When looking for new products ideas (specifically for High School Literature & Poetry), I discovered several articles about Beowulf, an Old English epic poem. After reading many articles, I came up with 4 reasons why studying this epic poem would be a good thing. (I’m sure there are several other reasons as well!)
- Beowulf helps teach students about Old English and the development of the English language. (Here is an article that gives some background of Old English)
- Beowulf teaches about heroes.
- Beowulf asks questions about good and evil.
- Students can spot the connections to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (Here is an article that will give some insight)
If you are ready to dive in and begin teaching this epic poem, you’ll want to begin with the poem itself.
The poem Beowulf is an Old English epic poem consisting of 3,182 alliterative lines. It is considered by many as one of the most important works of Old English literature. The date of composition is a matter of contention among scholars; the only certain dating pertains to the manuscript, which was produced between 975 and 1025. The anonymous poet is referred to by scholars as the “Beowulf poet”.
The poem is considered public domain because of it’s age, and you can find it various places on the internet or you can download it here on MTL.
As a teacher, if you would like some in-depth insight, summaries and more, check out this cliffnotes site. It will truly given you the information you need to teach the poem.
Next, I recommend the following MTL products while you teach the poem…
Beowulf Notebooking Unit: The unit is designed for students to record vocabulary and definitions, summaries (by assigned lines), characters, answer essay questions, as well as write about symbols and themes of this epic poem. I’ve included several teacher pages which correspond with student pages to help you evaluate student responses.
Beowulf Questions: This resource offers 4 worksheets (+ answer keys) to go along with the poem. Each worksheet asks short answer questions plus an essay question. These questions can be used along the way for quizzes if you choose.
Beowulf Character Crossword Puzzle: This crossword puzzle includes the following main characters of the poem: Beowulf, Wiglaf, Dragon, Grendel, Grendel’s Mother, Hygelac, Hrothgar, Wealhtheow and Unferth. It’s just an added ‘fun’ activity to include during the study.
All these resources can be downloaded for FREE if you are a subscribing member of the MTL Download Club. To find out more, click here.
Not a subscribing member, that’s okay! You purchase any or all of the above products individually. Just go to: Beowulf.
Until next time,