Canterbury Tales Short SBUS


Standards Based Unit of Study Template (provided via LiveText)

Teacher(s)       Mara W. Roney____________________________________________________________________________________




UnitTopic/Focus: _Canterbury Tales “Prologue”_____________________________________________________________________


Integration with other content areas (if applicable)_History__________________________________________________________


Estimated time for implementation: six days_______________________________________________________________________

Program of Studies: UnderstandingsProgram of Studies:Skills and ConceptsRelated Core Content
  • Students will understand how authors use direct and indirect characterization
  • Students will understand how to make inferences about characters based on the author’s characterization techniques  
  • Students will be able to examine and describe the characterization in the “Prologue” of Canterbury Tales both in speech and in literary writing
  • Students will be able to apply the elements of characterization toward the creation of their own characters
  • Students will be able to describe the characters in Canterbury Tales based on the information in the “Prologue”
  • Students will infer as to how the characters will interact with each other on the pilgrimage in Canterbury Tales
  •  WR-HS-1.2.2
    Students will develop characters through emotions, actions, reactions, descriptions, thoughts, or dialogue when appropriate
  • WR-HS-2.4.0
    Students will create effective sentences…
  •  RD-10-2.0.3
    Students will apply the information from a passage needed to accomplish a task
  • RD-10-2.0.7
    Students will make inferences, draw conclusions or make generalizations based on evidence from a passage

 Essential Questions:

·         How does Chaucer characterize his characters in the “Prologue” of Canterbury Tales?

o   Who is the speaker in the text?

o   Is the characterization direct or indirect?  What methods are employed?

o   What sense of the character’s personality do we gain from studying the characterization techniques?

·         How does understanding the characterization of the characters in the “Prologue” of Canterbury Tales affect your reading of the rest of the text?

o   How do you think the characters will interact with each other on the long pilgrimage?

o   Are these characters stereotypical of Chaucer’s time-period?

o   What larger purpose might Chaucer have behind creating these types of characters?  

Culminating Activity/Assessment, A product or performance that:

  • Students will create a video regarding one character described in the “Prologue” of Canterbury Tales
  • The video will describe the character and envision what the character looks like based on textual support
  • The video will posit how the character will interact with other characters on the pilgrimage

Multimedia Project : Canterbury Tales Prologue Character Video

Teacher Name: Ms. Roney

Student Name:     ________________________________________
CATEGORY Distinguished Proficient Apprentice Novice
Attractiveness Makes excellent use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. to enhance the presentation. Makes good use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. to enhance to presentation. Makes use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. but occasionally these detract from the presentation content. Use of font, color, graphics, effects etc. but these often distract from the presentation content.
Sources Source information collected for all graphics, facts and quotes. All documented in desired format. Source information collected for all graphics, facts and quotes. Most documented in desired format. Source information collected for graphics, facts and quotes, but not documented in desired format. Very little or no source information was collected.
Mechanics No misspellings or grammatical errors. Three or fewer misspellings and/or mechanical errors. Four misspellings and/or grammatical errors. More than 4 errors in spelling or grammar.
Content Covers topic in-depth with details and examples from the text. Subject knowledge is excellent. Includes essential knowledge about the topic. Subject knowledge appears to be good and is related to the text. Includes essential information about the topic but there are 1-2 factual errors and little connection to text. Content is minimal and unrelated to text OR there are several factual errors.
Organization Content is well organized using headings or bulleted lists to group related material. Uses headings or bulleted lists to organize, but the overall organization of topics appears flawed. Content is logically organized for the most part. There was no clear or logical organizational structure, just lots of facts.
Requirements All requirements are met and exceeded. All requirements are met. One requirement was not completely met. More than one requirement was not completely met.
   Resources / Technology:
  • One copy of Canterbury Tales per student
  • One sheet of drawing paper per five students
  • Markers, crayons, and colored pencils
  • One can of play-doh per five students
  • Movie making software
  • One computer per student
 Outline of Daily Plans
 Day One of UnitDay Two of UnitDay Three of Unit

Demonstrate indirect characterization

Create character maps for the characters in the first half of the prologue

Create social media profiles for the Canterbury “Prologue” characters


·         Students in groups of 4-5

·         Each group develops a character

·         Draw the character and create a possession

·         Share the characters as a class and discuss how we have used indirect characterization

·         Exit card on the types of indirect characterization used

Homework: read first half of prologue

·         Go over the first stanzas of the prologue as a class

·         Break into desk partner groups to continue reading

o   Fill out character maps

o   Each group makes one large character map for an assigned character, post on board

·         Review posted character maps

Homework: read second half of prologue, fill out character maps

·         Compare second half of character maps with assigned groups

·         Social media profile activity

o   The beginning of profiles are posted on the walls

o   Students are given pieces of profiles and decide where to post them

·         Pass out video project rubric and discuss assignment

Homework: Bring materials for video to class


Formative assessment through discussion and exit card

Formative assessment through observation of groups, class discussion, and character maps

 Formative assessment through checking profiles
 Day Four of UnitDay Five of UnitDay Six of Unit

Demonstrate how characters may interact together

Complete character video project

Complete character video project


·         Students are divided into groups

·         Each group has an assigned scenario and has to decide how the characters would interact together in that scenario

·         Act out scenes in front of class

·         Audience votes and the likeliness of the characters acting that way together

Homework: Prepare to finish video assignment in class

·         Fill out video progress card

·         Use class time to finish video

·         Finish filling out video progress card

·         Those who finish early will start reading “The Knight’s Tale” from The Canterbury Tales

Homework: Finish video

·         Anybody who doesn’t have their video finished will receive a deduction and go finish their video

·         Watch videos

·         Fill out self-assessment (rubric)

·         Complete two assigned peer-assessments (rubric)

Homework: Read “The Knight’s Tale” and answer comprehension questions


Formative assessment through the acted out scenarios

Formative assessment through progress assessment card

Summative assessment through video, self-assessment, and two peer-assessments (rubric)



  • Characterization Exit Card

There are five methods of indirect characterization represented by the mnemonic device STEAL.  Write what the letters stand for.  Use the guiding questions to help you.


Name: ______________________________________ Date: ______________________________________ Class: _____

S_________________What does the character say?  How does the character speak?
T_________________What is revealed through the character’s private thoughts and feelings?
E_________________What is revealed through the character’s effect on other people?  How do other characters feel or behave in reaction to the character?
A_________________What does the character do?  How does the character behave?
L_________________What does the character look like?  How does the character dress?
  • Character Maps

Character name: ___________________________

Effect on others toward the character      
  •  webpage with links for summative assessment

Helpful Links for Canterbury Tales Characterization Movie

These links are provided to help students make their movie on characterization of one character in the "Prologue" of The Canterbury Tales. Microsoft's guide on how to use Windows Movie Maker Video tutorial on Windows Movie Maker SparkNotes notes on the characters in The Canterbury Tales - students should make sure their work on characterization goes beyond this! Website to help students find images for their videos without violating copyright law The Canterbury Tales "Prologue" text with Middle English and a side-by-side translation into modern English Notes and a graphic organizer on characterization used in class