“Then they showed forth the shield, that shone all in red, With the pentangle portrayed in purest gold” (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Lines 619-620). The red background of Sir Gawain’s shield is symbolically representative of the “willingness to shed blood to defend the Church.” (Warrior Profile: Knights). The unalloyed gold used for the pentangle symbolized Gawain’s purity as a knight: “Was Gawain in good works, as gold unalloyed, Devoid of all villainy…” (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Lines 633-634).
Our classical literature club is reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight this month. The members of our group create a project for each classical book we read. The project for Sir Gawain has two parts.
Part One: Create a Pentangle to discover there is more than meets the eye when we first encounter an idea.
Part Two: Act out a scene from the story either alone or in groups to walk in the shoes of the characters and to have a great time.
I discovered a site that is full of helpful ideas. The people over there share a wealth of knowledge about the Medieval time period. This site is where I got the idea for our two-part project. Here are some photographs of Pentangles created by some of their folks. If you visit their site you can read about the discussion the kids had with their teacher after they made these. Very interesting indeed.
If the project we are doing doesn’t appeal to you maybe one of these will suite your fancy.
This link below are a fabulous resource. These ideas are not my own. One of the pages on the site gives teachers project ideas for the classroom. The following suggestions are found on that page.
Go to the home page, http://mednar.org/ and view all the clips featuring a certain type of performance—for example, performances using puppets, or instruments, or recorded music. Then discuss the use of a particular performance style: How is it attractive, effective? What are its limitations?
Watch several of the clips from the link, http://mednar.org/categories/329/search_type/and/order/title/, and ask students to explain why they like or dislike a particular clip. Explaining why a performance does, or does not, conform to their tastes often helps us articulate more clearly our own understanding and reading of a passage or work.
Watch a variety of clips on one subject, the Arthurian legend, http://mednar.org/categories/86,105/search_type/and/order/title/, and compare how the famous and on-going Arthurian characters are depicted in the work(s). Have a discussion.