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Summer SAVY 2017, Session 4/Day 1- Telling Tales (Rising 2nd/3rd)

Posted by on Monday, July 10, 2017 in SAVY.

We had a great first day of Telling Tales at SAVY. After our Concept Map Pre-Test, students told their first Two-Minute Tales. We heard about trips to Holiday World, Florida, and Las Vegas, and about a new tube at the lake and a Disney cruise. And we heard tall tales about alligators and a trip to Candyland. Then, after getting familiarized with our class norms and procedures, we jumped into learning about Geoffrey Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales. Students learned about this Father of English poetry, who lived and wrote in the Middle Ages, and about why The Canterbury Tales is considered part of the literary canon. Students learned what a frame narrative is and how to explain the frame narrative of The Canterbury Tales with three items – a candle, a horse, and a meal (ask your student if they can tell you what these three items have to do with The Canterbury Tales).
In the second half of class, we focused on parsing the first 42 lines of the prologue. Students read and listened to the prologue in Middle English and worked in small groups to translate many of the words to Modern English. They then read one translation, and we talked about what the authors kept the same (including decasyllables and rhymed couplets) and what they changed. On a short walk outside, students chatted with a partner about why people often retell stories and how they decide what to keep the same and what to change. Students had all kinds of great answers, including updating the language and setting to modern times or making the storyline relevant and interesting to new audiences. After recapping the literary terminology from the day, students listened to a retelling of the prologue set in contemporary society – with rappers leaving a hip-hop concert, traveling on a tour bus, having a story battle!
Tomorrow students will meet the pilgrims from The Canterbury Tales, imagine one of their own, and start thinking about the tale that pilgrim will tell on our pilgrimage Friday around Peabody.

Want to know more about what your SAVY student learned today? Ask them these questions:
– What are The Canterbury Tales about? I heard something about a candle, a horse, and a meal…
– What does the prologue sound like in Middle English? (They should all have received handouts at drop-off with the first 18 lines in Middle English, with pronunciation guides for each line.)
– Why was storytelling so important in Chaucer’s time?

I look forward seeing all of our SAVY students back in class tomorrow to talk about characters and characterizations!

Dr. Elizabeth Self

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