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A Level English Literature Guide to Teaching Chaucer Background Lessons

jennywebb | Thursday September 01, 2022

Categories: Archived Resources, KS5 Archive, AQA A Level, AQA A Level Pre-2015 Resources, AQA A Level English Language & Literature A, ELLA4, AQA A Level English Language & Literature B, ELLB4, AQA A Level English Literature B, LITB3, EDEXCEL A Level, Edexcel A Level Pre-2015 Resources, EDEXCEL A Level English Language & Literature, 6EL02, Hot Entries, Poetry, Chaucer, Writing, Literary Analysis

Chaucer can be a daunting prospect for many 17-year-olds. His medieval 14th Century historical, cultural, religious and literary context is so far removed from anything else they have come across before; and the likelihood is that they will never have come across even his name in their earlier school career. By the time they hit A Level, Shakespeare is familiar territory, having been studied at GCSE and KS3 in most schools, but Chaucer remains a dark, mysterious figure, further back in the mists of time.

When approaching Chaucer with a new class, why not take away the mystery by providing a solid grounding, not just in 14th Century society, but also in the wide breadth of Chaucer’s works. Most A Level classes will be studying one of The Canterbury Tales in isolation, but Chaucer wrote a huge number of poems, some of which are short, easy to access and give great insight into the writer and his ideas. Here are a series of lessons and resources which you could use or adapt when giving students an introduction to Chaucer’s work.

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