The Castle in the Attic

The Castle in the Attic Teaching Activities

Are you looking for a fun novel to use with your students? The Castle in the Attic is both entertaining and educational. Your students will enjoy reading a novel set during Medieval Times. They will also love reading about William’s adventures as he travels back in time.

The Castle in the Attic Summary

William uses the magical Janus medal to shrink Mrs. Phillips, his beloved nanny, down to the size of his index finger. He thinks this is the only way to keep her from leaving him and returning to her home in England. William takes her to the attic to live in a magical toy castle.

Sir Simon who also lives in the magical castle has lost his kingdom to the evil wizard Alastor. He asks William to shrink himself so that he can go on a quest. The plan is for Willam to not only help Sir Simon defeat Alastor but to retrieve the second half of the Janus medal so that Mrs. Phillip can return to her normal size.

Will William be able to defeat the evil wizard Alastor, help Sir Simon, and return Mrs. Phillips to her normal self? Read Elizabeth Winthrop’s book to see if William is successful in his quest.

The Castle in the Attic Activities

Book Unit Samples

The Castle in the Attic Novel Study Samples

This sample contains the following:

  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructed Response Question
  • Skill Lesson – Citations (Creating a Bibliography)

Teaching Idea #1 ~ Writing Prompts

The Castle in the Attic Activities
  • Write a letter to Mrs. Phillips from William. Apologize for your behavior and explain how you will make things right.
  • Write a descriptive paragraph about the castle. Use sensory language to create an image in the reader’s mind.
  • Write a diary entry from William’s perspective. Describe a day spent in the castle.
  • Write a persuasive essay arguing whether or not Mrs. Phillips was right to keep the castle a secret from William.
  • Write a character analysis of William, Mrs. Phillips, and the Silver Knight. Discuss the characters’ motivations, personalities, and relationships with each other.  

Teaching Idea #2 ~ Castle Design Challenge

The Castle in the Attic Activities

After reading the novel, have students work in small groups to design and build their own castle models. Encourage them to be creative and think about different materials they could use. Have them present their models to the class and explain the different features they included.

Encourage students to be creative and think outside the box when designing their castles. Remind them to consider the setting and time period of the castle, as well as the function and purpose of each feature they include.

Towers and Turrets: Castles typically have towers and turrets for defense and lookout purposes. Students can design their own unique towers and turrets using various materials such as paper rolls, cardboard, or clay.


Moat and Drawbridge: Many castles have a moat surrounding them, which can be filled with water or left dry. Students can design their own moat and drawbridge using paper, paint, or other materials.

Walls and Gates: Castles are known for their walls and gates. These are designed to protect the castle from invaders. Students can create their own walls and gates using cardboard, popsicle sticks, or other materials.

Great Hall: Many castles have a great hall. This room is used for feasting and other social gatherings. Students can design their own great hall with tables, chairs, and decorations.

Dungeon: Some castles have dungeons for prisoners. Students can design their own dungeon using cardboard boxes, construction paper, or other materials.

Courtyard: Castles often have a courtyard, which can be used for jousting, archery, or other outdoor activities. Students can design their own courtyard using grass, rocks, or other natural materials.

Secret Passages: Many castles have secret passages, which can be used for escape or spying purposes. Students can design their own secret passages using cardboard boxes, tunnels, or other materials.

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The Castle in the Attic Book Unit

The Castle in the Attic Novel Study includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.  

Gay Miller

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