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British Literature Writing Portfolio: Canterbury Tales

In Chaucer's  Prologue to the Canterbury Tales the innkeeper at the Tabard Inn suggests that the pilgrims journeying to visit Tomas-á-Becket's shrine keep themselves busy--and have a bit of fun--throughout the course of their travels by telling stories.  The innkeeper suggests that each of the 29 pilgrims shares a story on the way to Canterbury and a second on the way back.  Then, the pilgrims will chose a winner and buy the teller of the best tale dinner.

In class, we picked a place of importance in El Salvador today. . .a place many people from various backgrounds might visit. . .the place of choice was Dale! Dale! Cafe, El Tunco.

For this week's writing portfolio piece, you are to create a character and adapt Chaucer's style in the Prologue.  You should write a 20-30 line description of your chosen, 21st century character and take them on a fantastical expedition to Dale! Dale! Cafe.  Be sure to use end rhymed couplets as Chaucer did.  Include both direct and indirect characterization. Underline/highlight examples, making notes in the margin.  Use details and be creative. . .make sure your readers can not only fully picture your character (looks and personality), but El Salvador's coast as well.

We'll keep true to the spirit of Canterbury Tales by holding a small competition ourselves.  The best senior entry will receive the lunch of their choice on the next Friday senior outing. . .and the opportunity to share his/her tale with fellow senior "pilgrims."  If you'd like to enter this competition which will be judged by other CISS high school teachers please include an additional copy of your tale.  Your entry should be typed in size 12, Times New Roman fonts, single spaced, and printed in black ink on standard copy paper.  Do not include your name on your entry.  All students should submit a (second) copy of their work with your name to be graded.

Grades will be based on the following. . .
Literary elements (direct and indirect characterization. . .be sure to underline/highlight & note in margin). . .20 points
End rhymed couplets (20-30 lines) . . .20 points
Creativity (entertaining, imaginative, and/or humorous) . . .10 points
Imagery ("feel" of El Salvador, descriptions of travel) . . .10 points
Polished (spelling and grammar) . . . 20 points

Bonus points. . .
situational irony (underlined/highlighted and marked in margin). . .5 points
dramatic irony (underlined/highlighted and marked in margin). . .5 points
verbal irony (underlined/highlighted and marked in margin). . .5 points
your original artistic interpretation of your "pilgrim". . . 5 to 10 points