This is lesson 2 of 3 for "The General Prologue" of The Canterbury Tales. This lesson continues the previous lesson, "Meet Me at the Tabard by the Bell."
In this lesson students
Here I offer some comments about planning the unit and the relationship of imaginative narrative in students' lives: Canterbury Tales and Narrative Importance.
I begin the lesson with a short reminder of the previous lesson and what students learned about "The General Prologue." They mention
Next, I tell students we're listening to a parody of "California Dreamin" that tells what's going on in "The General Prologue." I then play the YouTube video, but as it plays, I echo the lines so that students understand the information in the song:
I ask students, what did you learn about "The General Prologue" from the video. They mention
As students added this additional information, I clarified with questions and comments
I also tell the students that Chaucer did not complete The Canterbury Tales and that scholars call it "an unfinished masterpiece." They want to know why he didn't finish, and I say, "He died." That elicited some giggling.
Next, I tell students I appreciate their exit ticket comments from the previous day and that I know they feel bogged down by the SOAPSTone close reading activity.
I ask students to take the template out so we can talk about it more. SOAPSTone Plus. Rather than rereading the instructions, I ask students to think about what's most important: understanding SOAPSTone or understanding "The General Prologue." They clearly see I'm most interested in their understanding of the prologue, and I tell them that the strategy is a tool for understanding and that they can use it to the extent it serves their understanding. I tell them that they can use one of the other reading strategies they have learned or another note-taking method but that I will collect their notes for a grade at the end of the unit.
I ask students to look at the Speaker section, and I pose the following questions:
After this brief discussion, I ask students if they have finished reading the prologue yet. Of course, they have not and say so. "Then how can you expect to have finished the SOAPSTone for the prologue. "We can't," they realize.
This epiphany allows me to say, "Then do what you can, and we'll work on the rest together." I also ask students, "You know this is satire, but do you know what or who is satirized?" They say, "no." This let's me remind them that I have not given them all the information they need yet to do all the SOAPSTone.
Introduce the assignment: Virtues. provides substantive instructions for students to follow.
First, have students turn the list of virtues, listed as nouns, into adjectives since students use them to analyze the pilgrims. Virtues: Nouns to Adjectives Student Work
I did an example w/ the students. I asked them, "Which one do you want to do together?"
Someone responded, "honor."
I tell students to think about how they would describe someone who has honor.
Someone says, "honorable."
"That's correct," I say. Next, I tell students that they can test their responses by following the adjective they've formed with a noun. That's because we generally put an adjective before a noun, except when the adjective is a predicate adjective.
The second part of the assignment asks students to show evidence for their understanding of ten of the pilgrims by identifying lines from the prologue that either show evidence of a virtue or evidence of a vice.
The handout gives explicit instructions for the activity.
The student work-in-progress shows students charting their findings. Student Work: Analyzing Virtues in Pilgrims (1) Student Work: Analyzing Virtues in Pilgrims (2) Student Work: Analyzing Virtues in Pilgrims (3)
As students work, it's important to circulate around the room and answer questions, clarify instructions, reinforce student responses, etc.