Teaching The Canterbury Tales: Pilgrim Illustrations

18 Apr

Hello Blogosphere!  (Do people still use that word??)  Anyway, I am back and trying to share lessons again here on the blog.  I am still a mommy to a sweet little girl.  She’s two!  It’s gone so fast, but as she grows, I am able to get back to my old hobbies like blogging and reading and whatnot.  I don’t have time to type too many details, but what I really want to do is just share the activities that we are doing in my classes.  I want to help people who are looking for ideas, and I also want feedback from others about how to make my lessons better.  Thanks for stopping by!

After reading the prologue of The Canterbury Tales, I ask students to choose one pilgrim to look at in depth.  This assignments has students to use characterization details from the text to create a “look” for the pilgrim.  Then, they have to write a paragraph summarizing the basics the reader learns and then commenting on how they think Chaucer sees the pilgrim based on the details provided.

Here are the Characterization Drawing Instructions –  Pilgrim Illustration Assignment Sheet.

Here is the Power Point slide with the body outline.  Characterization_poster Students can use this if they want or they can draw the person on their own plain paper.

Here are some samples by my students:

Wife of Bath


The students like the activity.  It helps them see what details are provided and what they must make up for themselves.  It’s nice having these around the room as we read the different tales.  We can revisit not only Chaucer’s words but the pictures also when we remind ourselves of who the pilgrim is.

3 Responses to “Teaching The Canterbury Tales: Pilgrim Illustrations”

  1. Sharlene December 3, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Love you lesson. Thank you.

  2. fuzzyrants June 21, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Oh how lovely this is! I am doing the Prologue to Canterbury Tales for my Masters, and I was wondering why nobody has ever done an illustration on the characters of this poem. Like Milton’s Paradise Lost has many drawings and sketches, which helps me in interpreting and understanding the subject matter and criticism on it. Especially William Blake’s ones.

    I stumbled upon this and it’s lovely to find the drawings of little kids. My personal favorite has to be the Miller. The wart on his nose with a tuft of hair growing, and the big, bulky stature are just spot on!

  3. Patricia McTaggart Kessie December 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    Fuzzyrants ~ Have you discovered the wonderful illustrations in the famous Ellesmere Chaucer? You can find them on Google at SPECIAL COLLECTIONS: ELLESMERE CHAUCER. They are wonderful and other sites go into details of the information that can be gathered by the details of clothing, horses and table manners. Enjoy it!
    Tricia McTaggart

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