Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Don't Make Me Go Medieval On Ya

So yesterday I was minding my own business and trying to plan out what to do in my classes for next week when I heard June and Zeno talking and mention my name. I perked up my head and they said that I was too far ahead of them and I needed to spend time on something else so that they could catch up. June says...how about Chaucer and other medieval stuff?

ARE YOU SERIOUS? So much win. I can't believe that they WANT me to teach my students about medieval things. Hopefully teaching something I am this passionate about will make my students more interested. I always enjoyed classes more when the teacher got excited about what they were teaching. They said I need to spend at least two weeks doing this stuff. I figured I would spend the first week on Medieval life to get them interested and to learn the background, and then spend the second week on the Canterbury Tales.

I am trying to figure out how to make this the most interesting. I have already started a powerpoint presentation about different medieval weapons and armor. I think I will teach them about the symbolism in heraldry and have them design their own coat of arms. They all want to learn songs in English, so I can teach them a few pub songs. I am trying to think of a good movie to show, but the best thing I can think of at the moment is "A Knight's Tale".

Any suggestions from my medievally friends?

Last week I was feeling a bit down on myself with this whole teaching thing, but being able to teach about Medieval things brings a whole new life to this.

Much love,


bosswolf said...

Actually, a Knight's Tale would be GREAT. It made me cranky as an undergrad, but the more I learn about the middle ages the more I realize that although it's having MAJOR fun visually and (somewhat) linguistically, the subject matter is STRAIGHT out of romances, particularly Chretien de Troyes.

If you want something with a little more accuracy, Kingdom of Heaven. They actually built a square-mile city simply so they could throw shtuff at it. But the director's cut is more accurate, btw.


Dave said...

When it's time to crack open the Chaucer, skip the dry and creaky stuff and go directly to the Miller's Tale. Cuckoldry, trickery, broken limbs, farting...good times, good times. It'll keep their interest a lot better than all that "Whan that aprille with his shoures sote" crap. =)

Mom said...


Beth said...

Had another thought: perhaps work in some clips of the original Middle English being read out loud. You can find some on the Wikipedia page for the Canterbury Tales (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canterbury_Tales). I'm assuming you're teaching it in modern English translation, but it might be interesting just as a side-note to give your students an idea of how the language that they're learning has changed over time, how no language is ever really static, etc :)