A Knight's Tale - A Teaching Unit for the 11th to 13th grade

Lesson Plan, 2004

13 Pages, Grade: 1,0



I. Introduction

II. Preparatory Phase
II.1 Aims
II.2 Choosing the Movie
II.3 Primary Information
II.4 Lesson Overview

III. Watching the Movie

IV. Postprocessing Phase
IV.1 Discussing the Movie
IV.2 A Question Worksheet
IV.3 Key Points for Summaries
IV.4 Writing a Summary and Summary Comparison
IV.5 Summarizing the Summary
IV.6 Writing a Review
IV.7 Developing a TV Commercial
IV.8 Writing Epitaphs
IV.9 Comparing the Movie to the Canterbury Tales
IV.10 Final Remarks on the Movie
IV.11 Evaluation
IV.12 Lesson Overview

V. Conclusion


I. Introduction

Teaching literature, especially if it is not modern literature and therefore not concerning the pupils’ environment, is often a difficult job. Nowadays, media like movies or documentaries seem to be more agreeable for young learners, possibly because they grow up with it.

However, if pupils do not enjoy reading, they will miss contact to a whole world of human knowledge and experiences. They therefore have to be introduced to techniques for reading, analysing and understanding literature. Furthermore, they have to know what they can do with a movie, apart from just watching it. Thirdly, students need to handle tools like the Internet and devices like an overhead projector or a beamer.

In this teaching unit for an 11th to 13th grade class (gymnasiale Oberstufe) we assume that the class already has general knowledge of how to handle literature and media correctly. It consists of a preparatory (or information) phase, then of a phase in which the movie ‘A Knight’s Tale’ by Brian Helgeland will be presented, and lastly of a postprocessing (‘post-watching’) phase which will take the longest time, because it comprises analysis, understanding, developing, and consulting literary sources.

Especially the group work tasks will be based on the book ‘Literature in the English Classroom’ (Collie & Slater (1987)). For all activities taken from the book, a à reference with the name and page number is given (even if the activities are a bit modified). As Collie & Slater (p.8) suggest, our project will mainly consist of student-centred activities, so that the scholars maintain interest and get emotionally involved. Furthermore, all four basic skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) will be practised.

II. Preparatory Phase

II.1 Aims

Due to the limited size of this paper it mainly describes the realisation in the classroom, and only shortly mentions the preparation needed by the teacher. However, the teacher should be clear in his mind which main aims are to be achieved with this unit. Firstly, aims like audiovisual comprehension and analysis of feature films can be found in the North-Rhine Westphalian curriculum (Ritterbach-Verlag, p. 37) for ‘Sekundarstufe II’. Secondly, this teaching unit is supposed to combine literary and media contents by presenting a feature film, comparing it to a literary source, and using the Internet, a very modern media. A last emphasis is laid on advancing the pupils’ social competence by including group work phases.

II.2 Choosing the Movie

It is possible that the scholars are asked beforehand what they want to watch - through a questionnaire, or by giving summaries or showing the trailers of three or four films and about the tasks that could be done with them (cp. Collie & Slater, p. 7). Personal involvement is the most important thing for learners – if the class is not interested in the topic, it will be hard to motivate them.

II.3 Primary Information

This is actually the real beginning of this teaching unit. The teacher explains what the unit will consist of. He or she tells the class that the unit is divided into the aforementioned three parts. The students get to know the main aims, the planned course of action, and the media they might probably get into contact with. Ideally, the teacher hands out a prepared a sheet with a rough plan on it.

After the organisational things are clarified, the teacher shows the students the cover of ‘A Knight’s Tale’ and reads out the summary at the back of the DVD case. à Using the title and cover design, p.17. This is to arouse curiosity, and a possible way one might naturally get into a first contact with a movie.

The next activity is to show the trailer of the film (if not already done for choosing the movie), which is also on the DVD, because watching a trailer on television, the web or at the cinema is realistic scenario to make contact with it. The students are then asked to tell the others what they expect from the movie.

The next task is to find more information about the movie, the writer, the director, the producer (all three in this case the same person) à cp. Biographical montage, p.23 and the actors. A good starting point is the website of the IMDB (International Movie Database). They are then to create an A4 sheet with the results they find most important. The pupils can use the Internet; they can recall what they remember from the movie if they know it. This activity should be done in groups. After the groups have finished their sheets the first group presents their results. The following groups are asked to present only information which is new to the class.

It is useful for the students if the teacher collects the sheets from the groups and compiles the most important results from all handouts onto a new A4 sheet, possibly adds missing information, and distributes the new sheet in the next lesson.

II.4 Lesson Overview

illustration not visible in this excerpt


Excerpt out of 13 pages


A Knight's Tale - A Teaching Unit for the 11th to 13th grade
Bielefeld University
Literature and Media
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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535 KB
Knight, Tale, Teaching, Unit, Literature, Media, Ritter aus Leidenschaft
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Tobias Nahrwold (Author), 2004, A Knight's Tale - A Teaching Unit for the 11th to 13th grade, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/59560


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