How do you make a book that seems boring and uninteresting enjoyable and fun to read? Humor-filled satire videos, of course!
Last Monday, February 8th, juniors presented comical adaptations of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in front of their peers. Juniors created short film parodies of scenes in the novel, adding a new layer of satire to Chaucer’s already satirical stories.
Junior English teacher Mrs. Holmes thought “the projects would be a fun way for students to explore Chaucer’s satirical comedy” and would help students understand subtle clues in Chaucer’s work. Each group of students were assigned one tale to parody and had to present it to the class in the form of a movie. Mr. Berry, another junior English teacher, went through “specific passages and looked at the satire, such as a passage mocking a gluttonous monk” to see Chaucer’s ironic description of the different social classes. Mr. Berry noted the success of the projects, “especially the ones that followed the Honest Trailer format.” Both teachers enjoyed and liked the presentations that the students created and thought they were funny.
Junior Andrew Thresher was thoroughly impressed by the projects, noting the “High quality all around and exemplary work” of the students’ projects. While some projects were more entertaining than others, Andrew enjoyed the break from constant essay writing to “see what other classmates created” and enjoy the funny parodies of specific tales. However, Andrew thought the assignment was quite time consuming, suggesting “more hours in class to work on the projects” as an improvement for next year.
Junior William Henrion also enjoyed the projects, stating they were “pretty funny, mostly.” Like Andrew, William Henrion noted the extensive time required to create the projects, claiming it took their group “five hours for the film and four for the script” to complete. Though time-consuming, William Henrion stated that the projects were worthwhile, as he felt that he “understood satire at a deeper level” than before he started the project. Carlos Riddle, another junior, thought the project was a “challenging experience” yet helped him “better understand the material, especially because it has complicated words and diction.”
Overall, the comedy film projects went well, as the clips helped students explore Chaucer’s complex satire at a different angle. While some students were overwhelmed with the material, most students truly enjoyed the project and found value in the script making and filming. Not only was the project valuable in an academic sense, but also it allowed juniors to simply relax and laugh at entertaining parodies of the tales. After these projects, the juniors will now have a polished sense of understanding satirical diction while also gaining experience in film making.