An Introduction to Beowulf: Language and Poetics

This is a great introductory lesson plan for Beowulf. Good lesson plan with printables and additional websites.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3005.8.1
Demonstrate knowledge of significant works of British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present and make relevant comparisons.
CLE 3005.8.2
Understand the characteristics of various literary genres (e.g., poetry, novel, biography, short story, essay, drama).
CLE 3005.8.4
Analyze works of British literature for what is suggested about the historical period in which they were written.
CLE 3005.8.5
Know and use appropriate literary terms to derive meaning and comprehension from various literary genres.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Students will:

  • be introduced to Old English, the language of Beowulf.
  • know the relationship between Old English and Modern English.
  • learn about alliteration and alliterative verse.
  • understand kennings, a poetic device common to Old English poetry, and how they are used in Beowulf.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Understanding
Extension suggestions: 
  • Formulas: Review the formula section of the Beowulf: Language and Poetics Quick Reference Sheet and The Electronic Introduction to Old English section on formulas (14.3) and have students look for formulas as they read Beowulf.
  • Variation: Review the variation section of the Beowulf: Language and Poetics Quick Reference Sheet and The Electronic Introduction to Old English section on variation (14.2) and have students look for variation as they read Beowulf.
  • Follow this lesson with the ReadWriteThink lesson, Reading Literature in Translation: Beowulf as a Case Study.

Helpful Hints

Materials:

  • Beowulf: Language and Poetics Quick Reference Sheet
  • Old English Beowulf Passage Handout
  • Modern English Beowulf Passage Handout
  • Excerpt from “The Age of Anxiety" by W.H. Auden

References

Contributors: