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Phillipians 4:4-8

For with Thee is the fountain of life; in Thy light shall we see light. Psalm 36:9

Canterbury Tales

Posted by Jeanne

This was not my idea. It was suggested to me by my friend, Bonnie, but I'm so taken with it, that I thought I'd do it. Or have Jemimah do it, anyhow. Heh. I love the 'Royal We'.

Anyhow, Bonnie suggested having our students memorise the prologue of The Canterbury Tales in Middle English. Such a simple idea when you have this YouTube video to listen along to. I must say, I never realised how much like Scots the language was until I listened to this.

I never fail to be amazed at how much kids can memorise, and how simple it is. We simply read the passage daily ( or in this case, play the video), and very quickly some parts are learned. Then it's a case of filling the gaps. I find Jemimah learns more quickly if she reads the passage silently a few times before I read it aloud. Perhaps having the words on the screen will do the same thing.

Canterbury Tales - or selected child friendly selections from it - is an AO7 book. I remember it fondly from school English Literature, where it was read aloud to us by the inimitable Danny Spooner, the 'artist in residence' one term. I can still remember his wonderful tenor Cockney voice reading the words of these tales. He didn't expurgate them for young ears either. Oh my!

Here's a YouTube of Danny for you to listen to if you want to. It's totally unrelated to the topic, but I think his voice is great. Imagine the words of Canterbury Tales as you listen to this.


Have your kids ever learned any Middle English like this? How did it go?



walking said...

Thank you for sharing Bonnie's tip. I'm going to be planning out AO7 for the school starting in two weeks.

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