About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Old and Middle English Literature chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday||Overview of Medieval History and Literature||Historical highlights of the Early and Middle Ages; early Old English poems, including Caedmon's Hymn and Beowulf|
|Tuesday||Geoffrey Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales||Biography of Geoffrey Chaucer, Middle English language and literary structure of The Canterbury Tales|
|Wednesday||The Canterbury Tales: Chivalric Romance||Characters and summaries of 'The Knight's Tale' and 'The Wife of Bath's Tale'|
|Thursday||The Canterbury Tales: Beast Fables and Fabliaus||Definition of a fabliau; characters and overviews of 'The Nun's Priest's Tale' and 'The Miller's Tale'|
|Friday||The Canterbury Tales: Religious Fables||Characters and summaries of 'The Prioress's Tale' and 'The Pardoner's Tale'|
1. Introduction to Medieval Literature: Old English, Middle English, and Historical Context
We'll go over some quick medieval history to situate some of the major literary works of the time period. We're going from Caedmon and Beowulf, writing in Old English, all the way up to Sir Thomas Malory's collections of the Arthur myths in late Middle English.
2. Beowulf: Story, Characters, and Old English
In this lesson, we'll take a look at the Old English epic, Beowulf. We'll explore what happens, how it's written and why it has such a lasting legacy.
3. Introduction to Chaucer: Middle English and the Canterbury Tales
In this lesson, we'll introduce medieval writer Geoffrey Chaucer. We'll take a look at his life, his most famous works, including 'The Canterbury Tales,' and we'll spend some time learning how to read Middle English.
4. The Canterbury Tales General Prologue: Style, Structure, and Characters
In this lesson, we'll go over the General Prologue to Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. We'll take a look at some of the most interesting pilgrims and establish the frame narrative for the rest of the work.
5. The Knight's Tale and the Wife of Bath's Tale: Two Approaches to Chivalric Romance
In this lesson, we'll outline some of the key features of the medieval genre of chivalric romance. Then we'll talk about two very different tales that are examples of this genre: The Knight's Tale and the Wife of Bath's Tale.
6. The Miller's Tale: Chaucer's Fabulous Fabliau
In this lesson we'll talk about the medieval genre of fabliau, which is full of wonderfully low-brow humor. We'll also discuss the plot of the Miller's Tale, a fabliau about a carpenter and his straying wife.
7. The Nun's Priest's Tale: The Beast Fable of the Canterbury Tales
In this lesson, we'll go over the medieval beast fable genre and take a look at the Nun's Priest's Tale, one of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales that is illustrative of the genre.
8. The Prioress's Tale and the Pardoner's Tale: Chaucer's Two Religious Fables
In this lesson, we'll take a look at The Prioress's Tale and The Pardoner's Tale to get a better sense of the types of tales told by religious members of the pilgrimage party.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the English 101 Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course
- Literary Terms and Analysis Lesson Plans
- The Renaissance in English Literature Lesson Plans
- 17th and 18th Century English Literature Lesson Plans
- Romantic Prose in English Literature Lesson Plans
- Victorian Literature Lesson Plans
- Turn-of-the-Century Literature Lesson Plans
- Modernism in English Literature Lesson Plans
- Nonfiction in English Literature Lesson Plans
- Analyzing English Literature Lesson Plans