Education Technology

NCSS: Geoffrey Chaucer?s The Canterbury Tales

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students read and analyze the source document, "The General Prologue" from Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, to identify aspects of medieval culture. They write character sketches to evaluate the pros and cons of living during the Middle Ages.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the NoteFolio (tm) and StudyCards (tm) Apps on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

Develop a coding system for student assignments. The code might be the student number and name of the activity, or the first initial and four letters of the student's last name, in addition to the activity. This coding will allow ease of grading throughout the lesson.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Distribute the NoteFolio (tm) and StudyCards (tm) file(s) to your class using TI Connect(tm) and the appropriate TI Connectivity cable
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Integrate the StudyCards(tm) and TI NoteFolio(tm) Applications into meaningful social studies instruction.
  • Explain how feudalism shaped medieval society.
  • Discuss new literary styles written in the vernacular, or everyday language.
  • Analyze primary source documents; John of Cayworth's feudal contract, "The General Prologue" of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, and an excerpt from Boccaccio's DeCameron, to identify aspects of medieval life.
  • Examine the relevance of a historical crisis in light of a contemporary problem.
  • Examine how the disasters of the Late Middle Ages help set the stage for the modern age.
  • Combine primary and secondary sources to critically examine and draw conclusions about a historical event.
  • After the Activity

    Ask students to read an excerpt from Dante Alighieri's "The Inferno," from The Divine Comedy, and Thomas Aquinas' "Summa Theologica," to compare and contrast the literary styles of scholarly and vernacular literary styles.