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?