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Playing Chaucer's Pilgrims

Subject: Literature
Grade: 9-12

Brief Description

Students dress like Chaucer's pilgrims in the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales and act out a skit revealing Chaucer's description of each pilgrim.


Students will interpret Chaucer's description, background, and opinion of each pilgrim and portray them through authentic dress, role- playing, and props.


Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Pilgrims, literature, acting

Materials Needed

  • Chaucer's Prologue to the The Canterbury Tales
  • books on medieval dress
  • costumes
  • props
  • makeup
  • music (provided by students)
  • Feudal Life

Lesson Plan

  • Introduce Chaucer and the medieval period, using lecture, Q&A, and discussion.
  • Organize students into small groups and assign each group an equal number of pilgrims.
  • Work with individual groups to help students understand Chaucer's descriptions.
  • Each group will plan its skit and costumes. Each group will present its skit. Ask each group questions designed to emphasize important information and to include important details that are left out.
  • Videotape the skits to share with other classes and to use as examples for future classes. Take pictures of each group.
  • Each class votes on the best skit. Display pictures of the winner(s)in the library or on the school bulletin board.

The teacher uses a rubric to assess creativity, appropriate costuming, and information presented in each skit.

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted by: Kathleen Modenbach, ([email protected]) Northshore High School, Slidell, Louisiana



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