"Intro to the Anglo-Saxons"

"But something, or an infinite number of things, dies in every death, unless the universe is possessed of a memory."  J.L. Borges  

Wind Through the Aquaducts - An Introduction to the Anglo-Saxons: We will be spending the next several weeks on the Anglo-Saxons - and our language and much of our culture comes from this legacy,

Lesson Overview 

For the longest time, this was the first group work given to the students. -Because so much of the class is done as group work, it makes sense to start getting them into that experience as soon as possible.  It also gives the teacher - while they are working in groups, a chance to look at (not enough time to grade) the test (not a quiz, there are more questions and it counts for more) AND to remind the students for the first time that if they didn't do the reading homework, they should spend the period reading - and do the group work for homework (turned in without penalty).  More on Group Work can be found here.

The Group Work is designed to show them what they are capable of (working together), have them put the history they read about to use by synthesizing the bit of information, and to show them how it applies to what is going on today.  Having them read the History behind the literature will come in handy once we jump into the literature of the Anglo Saxons - though later, as the year progresses, they will be introduced to the idea of the Literature standing on its own.

One of the more recent questions is as follows: "5. The year 2019 marks 400 years since the first African Slaves were brought to the United States.  The New York Times has created The 1619 Project (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html).  Does your group believe that we are still feeling the effects of this part of our American history, today?  Can your group think of any specific examples – you may want to bring this question – into the discussion of the Bonus question below."  I believe that integrating the history and literature we are reading into the bigger cultural and historical picture is not only good practice - but vital to making the lesson (and the text) meaningful to our students.

My Lesson Notes (2016/2021) - Hand written notes - I often use numbers and letters to help me keep things organized.

The Introduction to the Anglo-Saxons

Their reading can be found in Elements of Literature, Sixth Course - Literature of Britain.  More on the text book can be found here.  Any good introduction to the Anglo Saxon era should suffice - though the group work and or Presentation  found on this site may have to be modified accordingly


Most Recent Handouts & Quizzes

Reading Test: DocPDF - For "Introduction to the Anglo-Saxons" (this is a test [worth 150 or 200 points vs a quiz's 100 pts and there are more questions).  Most students do not do as well on historical background assessments (all the more reason to give them practice) and nonfiction reading is a valuable skill to be taught.

Group Work: Docx   PDF   Wind through the AquaductsThe Changing Anglo-Saxon Culture  DOC x  PDF  The meat of the lesson.  Students are given whatever time is left after the test (usually 10 minutes) to get into groups and turn this in.  Make sure you emphasize - "They are NOT to split up the work!" (That would defeat the point.  Remind them to do their best and to stay focused.  There is also an Extra Credit involving Creative Writing - which are always rare - and in this case, fascinating to read.

Older Versions of Handouts:

Audio Visual Content



Remote Enhancements

  Somewhere there must be a Power Point I used to help students get into groups (this was the first time - and it is especially cumbersome in remote)  and talking about group work - when I find it - I will post it here.



"The Witness" by J.L. Borges (excerpted in their text books as "The Last Anglo-Saxon"

Class Recordings (for registered members)



What's Next & Unit Home Page

The Beowulf Circle:   The next lesson is designed to give students the confidence they need to read, to understand, and to have faith in the text (the actual words - rather than introductions like we did today)


  Mary Poppins & Our Educational Experiences.

Thoughts on the Lesson 

The first group work is a tough one for all around.  I remember in education class being told that students would love group work. Ha!  I do undstand why though - see my page on Group Work.  This one gets students acquainted with the process as well as the idea of - "if they don't read they can't do the group work in class".  They can do it for homework without a penalty.  I also like this group work a lot because it brings in the 1619 Project - giving students the opportunity to see how things are connected.