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The Middle Ages are fun and fascinating period of literature which even younger middle school students can enjoy. This complete unit of work is an easy and enjoyable survey of ten different medieval genres (including courtly love poetry, advice guides to children, frame tales, chronicles, and allegories) which will engage students of a more developed reading ability. This unit was successfully tested on a high-ability Year 8 (age 13-14) group.


It assumes no prior knowledge of the medieval period.


  • Contextual introduction to the period, changes to the English language, discussion of what people read and valued.
  • Ten short modules covering ten different text-types found in popular medieval literature. Each module includes:
  1. introduction to the text type and a discussion of where we can see it in literature and culture today
  2. a short focus text in modern English, either translated or retold
  3. Bloom's Taxonomy questions on the focus text
  • Stand-alone creative writing with medieval prompts
  • Summative thematic essay on one short text (provided) and the student's choice of another text from the unit


Teachers can use the ten modules as a complete unit or as single modules supporting a study of another text.

Unit of Work: Introduction to Medieval Literature

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