on the pilgrimage. Step back in time to explore life in the Middle Ages...

Photo Credit: Medieval Boy Running

on WPClipart

Medieval Language Arts

Medieval Scribe

Available at Allposters

The Ramsay Scallop is written with high level vocabulary and is intended to be read by young teens. As a read aloud, it can be understood and enjoyed by a much wider age range making it ideal for homeschoolers. Use the Ramsey Scallop Medieval Unit Study as a theme, explored by children of all ages with activities and projects that bring deeper understanding in a fun, hands-on exploration.

Keep a post-it pad on hand and be on the lookout for words you might not yet know or use often. Write each word on a separate paper and post on a wall in the bathroom. Challenge yourselves to use these words often to increase your vocabulary.

"Thomas rested his chin on top of the Brat's head and resisted an impulse to scratch her scalp."

Quotes from The Ramsay Scallop

Each chapter in The Ramsay Scallop provides intriguing concepts to be explored through discussion. Here are some quotes that you might choose to use:

Chapter 3

Eight years stood impenetrable between them.

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned

Chapter 4

Taking up the scallop shell.

Chapter 5

The road is one place you can find out about change. P. 46

Chapter 7

My friends were lightly sown. The wind has lightly blown them away. P.66

Chapter 9

What happened to Eleanor when it says that she sailed up out of the clouds, saw rabbits, gnomes and goblins etc. p. 89

Chapter 10

Thou shalt not steal. P.94 Practice the letter S as Eleanor did. How many fancy ways can you find to write the letter s?

Chapter 11

The square filled with strollers. P. 96 What does "strollers" mean in this sense?

His friendliness seemed glossy and wide flung. P.96

Thomas rested his chin on top of the Brat's had and resisted an impulse to scratch her scalp. P. 98

Settle up with the innkeeper. P. 98

Tower of Saint James in Paris - where pilgrims bound for Santiago gathered, were blessed and sped south.

Ramsay Scallop as prep for SAT's - SAT Prep

Written for young adults, Ramsay Scallop, is full of high level vocabulary words that help prepare children for the SAT's and college level reading.

Here is a sample of the vocabulary words found in just the first chapter.

The Ramsay Scallop
The Ramsay Scallop

Chapter 1 Vocabulary for the Ramsay Scallop













As homeschoolers we love to read aloud to each other. These are some of our favorite novels for learning about Medieval Times. By reading aloud, younger children or those with lower reading levels can share common knowledge and share in the excitement of this unit study.

A Medieval Feast (Reading Rainbow Books)
A Medieval Feast (Reading Rainbow Books)

Gorgeous illustrations inspire creation of your own Medieval Feast and festival.

The Midwife's Apprentice
The Midwife's Apprentice

Learn about the life of a midwife during the Middle Ages.

The Canterbury Tales: A Selection (Penguin Classics)
The Canterbury Tales: A Selection (Penguin Classics)

What stories might have been told on a pilgrimage during the Middle Ages?

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

A tale of knights and dragons.


Medieval Math

Though not written about Middle Ages, the story of The Clock, which takes place in 1802, is a wonderful read aloud promoting discussions ways of seeing time before clocks existed. It takes place during the transition time as clocks start to come into people's homes and lives. Reading this book helps us understand the way people looked at time during Medieval Times.

What was math used for in the Middle Ages? How did they tell time?

Timing cooking by smell.

Castle to Thornburg Manor - a few hours walk

Telling time by a man's life and building a castle p.72

Bells of Rhymney Song for telling time

Timing by the seasons, when things bloomed,

Money - half penny, bartering

Measurement - barrels

Counting sheep

Continue the medieval theme set forth in The Ramsay Scallop with Sir Cumference and learn about shapes. Each of those shapes has angles. Use a protractor to discover the angles of the shapes described int Sir Cumference and the Round Table. How to those shapes and angles compare to the angles and shapes found in pattern blocks?

Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens: A Math Adventure
Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens: A Math Adventure

Learn place value by dividing the guests to the medieval castle into groups of 10's, 100's, and 1000's.


