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Objectives To familiarize students with the milieu of Medieval England from which Chaucer created his masterpiece through group research projects and reports To have students read the Prologue and selected Tales To familiarize students with the author and characters of The Canterbury Tales by having them assume a role To have students learn and recite the Middle English of the Prologue To write a Compare/Contrast essay using two pilgrims
Some preparation is necessary before assigning readings from the Tales, such as scheduling due dates on a calendar, running off directions, work sheets, additional tales, and other materials. Ideally, the unit should last at least 2 weeks. This gives students enough time to do the required readings, do the research, work and report in groups, report individually and write their essays. Also during this time the teacher should present background information about the Tales, including organization, style, the cross section of Medieval society represented, etc. Readings Most high school literature books include the Prologue and selected tales, often the less controversial. This project is geared to the reading of the entire Prologue by all class members. Individual reports by each class member will provide support for the students as they read through the prologue. If the literature book does not offer parts of the Prologue in Middle English, the teacher must provide students with copies of at least the first part. I have had success in assigning the students to read additionally “The Reeve’s Tale” and “The Miller’s Tale” (not often found in literature texts) which they enjoy, but each teacher must judge the effects of assigning these “racy” stories (which are no more racy than some of the movies on TV). Components This unit is comprised of several activities besides reading: research, group work, memorization and recitation, individual reporting, art work, writing essays. The attempt is to immerse the students in Chaucer’s England to better understand and appreciate the
Project Grade Sheet 1 for each group: Group assignment (or 1 for each student). (ISBN 0-486-28241-4) Dudeney. Other pilgrims may just as easily bechosen for this essay. Inc. Essay The Monk and the Parson were chosen for the compare/contrast essay because of the great number points in each category. New York: Dover Publications. ISBN 0883880172 (Contains reproductions of wood cuts by William Caxton. New York: Dover Publications. “Pilgrims on the Way to Canterbury”—this becomes a study aid. New York: Dover Publications. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 1978. Prioress and Wife of Bath. artistry. The Canterbury Puzzles. 1997. (ISBN 0-8020-6370-5) *Morris. etc. Resources *A Chaucer Coloring Book. Geoffrey. Selected Canterbury Tales. Inc. (ISBN 0-486-22970-X) 100 copy-right free pages *very useful for the art/visual component Handouts and Evaluations Forms Below 1 for each student: Project Description. Evaluation Quizzes on each tale and a test on the entire unit are options. Because the number of pilgrims will exceed the number of students in a class. Inc. A sample Project Evaluation Form is offered. memorizing. such as the Friar and Pardoner. A Guide to Chaucer’s Pronunciation. Harry Bailly were included. E.Tales. Ornamentation and Illustrations from the Kelmscott Chaucer. William. Bellerophon Books. Helge. (ISBN 0-486-42558-4) Kokeritz. but students’ work in groups and their individual performance should also be evaluated. students may be assigned more than one Pilgrim (perhaps for extra credit). Chaucer and the Host. It also allows students to use their own strengths: speaking. Group . Wyken de Worde and Richard Pynson in the earliest publications of the Tales) Chaucer. H.
These colored illustrations are worth 15 points and are due at the time of the student’s individual report. essay is Oral Component from “The Students will be asked to read a selection Prologue” in Middle English.Evaluation Form The Canterbury Tales Project Reading Component Students and “The provided. students must turn in an essay of no less than five paragraphs compareing and contrasting the Monk and the Parson. student must become familiar with this character from a number of aspects. Visual Component The Each student will be assigned a Pilgrim. Writing Component At the conclusion of this project. Group Work Component in order information on Students will be assigned to work in groups to prepare and present to the class . Instruction in the pronunciation will be given in class in addition to the aids given in your text. such as personality. Students will also be required to read aloud from “The Prologue” those sections which concern their character. Students must be able to describe their characters to their classmates. More instructions along with the due date will be provided in class. The worth 40 points. All of the All students must read the “Prologue” and all of the Canterbury Tales included in your literature book and any introductory material included. motivation. must also read “The Reeve’s Tale” Miller’s Tale” which will be reading assignments are subject to quizzes and will the subject of a test at the end of the unit. and they must color this drawing according to Chaucer’s description. This essay must be typed. Students must also do an illustration of their character. and physical description.
Groups will be graded on thoroughness. Some class time will be given for research and coordination of the presentation. clarity. I will give additional information concerning The Canterbury Tales. My Pilgrim Date of Report on my pilgrim and visual component: Our Group Name Group Members Date of Group Presentation Essay due Date of Unit test . Students are responsible for this information for the test on the Tales. These topics will be assigned at a later date. total involvement of group members. The Group Presentations are worth 20 points. and every member of the group will receive the same score.related topics from Medieval England. Teacher Input During the course of this unit. audio and visual aids. creativity.
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etc. Knights and the Code of Chivalry Describe the degeneration of the idealism of the First Crusade into the blatant opportunism of the later crusades.? Group Name – The Long Bows Your topic is the Crusades.Group Assignments Group Name – The Gargoyles Your topic is the Medieval Cathedral Focus primarily on the English Medieval Cathedrals. Look at the way they were built. What specific advances did the returning crusaders bring back to England with them? What were some of the important aspects of the code of chivalry? What was the position of the Knight in English Medieval society? Group Name – The Glastonburians Your topic is King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table Are the stories of Arthur and Camelot just legends. Why were they built? What role did the guilds have? What characterizes an English Gothic Cathedral? What role did the Church members have in their planning. or is there some historical basis to these stories? Does Arthur have Celtic origins? How did these stories come to us today? What is there in these stories that humans of all ages find intriguing? What are examples of modern retellings of the Arthurian legends? Why Glastonburians? . the time and money needed to construct these structures.
What role did trade. shops. Discuss the development of the English city and the migration from the rural. but try to focus more on English art and music when possible)? Who promoted the spread of art and music? Can you show examples of this art and play samples of this music? Can you dance as they did then? Group Name – The Black Death Your topic is the role of the city and town in Medieval English life. pastoral life. streets look? Why your name? . commerce. How did houses. the growth of cart and trade guilds play in the growth of these cities? How large were English cities? What was life like for the average city-dweller.Group Name – The Motets Your topic is Medieval art and music What kind of art and music was popular in the Medieval period? Who were some of the great artists and composers (you may discuss Europe.
Evaluation Form for Group Presentation Group Members Thoroughness. clarity in covering the topic: Comments: _____out of 5 points Creativity: Comments: _____out of 5 points Use of audio/visual aids: Comments: _____out of 5 points Total involvement of group members: Comments: _____out of 5 points . accuracy.
Extra Credit . Essay Grade Comments: out of 40 points IV.Total: _____out of 20 points The Canterbury Tales Project Grade Sheet Name I. Group Presentation Comments: out of 20 points III. Character Description and Illustration Comments: out of 15 points II.
Total points out of 75 .
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