Author Study Project: Mock Interviews (p. 170)
Use the Web sites below to complete the following activity.
Research and present a series of mock interviews with English men and women of Chaucer’s day. Begin by brainstorming a list of possible interviewees with the entire class. Consider the characters in the “Prologue” of The Canterbury Tales and the professions mentioned in your textbook’s biographical information about Chaucer. Then get together with a partner and research one of the medieval people or lifestyles. Use your findings to prepare questions and discussion points for a mock interview in which one member of your pair takes on the role of interviewer and the other portrays a medieval person.
Primary Print Sources Consider reading letters and diaries from the era, as well as more of The Canterbury Tales. A brief general survey of English literature, such as one found in an encyclopedia, might help you locate appropriate medieval sources.
Secondary Print Sources Social histories, which focus on people’s daily lives, may prove to be valuable sources. Biographies of Chaucer and other people of his day should also be useful. Consider books that combine biography and social history, such as John Gardner’s The Life and Times of Chaucer.
Web Sites Search for the Web sites of Chaucer and Middle English societies, medieval museums, and British castles. Also use the Web to locate medieval studies departments at British and American universities. The sites below can help you get started.