ALEX Lesson Plan


Move Over Real Housewives: Meet the Real Pilgrims of Canterbury 

You may save this lesson plan to your hard drive as an html file by selecting "File", then "Save As" from your browser's pull down menu. The file name extension must be .html.

  This lesson provided by:  
Author:LaSheree Sanford-Davis
System: Birmingham City
School: Ramsay High School
The event this resource created for:CCRS
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33149


Move Over Real Housewives: Meet the Real Pilgrims of Canterbury 


Using an online blog, students will learn about the pilgrims in Chaucer's The Prologue of the Canterbury Tales. Students will understand how what an author choses to include or not include reveals the author's attitude about a subject.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 12
3 ) Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed). [RL.11-12.3]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.12.3- Describe how characters interact and develop in a story; identify the setting of a story; identify the problem in a story.

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 12
31 ) Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used. [SL.11-12.3]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.12.31- Identify a speaker's point of view; identify evidence to support the point of view of a speaker.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Student will be able to:

  • determine an author's tone
  • determine how an author's purpose is determined by word choice
  • write a character analysis

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales 

4 x 6 note cards with names of The Canterbury Tales pilgrims printed 



Technology Resources Needed:

Computer or any web enabled device

Consider as a blogging platform.


The lesson should follow an introduction of the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer and the reading of the beginning of The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales.

Teacher will to prepare 4x6 index cards by writing the names of each of the pilgrims on a card.

Teacher will set up a web page, academic blog spot or discussion board and make sure students are able to actively participate in open chat with other class members. 


1. Open class with asking the question "What makes a character realistic?" Allow students to write the responses on adhesive back note pads.  

2. Encourage students to share responses and post the notes in an area for all students to review.

3. Lead students in a discussion about how what an author does or does not reveal reflects the author's attitude about a subject.

4. Give each student a card with the name of one of pilgrims printed on one side. (There are a limited number of female characters, therefore some female students may need to be assigned characters that would traditionally be male).

5. Tell students to read what Chaucer has included in The Prologue about the character.

6. Have students write a brief summary about the character on the back of the card. Encourage students to look for details about the character's physical appearance, clothing, speech, profession and habits. Tell students to look for anything that is unusual about the character. Allow students time to use the internet to research the character's profession and find any behaviors that are in contrast to what the character should be.      

7. Tell the students that they must keep any contrasting information a "secret".

8. Explain that each the pilgrims fit into one of three classes: the church, the court or the commoners. Assign designated areas for each of the groups to sit and have the students to move to the assigned area. 

9. Allow the students to spend some time discussing their assigned character with the other members in their "class", remembering to keep the "secret" a "secret".  Then tell the students that they may move around the room and introduce their themselves to the others who are not a part of their class.

10. Tell the students that they must share their secret with only one other person.  

11.  At the end of class, tell students that as an out of class assignment, they must post the secret as a part of the the class blog, beginning each post with a disclaimer like "I heard that...," "Did you know that...", "Don't tell anyone but..., and then include the pilgrim's name and the secret.

12. Present the blog during the next class period using a interactive white board. Have each student share information about his character after the "secret" has been presented to the class. 



Assessment Strategies

Formative assessment while student interact with other groups

Formative assessment from student presentation of individual pilgrim analysis  


Student may use information to create his own Canterbury Tales Crossword Puzzle

Students may investigate the reasons why various pilgrims may have traveled to Canterbury 


Students may make notecards using the information from the student discussions of the pilgrims

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.