Saturday, May 4, 2013

Chaucer ~ Canterbury Tales

What's Gardenin'?

Here is a nice post about garden planning:

This organic fertilizer was recommended on an iodine forum.  I haven't used it yet but want to look into it some more:

What's Cookin'?

Here is a great article about the essential minerals in bone broth:

What's Schoolin'?

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales:

1. We started by reading a few picture books...

Just a word of warning:  Chanticleer and the Fox and The Rooster and the Fox were fine but the book by Barbara Cohen in not appropriate for all ages/families.  Please preview it before handing it to younger children.  I thought we could read it aloud in the car and do some carschooling while traveling but middle dd (who was reading it) stopped and said that it really wasn't appropriate for youngest.  The olders read it on their own instead.

2. We read about the characters and plots from 2 separate resources.  The first is simpler and shorter (Understanding The Canterbury Tales); the second is a little longer for each and has more details (Geoffrey Chaucer's the Canterbury Tales (Bloom's Guides).  Another warning:  the plots are not all clean and some are unsavory and lewd.  He was making social commentary and hyperbolizing with his extreme characterizations and plots.  There are some adult topics in some of the plots.

3. I had to pick a version - the hardest part of the study!
There are several versions of Chaucer that I checked out from the library (see below). This is the one that we decided to use and I will use the same version when youngest gets to C.Tales as well. I chose Nevill Coghill's version because it is modern English spelling but keeps the original flow, rhyme, and tone.

4. I read the Introduction (Part I: Chaucer's Life) aloud.  The recommendations from our British Lit spine were The Prologue, The Nun's Priest's Tale, and The Pardoner's Tale.  We skipped the prologue because of their previous readings of the characters and plots.  We skipped The Nun's Priest's Tale because of their reading of several versions with the picture books.  Instead they read The Pardoner's Tale and The Parson's Tale (with has the prologue and a summary in our version).  They also read Chaucer's Retractions at the end of the book ("The Maker of this Book here takes his Leave").

For The Pardoner's Tale:  They read from the end of the prologue "But let me briefly make my purpose plain..." up to and including the paragraph ending with "...Only a groat.  Come on, unbuckle your purse!" I had the places marked with sticky notes and excluded the last lewd part after that paragraph.

For The Parson's Tale:  They read the prologue and the summary in italics plus the Retractions.

5.  We did our lesson together using our British Lit spine with some add-ons.  For example:

~ p. 51 from Understanding The Canterbury Tales has a great explanation of the different story types so we copied and put that in their Lit binders. [There is also a chapter in this book about Literary Devices that we'll skim orally.]

~ We wrote an "early English ballad" together which they copied in their Lit Response Logs (about oldest dd's water frog that lives on our bar - his name is B.D. Eyes).

~ They copied a section of original Chaucer with a translation that I found in Ackroyd's intro from The Prioress seeking Divine guidance.  I had copied that page (p.xx) for us to use from that book and the very next page has some language that I found objectionable (see my non-recommendation of this book below).

~ They copied the definitions of the different types of irony from our spine in their notebooks/binders.

~ From our spine they are doing the Book Checks for The Nun's Priest's Tale and The Pardoner's Tale.

6. For a writing extension:  They just finished reading the epic poem The Song of Roland (Penguin Classics).  Between that and Chaucer they have some good examples of lyrical storytelling.  Their task:  write about an event (either exciting or mundane, doesn't matter) in poetic form.  I can't wait to see what they write!  Hmm... I haven't decided on mine yet...

Here are some other versions available.

Free Kindle:

 Penguin Classic with original Middle English spelling:

Retelling by Peter Ackroyd [Note: I do NOT recommend this one after previewing it! I left it on my post to show what not to get.]:


 I found an old copy of this book at a local library (copyright 1935): The Canterbury Tales: The Prologue and Four Tales with the Book of the Duchess and Six Lyrics by Geoffrey Chaucer Translated into Modern English Verse by Frank Ernest Hill

Modern Reader's Chaucer: The Complete Poetical Works of Geoffrey Chaucer Now First Put into Modern English by J. Tatlock and P. MackKaye (copyright 1919 and 1966, so not so modern :)):


 I also checked out a 1935 version translated into modern English by Frank Ernest Hill.

Any purchases through affiliate links help to support our homeschool.  Thanks for clicking.

No comments:

Post a Comment