Although The Ruins of Gorlan is set in a fictional world, there's still many connections to real world history and topics. Those connections are just waiting for you to explore in the classroom.
The world of the Ranger's Apprentice books is a rather modern version of medieval history. Conditions are a lot cleaner and nicer for our characters, but there are castles, fiefdoms, barons and knights and lots of connections to European medieval history.
Students can spend some time reading up on medieval history. They may like to research historical documents and images or they might like to spend some time reading medieval historical fiction (you can find some here or here). This allows for comparisons, for students to discuss why the author may have chosen a medieval setting and discussions about how realistic the world of the Ranger's Apprentice is.
Spies in History
One of the roles of the Rangers is to act as spies for the King. There's a rich history of spies throughout history and it's a topic students can definitely get their teeth into. Students might like to look at why spies are required, who some of the famous spies are and what impact they've had on historical events. They could look at how spies work and spies who work during war time. There's also many middle grades and young adult books on spies which can be connected to The Ruins of Gorlan.
As an apprentice Ranger, Will learns archery and is expected to become an expert with the bow and arrow. Archery is an activity which developed to allow people to hunt for food before becoming a weapon and, in modern times, a sport. Students can learn how archery works and where it appears in other books and media. Through archery you can also connect The Ruins of Gorlan to physical educations - you may be lucky to allow the students to experience archery or you could look at some accuracy and strength drills - and STEM - creating a bow, looking at forces, looking at records from archery competitions, examining how bows and arrows have developed over history.
This is just some of the many connections to The Ruins of Gorlan. You can find more in the Ruins of Gorlan Research Task pack, which encourages students to research connected topics. You can also purchase a comprehension and vocabulary pack, a character pack and an overall novel pack, or you can purchase a complete bundle and save.