Beowulf Day 5 - The Fire Dragon Group Work

"None of his comrades came to him, helped him, his brave and noble followers; they ran for their lives..."  Beowulf  

Lesson Overview 

  This is their third group work - again, I feel it is so important to get them talking about the work they just read - in a class discussion they can be passive - these group works require everyone working at full speed, using the best of their individual talents to get the work done.  This is their penultimate cooperative work with random grouping - in essence, their 2nd to the last chance to find like group members (though of course they can change groups later)

The texts (both of them) served as a guide for creating the Group Work.  In my  notes you can see the development of the the questions that the students are asked.  As the years go on - what students asked questions about - what they connected with (and made connections to) helped to guide what the Group Work became.  If there notes for the other reading (from their older text book - I have  yet to find them).


Most Recent Handouts & Quizzes

Reading Quiz Old Book Text & pgs 42-49:  Docx  PDF  (the quiz is longer - 6 quests. - because the reading was longer - it will also count for 150 points, rather than the usual 100 for the same reason.

The Fire Dragon  Group Work  Docx  PDF (see above Lesson Overview)  

A Kite for Michael and Christopher - This Handout - on the back - includes an Extra Credit writing assignment:, having the students write a short essay linking a poem by Seamus Heaney (one of the translators of Beowulf that I've played for them) with the ending of Beowulf - and the titular character's desire for a legacy to continue - though the text seems to preclude that possibility.  Such a wonderful way for students to make other connections on their own.  Connections with their lives, with Old English and Modern Times, etc. 
  It also gives them a chance to connect very different kinds of poetry - and perhaps see how the modern influenced Heaney's translation.   

Audio Visual Content


Remote Enhancements 

Nothing that I have found...yet.  However - the video and the group work can certainly be a shared screen in any Remote Meeting.



Here is a link to the Burton Raffel translation used in my class (I do not endorse or certify the use of any outside websites).

Class Recordings (for registered members)



What's Next

Putt'n on the Beowulf    A long-term group assignment where students will act out the last scene (the Fire Dragon & death of the hero) from Beowulf using a theme and translation of their choosing.


  Beowulf Day 4 pgs 35-41

Thoughts on the Lesson 

We were reading Beowulf aloud in class when 9/11 occurred.  I still remember the fear and anxiety that ran through the classroom with the destruction of the Twin Towers.  Before that horrific event, this group work was built around the hero of the Flight 93 plane crash at National Airport.  When the plane hit the Potomac River - one passenger kept giving up his seat on the rescue helicopter so that others could be taken to saftey before him - when they finally came for him - he was gone.