PDF file. Cover page plus two pages. I created these two assignments as a way to make Beowulf more relevant for my senior-level British Literature class.
I especially sought out recently published articles pertaining to the ancient text. My goal? To let students figure out on their own that Beowulf is still a force in contemporary society.
In other words, I wanted to stop telling students that Beowulf is relevant and instead, let them come to that realization on their own.
In addition to conveying relevance, locating contemporary articles about Beowulf published by active writers and bloggers would do two more things: 1) increase my students’ knowledge base about the great Geat warrior himself and Anglo-Saxon literature in general, and 2) form the foundation for the medieval era literature that follows in our textbook. And, in the end, my students did connect better with the story as a result of using these assignments. Read Three New Articles to Pair with Beowulf to learn more about how I used these in my classes. One of the three articles as a segue into Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and that article assignment can be found in a separate product that will be posted by July 31.
Note that this product DOES NOT contain the copyrighted articles that students must read to complete the written portion of these assignments. Links are provided at the top of each page to quickly take students to the texts, which are:
- “A Beowulf for Our Moment” by Ruth Franklin for The New Yorker
- “Revisiting Sutton Hoo: Britain’s Mythical Ship Burial” by Sam Knight for The New Yorker
Each page contains a rubric at the top that alludes to the assignment directions below it. Zoom in on the product images to read each assignment’s details.
Students can use the rubric like a checklist to make sure they are following the directions for the assignment. My rubric contains very specific directions for students, including requesting that they cite the articles and provide a Works Cited listing, as well as practice idea development by interpreting the quotations they choose from the articles. Please let me know if you have questions as to how to use these assignments by sending me a message on my Contact Page. Enjoy!