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The Canterbury Tales Discussion Questions

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

If you are reading Chaucer's ''The Canterbury Tales'' with your students, you have an exciting but challenging journey ahead of you. This lesson offers discussion questions that can help students make sense of the text.

Why Canterbury Tales Discussion Questions

Are you reading The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer with your students? A text that deals with religion, vice, sex, and the difference between good and bad, among many other themes, The Canterbury Tales offers a rich and exciting reading experience. At the same time, it is not an easy text for most students to encounter. Chaucer's language can seem impenetrable, and the characters might seem distant or unfamiliar to the contemporary reader.

One way to help make sure your students are getting as much as possible out of their reading is by letting them discuss the text in detail. Discussions give students the opportunity to practice making arguments about text while supporting their ideas with specific evidence. When students have literary discussions, they have to listen to one another, and sometimes they are surprised how much better they can understand a story after a classmate has given some input!

The discussion questions in this lesson are designed to help your students think critically about The Canterbury Tales. Because different teachers might choose to focus on different tales, these questions are somewhat general and focus on the tales most frequently cited. Of course you can modify these questions to meet the needs and interests of students in your class.

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