Title of Lesson: Beowulf, Take Two

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Title of Lesson: Beowulf, Take Two

Concept Overview:

Students will rewrite a portion of the saga of Beowulf in a way that is true to the characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon hero. They will produce a film interpretation of the rewrite.

Subject Area(s) Addressed

English II – World Literature

Estimated Lesson Time:

1 ½ weeks

Standards and Objectives

What state or national standards does this lesson address?

NCDPI – English II
Competency Goal 5: The learner will read and analyze selected works of world literature. (Emphasis placed on analyzing archetypal characters, themes, and settings in world literature; making comparisons and connections between historical and contemporary issues; and understanding the importance of cultural and historical impact on literary texts.
Competency Goal 6: The learner will apply conventions of grammar and language usage.

Possibilities for Integration

NCDPI Theatre Arts 9-12

Theatre Arts I - Competency Goal 2.21: Identify character traits and given circumstances from a play.
Theatre Arts II – Competency Goal 1.03: Evaluate plots and themes.
Theatre Arts II – Competency Goal 1.06: Compare and explore relationships among characters.
Theatre Arts II – Competency Goal 2.09: Analyze text for character clues and objectives.
Theatre Arts III – Competency Goal 1.05: Write a three-person scene or an ensemble piece alone, with a writing partner, or develop with an ensemble.

NCDPI Computer/Technology Skills 9-12

Competency Goal 2.01: Practice and refine knowledge and skills in keyboarding/word processing/desktop publishing, spreadsheets, databases, multimedia, and telecommunications in preparing classroom assignments and projects.
Competency Goal 3: The learner will use a variety of technologies to access, analyze, interpret, synthesize, apply, and communicate information.

NCDPI Second Languages Levels II and higher

Competency Goal 3: Presentational Communication – The learner will present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics in the target language.

NCDPI World History (grade 9)

Competency Goal 1.05: Trace major themes in the development of the world from its origins to the rise of early civilizations.

Lesson Objectives

What is the purpose of this learning experience? What will students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?

Students will be able to identify the characteristics of an Anglo-Saxon hero and predict the actions of such a character in today’s society. Students will be able to apply the characteristics of an Anglo-Saxon epic to an original collaborative work.


Class set of Beowulf

Student Computers with World of Warcraft Installed

Video Capturing Software (free versions are available at: Hyper Cam - http://www.hypercam.com/ or Fraps - http://www.fraps.com/)

Computer Microphone and Voice Capturing Software (Sound Recorder comes free with Windows machines)

Video Editing Suite (Windows Movie Maker comes free with Windows XP and higher systems)

CD/DVD burner

Before/ ENGAGE:

  • Teacher asks some discussion questions to get the students thinking about the lesson. Tie into prior knowledge.

  • Teacher engages students to connect to previous lessons if applicable.

A brief plot summary is shared. The teacher can create this or students can discuss the plot and create the summary in groups or as a class.

The teacher leads the students in a discussion of group loyalty in the epic and how it correlates to the idea of group loyalty in the game. See sample discussion questions.

The teacher helps students identify characteristics of an Anglo-Saxon hero including: fighting ability (warrior), strength, intelligence, courage, humility, kindness, and not afraid to die.

Play “What Would Beowulf Do” with the students. Divide them into manageable groups and present them with contemporary scenarios. Have them role-play how they believe Beowulf would handle them.


  • Teacher allows students to take leading and exploratory roles.

  • Teacher guides student exploration/learning.

  • Students engage in inquiry and research.

  • Students develop products or artifacts demonstrating their understanding.

Students will re-enact, using their WoW avatars, one of the decisive battles in the story (Grendel, Grendels’ mother, or the fire-breathing dragon). This should be filmed/captured as a trial run for the culminating project introduced next. This may be done as a silent movie, with a music soundtrack (following copyright rules), or with voiceovers. These can be exhibited by having students walk around and view the footage on the capture computers.

Students will divide into small groups. They will rewrite a portion of the epic, following the characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon hero and Anglo-Saxon epic. They will use their WoW avatars to record a movie of their story. They will use the microphone and voice capturing software to record their dialogue. Using a video editing program they will combine the video and audio into a movie.

The movies will be exported from the video editing suite and either compressed and burned onto a CD, or burned onto a DVD.


  • Teacher encourages cooperative learning, fostering a social learning environment.

  • Teacher asks questions to challenge thinking.

  • Students share their learning/products with classmates and ideally, online.

  • Students connect what they have learned to prior learning.

  • Students explore “real-life” applications of their learning.

Have a film festival showcasing the student’s movies. Invite parents and/or families. See if the athletic department will provide popcorn and drinks as an incentive for parents. Or have a potluck lunch if the class period allows.

If possible, publish the movies over the Internet via the school webpage or a free service like youtube.com.

After all the movies have been shown, have students provide feedback to their peers either within groups or class-wide. Review the characteristics of an Anglo-Saxon epic and hero with the students. Have students analyze each other’s films to determine whether they stay true to these characteristics.


How will students’ learning be assessed? Describe any assessment activities.

Students will be evaluated on their participation in group activities such as: discussions, role play, and script creation.

Student films will be graded based on a rubric.

Sample Group Loyalty Discussion Questions

  • What things/events complicate group loyalty in the story? What kind of things might compromise group loyalty in the game?

  • List some conflicts that may have arisen during game play. Create a Graphic Organizer and sort them into categories. One example below, where specific incidents would be substituted for general ones.

  • Have students share how they handled any conflicts concerning loyalty in the past.

  • How would your personality fit in with the Anglo-Saxon culture at the time of Beowulf?

In Game Issues

Real Life Issues

User Controlled

On Punishment

Other In-game Commitment

Forgot Commitment

Patch Day

Software Problem

Server Down

Family Issues

Internet Access

Hardware Problem

What Would Beowulf Do Sample Scenarios

  • The principal just suspended Beowulf’s brother from school for cutting class to attend a jousting tournament.

  • A girl spills her backpack into the hall during class changes in front of Beowulf.

  • There is a tornado drill and there are rumors that this one is for real.

  • Beowulf is on the football team, it’s the fourth quarter and the team is down by 18 points.

  • Beowulf’s friend was in a car accident and is in the hospital.

  • Someone is spreading lies about Beowulf’s best friend.

Anglo-Saxon Epic - Movie Rubric

Exceeding Target

Met Target

Approaching Target

Just Beginning


* Story is written in narrative format with a clear beginning, middle, and end.

* Story includes characters, goals, conflict/obstacle, and outcome/resolution.

* Final draft is typed, approximately one page per minute of film, 12 pt standard font

* Conventional grammar rules are followed.

4 3 2 1



* All members clearly participated in the production of the film.

* Used capturing software correctly.

* Used equipment safely and correctly at all times – keeping up with equipment and supplies.

4 3 2 1



* Imported all necessary footage into the editor.

* Organized clips through labeling and filing.

* Synched Audio and Video in the timeline.

* Added titles and credits before and/or after the film.

4 3 2 1



* Film clearly communicates the idea/moral/theme to the audience.

* Film style is consistent.

* All included ideas, images, and audio adhere to district policies and standards.

4 3 2 1


Historical Accuracy

* Clearly communicates the characteristics of an Anglo-Saxon epic.

* Clearly adheres to the characteristics of an Anglo-Saxon hero.

* Film is obviously based on Beowulf characters, plot, or themes.

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