Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!
This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf methods. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum planning and ideas, some materials are more Waldorf-y than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.
This page has helpful links and LOADS of free resources to help you plan your seventh grade year. Enjoy!
When I went to write a blog post to share the link, I got to thinking.
I had never taught the Canturbury Tales in middle school before because I always saw them as something covered in High School.
it would be nice to have a second Language Arts block in grade 7 besides WWS and in my notes here on the website I
had originally simply written "Calligraphy." I remember thinking at the time
of that writing that Calligraphy would be balancing after Touch Typing in grade 6 (the Business Letters block).
Once I found the link to this play script, I really got into the idea of combining Calligraphy with the Canturbury Tales and having a whole Middle English moment!
In our homeschool co-op, I am teaching this to my oldest student at the same time as the younger children are doing
a Word Study block using Structured Word Inquiry. I think that looking at Middle English and Modern English
side-by-side will be very fruitful, and interesting for both age groups!
To help you quickly remember which period in English is which, if you're looking for examples,
Beowulf - Old English
Chaucer - Middle English
Shakespeare - Early Modern English
As always, I will share my brainstorming as well as my notes from teaching this topic.
Beowulf & Beo-Bunny
If you'd like to do something re. Old English before moving on to Chaucer, here are
some detailed which-one-is-which notes about the five versions of Beowulf that I used the
last time I taught it in 2015:
Five. Modern English - listen to
The version translated into Modern English read aloud by Robertson Dean, translated by Robert K. Gordon: Beowulf
This version is nice because each part is a separate track on the CD, unlike the Old English version. We have divided our study of Beowulf into five portions.
"Story 1" is Grendel's First Attack and Beowulf's Arrival (prologue to part 10)
"Story 2" is Grendel's Battle with Beowulf (part 11 to part 18)
"Story 3" is Grendel's Mother (part 19 to part 26)
"Story 4" is Beowulf's Return to Geatland (part 27 to part 31)
"Story 5" is The Dragon and Beowulf's Death (part 31 to part 43)
If you don't want to go so deeply, James Rumford wrote
a wonderful version -- my new favorite -- which is
a retelling of the original written
using ONLY Anglo-Saxon words that have survived to this day. It is a very powerful look at these ancient words!
Another option is James Rumford's Beo-Bunny, a charming and funny retelling of Beatrix Potter's classic story
and written side-by-side in Old English and Modern English.
The Canterbury Tales: Essential Books
I'm sure you can find plenty of resources for free both online and at your local public library!
I'm using two books I already had on hand, my college
textbook and a modern retelling of the Canterbury Tales by Geraldine McCaughrean.
We will also be looking at the General Prologue in Middle English, which you can find as a PDF here.
It would be great to have Dr. Jeffrey Punske come in! He's a linguistics professor at SIUC, and we had talked in the past about having him come in to teach
about the Great Vowel Shift.
The particular student for whom this block is designed is going to public school next year, so I am going to give him some pretty traditional assignments. It
is important for him to begin to adjust to them.
The Middle Ages:
those who pray - Clergy - Monk, Friar, Prioress, Parson, Pardoner
those who protect - Nobility - Knight and Squire
those who provide - Peasants - Plowman
The Commercial Revolution:
new social classes arising in Chaucer's time (mid-fourteenth century)
intellectuals - Clerk
merchants / urban middle class - Miller, Reeve, Cook, Wife of Bath, Franklin, Merchant, Shipman
complete a Plot
Triangle graphic organizer (FREE on TpT) for these two different versions of The Nun's Priest's Tale (each partner does one version), then
use the two Plot Triangles to compare the two versions and discuss how they are similar or different (my students initially couldn't
see any similarities at all; doing the graphic organizer made a big difference for them!)
rough draft The Nun's Priest's Tale for MLB
read remainder of Geraldine McCaughrean's book for SSR
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