Medieval Social Studies

Medieval Unit Study

Exploring the lives of People during the Middle Ages

We learn of the forms of government, ways of growing and cooking foods, clothing and clothing production, architecture and building construction, art, music and entertainment, wild animals, domesticated animals and pets.

Medieval Science

Become Familiar with the world of Eleanor and Thomas

Learn about the Physical world and the Biological life found in Medieval Europe


Wood, energy consumption, deforestation, cutting and splitting, stacking and drying wood, types of wood, hard and soft wood, recognizing types of trees from their shapes, leaves and bark. Uses of various species of trees.



Torch, candles, darkness p.83

Dip candles, render fat from meat, tallow,

Shadows, circle of light, firelight vs. lightbulbs, fear of eclipses

Construction - Physical Science

Keystone - sensory table p.89 - flying buttresses - building a castle

Ropes and pulleys p. 87, treadmill


Water trough, make the water run through, - sensory table

Five Senses


Wet wool

Wild chives


Rhythm of the seasons.

Food running out in Spring. Dandelions.

Wild plum trees

Death and childbirth in Medieval Times.- birds and bees, fear of childbirth

Threshing the sheaves, winnowing, plowing, planting


Pet cats and dogs

Cheese making

Learn how to curdle milk and make cottage cheese

Sample cheeses


Bread making

Set up a bread making station with flour, water, yeast and salt.

Toaster oven, hot mitts, bowls, spoons, and cleaning supplies


Make two sets of matching cards to learn animals and plants. Add to the deck as you read. Write the names and scientific names as well as important facts.


Look at plants that were available before Columbus. Note that tomatoes and potatoes were not available.

Medieval Arts

The Ramsay Scallop Bulletin Board - Medieval Bulletin Board

The Pilgrim’s Way – Create a photo journal of the landscape that would be seen along the Pilgrim Way. Start with England, then France and end with northern Spain. Post these pictures along a timeline with names of villages that Eleanor and Thomas would have passes through. Use a strip of adding tape at the bottom to indicate elevations along the way.

Include pictures of cathedrals with the dates that they were built. Add pictures of Tapestries created during the Middle Ages, depicting scenes along the way.

Ask the children to add pictures, drawings and writings, and quotes to give a chronological, visual image of Eleanor and Thomas’ journey.

Medieval Music

Medieval Physical Education

Foreign Language Learning

P.S. What is The Homeschool Club?

Write your one page about homeschooling...

THE HOMESCHOOL CLUB is real parents and kids sharing their best resources for great homeschooling. Each day we celebrate learning by opening doors to a world of creativity, knowledge and discovery. In the car, at the kitchen sink, and down by the frog pond - the whole world is our classroom and we explore it with creative projects, games, and activities. This club is a place to share, organize, and discuss how and what we learn in the world. Make a free page to tell your own homeschooling story and share your favorite resources. We can't wait to hear from you!

The Ramsay Scallop Medieval Unit Study

Come write about Medieval Times on Wizzley, a fun and easy place to express your opinion:

Guestbook for the Ramsay Scallop Medieval Unit Study - Have you read The Ramsay Scallop?

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    • traveller27 profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens - the medieval era is so interesting.

    • iijuan12 profile image


      6 years ago from Florida

      Great lens! We're studying the Medieval period right now. I haven't seen the Ramsay Scallop book, but I'll look into it. Thank you! Blessed and liked.

    • iijuan12 profile image


      6 years ago from Florida

      Great lens! We're studying the Medieval period right now. I haven't seen the Ramsay Scallop book, but I'll look into it. Thank you! Blessed and liked.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I've been back here several times but didn't have time to leave a comment. I wanted to let you know that Ritchie Blackmore, formerly of Deep Purple and now with Blackmore's Night, a renaissance band, plays a hurdy gurdy in some of his songs. I think it would be great for students to see someone who was a rock star playing this historical instrument. Here is the link for the you-tube video which give an up close and personal view of how to play it.

      Great lens and being lenrolled to my Ritchie Blackmore lens.


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