Macaulay, D., & Macaulay, D. (1973). Cathedral. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

GLE (grade level equivalent):  6.9

DRA (developmental reading assessment):  70 (7th grade) 

 Guided reading level:  Z (7th-8th grades) 

 Lexile Measure:  1180L (10th to 12th grade range) 

 80 pages 

Key words and vocabulary:   

 propsered, suffered, merchants, insure, sacred, knight, relics (page 5) 

bishop, clergymen, chapter, architect, summoned (page 7) 

quarrymen, sculptor, mortar, mason, apprentices, 

Crusades (page 9) 

 elevation, vault (page 11) 

 tracery, clerestory, capital, pier, arcade (page 13)

  scaffolding (page 14) 

 forge, templates, extracted (page 17) 

 demolished, crypt, apse (page 18) 

 derricks, windlasses (page 22) 

 troweling, plumb (page 26) 

 hoisted (page 29) 

 buttressess (page 30) 

 hurdles (page 31) 

 centerings (page 32) 

 dung (page 37) 

 triforium (page 39) 

 trussess, mortices, tenons, pulleys (page 40) 

 casting, gargoyles (page 43) 

 vats, pitch, seeping (page 44) 

 transept (page 46) 

 ribs, webbing (page 51) 

 voussoirs, keystone (page 54) 

 lagging, spanned, simultaneously, aisle (page 55) 

 molten, cylindrical, gorzing iron, whitewashed, mullions (page 60) 

 pilgrimage (page 63) 

 relics, nave (page 64) 

 foundry, plaster of Paris, cavity (page 66) 

 gables, tympanum (page 67) 

 spire (page 69) 

 niches (page 75)

Literal, Inferential and Application Questions for the reader: 

 LITERAL (reading “on the lines”; correlates to Remembering and Understanding levels of Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy) 

 1.  What are the differences between a craftsmen, an apprentice and a laborer? (see page 9) 

 2. How long did it take from clearing the land for the site to the blessing of the first foundation stone? Look on pages 17 and 26. 

 3.  Why was the masons’ schedule different than the schedules for the other craftsmen? (see page 37) 

 4.  In 1306, why did work stop on the cathedral?  What did the people do to fix this problem? (see page 64) 

 INFERENTIAL (reading “between the lines”; correlates to Applying and Analyzing levels of Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy) 

 1.  Look at the illustration of the Floor Plan on page 12.  The author says nothing about this but in what shape is the Floor Plan?  What do you know about this shape/symbol in relation to the Christian religion?  Tell why you think William of Planz would choose to design the cathedral floor plan that way. 

 2.  According to the illustration on page 36 what can you imagine would be the thoughts and feelings of the people of Chutreaux? 

 3.   On page 5, it says, “The people of Chutreaux wished to build the longest, widest, highest, and most beautiful cathedral in all of France.”  Then, at the end (on page 78), it says, “The people of Chutreaux had constructed the longest, widest, highest, and most beautiful cathedral in all of France.”  In the 73 pages between those two statements, what can you say happened or occurred in order for that last statement to come true?  Tie in your thoughts on goal setting and goal achieving.


 APPLICATION (reading “beyond the lines”; correlates to Evaluating and Creating levels of Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy) 

 1.  Why, in the 1200s, would construction of a town’s most important buildings take 70+ years to build and complete when today, it may only take 3 years? 

 2.  Do you know of any cathedrals being built today?  Have you heard of “storefront churches?”  What has changed in Europe and the world since the 1200s so that cathedrals are no longer high priority? 

 3.  In this book, where are the women?  None are mentioned and none are pictured.  Why?

See also Building the Great Cathedrals, a NOVA episode

  • Aired: 10/19/2010
  • 53:07
  • Rating: TV-G
How did medieval engineers construct magnificent skyscrapers of glass and stone?

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