for teachers

Invitation from Rae Bridgman to the world of MiddleGate

The Magical World of MiddleGate

Educators have lots of choice when it comes to selecting a book to read to their class or suggesting a book for students to read. So why accept an INVITATION TO MIDDLEGATE?

nearly true and fantastic

Top ten reasons
to visit MiddleGate...

One. Who can resist fantasy, adventure and mystery, all-in-one?

Two. So you thought the really great, classic fantasy books were only written and published in the U.S. or Britain. Think again! There's another whole world out there.

Three. You're in great company with one of Canada's up-and-coming, who's writing and illustrating fantasy books for kids.

Four. Explore the secret, hidden worlds of the animal kingdom. What do bees see? What's it like to be a fish? What if you were a snake?

Five. The books are a joy to read out loud, replete with rich, juicy language, tongue-twisters and word-plays.

Six. Quizzical Latin verses (with humorous translations!) are a magical hallmark of the MiddleGate Books. Fun to read out loud too.

Seven. Embark on a no-cost field trip to magical Prairie wilds.

Eight. Teachers sure are "real characters" in MiddleGate.

Nine. Not only are these great reads, but there's a bonus — great illustrations for thirsty imaginations.

Ten. Excellent teaching resources are available right here, right now!


Book I

Star medallion from the cover of The Serpent's Spell by Rae Bridgman

The Serpent's Spell

The Serpent's Spell Teachers' Guide

The Serpent's Spell Trivia Quiz


Book II

Bee symbol from the cover of Amber Ambrosia by Rae Bridgman

Amber Ambrosia


Amber Ambrosia Teachers' Guide

Help The Honeybees
Sponsored by Häagen-Dazs®.
Includes resources, lesson plans, current research, how you can address Colony Collapse Disorder and the increasing disappearance of honeybees across North America and around the world. The bees' disappearance has dire consequences for agricultural industries and crop polination, and for bee colonies themselves.


Book III

Fish and Sphinx hieroglyphics from the cover of Fish and Sphinx by Rae Bridgman

Fish and Sphinx


Fish and Sphinx poster (8.5" x 11" pdf)

Learn a little bit about mysterious Catfysh's "relatives" around the world, through this PowerPoint presentation

Winnipeg's Secret Code
Mysteries in the Manitoba Legislature
(excellent CBC film interview with the historian Frank Albo, who has studied the mysteries of the Manitoba Legislative Building for many years)
- also available on YouTube

Virtual Tour of the Manitoba Legislative Building

Winnipeg's Parliament Building
Footage set to Mozart

A Day in the Life of the Legislative Assembly video

Manitoba, eh?! website
Magic and mystery in the Manitoba Legislative Building

Hermetic Code: Unlocking One of Manitoba's Greatest Secrets
Inspired by Frank Albo's work (from 15-part series published in the Winnipeg Free Press)

Historical Tour of the Manitoba Legislature
Showing the construction of the building

Interviews with the author
Print, online and TV interviews with Rae St. Clair Bridgman.

Live reading
Rae St. Clair Bridgman reads
during the launch of The Serpent's Spell (April 2006)
Right in the middle, after the scary part, someone whispers"Boo!"

Anecdote about the importance of editing
Listen to a small story about Rae St. Clair Bridgman's name and how important it is to proofread—even your very own name. Many other authors have also posted interesting stories about their names on the Teaching Books site. (Enter Rae Bridgman under Author SEARCH, or click here to listen directly to the mp3 file)

Latin in Children's Books

Latin is an ancient living language. When you begin to explore Latin, hidden meanings are revealed in the roots of many words, names and phrases. Latin sounds magical and reminds readers that the meaning of something can be hidden…but not if you know the secret of how to unlock language.

Bookmarks and cards
Every book deserves a beautiful bookmark. Collector's items.
General Educational Writing/Illustrating Resources

Looking for author and illustrator resources? Try Teacher Tap: Professional Development Resources for Teachers & Librarians. A great resource for creative writing exercises is Don’t forget to Write: 54 Enthralling and Effective Writing Lessons for Students 6 –18, edited by Jenny Traig (published by 826 Valencia, 2005). (Available through and

Another great resource is Bookhooks, which supports the publication of students' book reviews online. This website encourages both editorial (review/report) and generative (story, poem, drawing, photograph) responses to books.
General Resources about Snakes

Snakes of Narcisse, Manitoba

Up-close and in-your-face photos of the snakes of Narcisse by Paul Hancock

Narcisse Snake Pits (Wikipedia article)

Mysteries of Canada: The Snakes of Narcisse

The Garter Snakes of Narcisse by Lori Pollock

The mating game, snake style by Sy Montgomery

Seven Wonders of Canada: Narcisse Snake Dens, Manitoba

Narcisse snake dens by Jonathan Crowe (great pictures too!)

Narcisse Snakes Dens

The Snake Scientist by Sy Montgomery (photos by Nic Bishop)

Look for link to the symbol to view exciting film footage of the red-sided gartersnakes (8 minutes, en français). Radio-Canada interview with Bob Mason (a biologist at Oregon State University).

Time and Place: The Snakes of Narcisse (WestWind Pictures, distributed by National Film Board of Canada, 22 minutes in length)

Couleuvres rayées de Narcisse, Manitoba (Source distributeurs de films et vidéos, 25 minutes; also available in English)

An *exellent* 95-page teaching resource (for grades 4 to 10), Les couleuvres rayées de Narcisse, Manitoba: Cahier Pédagogique (The Red-Sided Garter Snakes of Narcisse, Manitoba: Teachers' Guide) has been published by Manitoba's Bureau de l'éducation française (1999). Included is a bibliography (many of the resources listed are in English). (See also the small brochure Les couleuvres de Narcisse.)

Other Snakes

Usborne Publishing has published an interesting book entitled Snakes (by Rachel Firth and Jonathan Sheikh-Miller, 2001). The book is complemented by many useful internet resources on the Usborne site (including photographs, film footage, slide shows, quizzes, other internet resources and fascinating facts). Enter the word snakes as your keyword to access these resources.

The Canadian Wildlife Federation has created a great poster about snakes for their Wild About... poster series. It introduces Canada's 24 snakes, their behaviours and habitats. And it explains how snakes are a boon to gardeners and why they should be welcomed, not feared. (It also advises how to prepare for a snake encounter—"should you be so lucky!").





Cover of the French edition of The Serpent's Spell, by Rae Bridgman

Le sortilège du serpent
(French edition of
The Serpent's Spell)
ISBN: 9782895655268

Éditions AdA



Cover of a French teaching resource about the red-sided garter snakes of Narcisse, Manitoba
Les couleuvres rayées de
Narcisse, Manitoba:
Cahier Pédagogique



Cover of Snakes, by Rachel Firth and Jonathan Sheikh-Miller

Gem flourish
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