About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Anglo Saxon and Medieval 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|| Introduction to Medieval Literature: Old English, Middle English and Historical Context; |
Beowulf: Story, Characters and Old English
| An exploration of historical literature; |
A synopsis of the epic tale
|Tuesday|| Introduction to Chaucer: Middle English and the Canterbury Tales; |
The Canterbury Tales General Prologue: Style, Structure and Characters
| The life and literary works of Geoffrey Chaucer; |
A look at the frame narrative that introduces each of the characters
|Wednesday|| The Knight's Tale and the Wife of Bath's Tale: Two Approaches to Chivalric Romance; |
The Miller's Tale: Chaucer's Fabulous Fabliau
| An exploration of stories that are written in the chivalric romance genre; |
A look at the easy-to-understand humor of the fabliau genre
|Thursday||The Nun's Priest's Tale: The Beast Fable of the Canterbury Tales||A summary of each tale|
|Friday||The Prioress's Tale and the Pardoner's Tale: Chaucer's Two Religious Fables||A recap of stories told by Chaucer's religious pilgrims|
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.
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