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|Project Title: ||Shall We Take a Pilgrimage|
|School Year: ||2007|
|School - District:||New Bedford High - New Bedford|
|Contact Name:||Susan Sylvia|
|Contact Phone:||(508) 997-4511|
|Content-Area(s):||Arts, English Language Arts|
|Community Need:||Education, Human Needs|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
The students in a 12th grade British literature college English class became enchanted by the pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales. They believed that these pilgrims, as well as the tales that they told, are entertaining and educational. This enthusiasm for Chaucer's work, coupled with the students’ love of children, produced a desire to share this literature with their community. The students presented the Canterbury Pilgrims, and a few of their moral tales, to elementary school students at Hayden-McFadden Elementary School in New Bedford. We found that these moral tales presented by the high school students in costume and in fairy-tale fashion, sent a positive message to elementary school children.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
The moral lessons presented in The Canterbury Tales – greed, vanity, excessive pride etc., “hit home” with the participating students. They felt that by presenting these lessons to elementary students, it would help fulfill the need of many young people who lack such guidance in their personal lives. They “spread the word” that although a perfect world may not be possible, every person can work on maintaining their own life with good morals and ethics, which combined, will make a better world.
|Service Component: |
Each student completed between 12-15 hours work on the project. Approximately 150 fourth and fifth grade students attended the presentation. The presentation was also videotaped and presented at New Bedford High School's Academic Expo as a "world premiere" video. Many of the students who viewed the performance spoke with the high school students afterward, and informed them that they had learned what "to do" and "not to do".
Students were able to draw direct correlations between historical literary works and modern-day life. In addition, they shared this valuable knowledge with the elementary school children. Chaucer's description of the pilgrims reflects the societal and religious values of the medieval time period.
This collection allowed the students to experience the joy of sharing literacy. The collection, though a challenge, presented a number of historical details as well as modern-day themes that the students could relate to their own lives. They expressed the interest in sharing this enjoyment of reading with others. In addition, since the students adapted the Pilgrim's tales to suit a younger audience, literary comprehension and creative writing skills were increased.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
This project focused primarily on the English Language Arts curriculum framework standards. Students also engaged in visual and performing arts through the creation of presentations based on The Canterbury Tales, which included making the costumes and scenery used for the performance.
Language Strands: 1-Discussion, 2-Questioning, Listening, & Contributing, 3-Oral Presentation, 4-Vocabulary & Concept Development Reading and Literature Strands: 8-Understanding a Text, 9-Making Connections, 10-Genre, 11-Theme, 12-Fiction, 15-Style & Language, 18-Dramatic Reading & Performance Composition Strands: 20-Consideration of Audience & Purpose, 23-Organizing Ideas in Writing Media Strand: 27-Media Production
Guiding Principle 1: An effective English language arts curriculum develops thinking and language together through interactive learning.
By presenting the pilgrims and their selected tales, in costume and on stage, the audience will listen and view the literature in performance. The students asked for interactive help from the audience as well, thereby allowing the audience to participate in their own learning. The audience assimilated the moral from each tale, which can increase moral and ethical behavior and understanding.
Guiding Principle 2: An effective English language arts curriculum develops students’ oral language and literacy through appropriately challenging learning.
The students rewrote the selected pilgrim's tales into fairy-tale versions that was appropriate for elementary school children. In doing so, a greater understanding of the text was achieved, both as content and vocabulary. Students, as well as the elementary school audience members, combined speaking, listening, viewing, reading, and writing skills.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Students developed the idea for the performances of The Canterbury Tales, which came from their enthusiasm for Chaucer's work, coupled with their love of younger children. Students created "urban" pilgrims based on job titles that they thought were important. They also made and created the costumes and scenery used. They chose which tales to use, and how to present them, and what morals they believed would most help the elementary school students. The students also chose which school to perform the tales.Students developed the idea for the performances of The Canterbury Tales, which came from their enthusiasm for Chaucer's work, coupled with their love of younger children. Students created "urban" pilgrims based on job titles that they thought were important. They also made and created the costumes and scenery used. They chose which tales to use, and how to present them, and what morals they believed would most help the elementary school students. The students also chose which school to perform the tales.
|Student Reflection Component: |
Students participated in class discussions and testimonials about the experience. In addition, some students presented at the school's Academic Expo, which showed pictorials and the video that was made of their performance.
|Community Partners Involved: |
The elementary school hosted the production and selected the classrooms to view the presentation. Also, pizza and CSL Certificates were provided after the presentation by the elementary school.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
We had a pizza party backstage after the performance to celebrate. Also, all of the district’s CSL projects were highlighted at the Annual CSL Celebration that took place near the end of the school year. Over 170 students, teachers, administrators, and community members enjoyed breakfast and student presentations at the Annual CSL Celebration. All CSL projects were displayed and viewed by the guests.
|Evaluation of Project’s Impact:|
Some anecdotal evidence of the project’s impact was collected through informal feedback from the elementary school children on the lessons they learned from the performances. The project’s impact could be further evaluated through student-developed pre and post surveys of the participating elementary school students on topics related to the moral lessons the high school students conveyed in their performance.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
Two main challenges were identified during the implementation of this project. First, there were time constraints to get the project done along with the other classroom responsibilities. Second, there was a challenge of ensuring that the students’ rewrite of Chaucer’s works was age appropriate for the elementary school audience.
* NOTE: This project summary was written by the district/community. Any text in italics was added or modified by the Department (ESE). Most of these projects were supported with Learn & Serve America funds distributed through the ESE.