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Novel Studies & Theatre beyond the Middle Ages: The Secret Garden at the Young People’s Theatre

Updated: Aug 7, 2022

With a Study Guide for Teachers

01 February, 2018 | TMA

The Secret Garden (1911) is a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett about a ten-year-old girl born in India, Mary Lennox, who has been sent to her uncle, Archibald Craven, after her parents and servants died of a cholera outbreak. Mary discovers her uncle also experienced loss of a loved one and unwell since his wife passed away.

Mary finds the walled secret garden at her uncle’s home and attempts to beautify it with the help of the servant’s son, Dickon. Mary also discovers in the house Colin, the sickly son of her uncle. She may be able to restore more than just a secret garden.

A scene from The Secret Graden, YPT in Toronto (See review:

The theatre in Toronto is offering special viewings for teachers and the community on February 7. In addition, the theatre is providing a study guide for teachers to teach the play with pre-viewing and post activities for young readers. This is a great novel for grades 4-7. Students from grades 1-7 will enjoy the show.

The show will run February 8 – March 17, 2018. Even if teachers are unable to schedule a time for students to visit the theatre, the pre-show questions and other materials for teachers are useful as novel study questions and activities for studying the novel in school. The materials make curriculum connections with Social Studies (Heritage and Identity; Cause and Consequence, Continuity and Change, Patterns and Trends), Health & Physical Education (Mental Health & Emotional Well-being, Healthy Relationships), Science & Technology (Understanding Life Systems), and the Arts--Drama and Music. The materials also consider empathy, kindness, caring, and honesty as character education connections.

Resource Materials for Teachers:

The Secret Garden (HarperClassics)

The Secret Garden (Classics Made Easy): Unabridged, with Glossary, Historic Orientation, Character, and Location Guide Paperback

The Secret Garden (Wordsworth Collector's Editions)

The Secret Garden (video)

How to cite this blog:

TMA staff, “Novel Studies & Theatre beyond the Middle Ages: The Secret Garden at the Young People’s Theatre with a Study Guide for Teachers." Teaching the Middle Ages, February 1, 2018; revised 2020,

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