Grendel 6 - Finding Balance - Group Work 7 & 8

"Grendel: 'Balance is everything.'"

Grendel Day6 -Group Work - Chapters 7 & 8:   This group work is a natural follow up to yesterday's discussion.  If Grendel lets Unferth live to defeat the Dragon's idea of no free will, his decision to spare Wealtheow is that - even more so.

Lesson Overview 

By this point in the school year - discussions, group works, and all activities exist in three planes: What has come before; What is happening now; What will come later.  If you ask me why I repeat the same texts over and over with little variation (except in the lessons perhaps, and even then...) - I would tell you because only when you've done something a number of times can you start making the wonderful connections from one text - one idea - to the next. 

In this group work, the students will connect it to so much that has come earlier: The last chapter with Unferth, his loss of innocence in Chapter 2, the weight of the Shaper.  And they will also connect it in a more literal way with Beowulf - their first reading.  Students love seeing the concrete references to that old Anglo-Saxon work in this modern novel by an American.  

There are also questions that talk about that most modern of ideas (perhaps): "Conspiracy Theories" - and I prepare the students (see the last question) for John Keats's epic poem - "Ode on a Grecian Urn".   I can do that because I've seen the connections over the years that the students make themselves - point out to me - and that I integrate into the lesson.  That, to me, is "student centered".  In any case, this is probablythe third group work that they've done in groups of their own choosing.  They are learning how to utilize their strengths - and the students who usually don't participate are learning that they have to or they won't do well - either in the class or more importantly in learning.

I have also included below notes if you want to do this as a discussion rather than Group Work.


Most Recent Handouts & Quizzes  (two different quizzes depending on how far the students were asked to read)

The Group Work (Defeating Determinism - Chapts 7 & 8):  Docx   PDF
A version for the Regular (Class) Group Work 7 & 8  Docx  PDF - there are a few less questions.  Getting my regular students to complete the Group Work in a meaningful way was a challenge at the beginning of the year - to me this comes down to expectations.  I would give my regular kids extra credit to sit in on an honors class during their lunch (I let them eat in class) and do the group work.  It was such a great idea - they not only had a new sense of focus, but they brought that back to the class-at-large.

Reading Quiz Chapters 7 & 8:  Docx   PDF - note it is worth 150 points (more reading more credit)

Reading Quiz Chapter 8 only Docx   PDF  - back to 100 points - it's great to have varied quizzes in case you change what is assigned to be read.

Lesson Notes for 7 & 8 as a Discussion

I think this works better as Group Work - especially considering the big discussion on 5 & 6 that we have just come off of - but here are notes for doing it as a Discussion.  Notice - the same beginning: "Balance is Everything".


Remote Enhancements 

Nothing that I have found...yet.   By now they have done enough group works - that putting it out there and using whatever system you have for putting students in groups online should be effective.


Class Recordings (for registered members)



What's Next & Unit Home Page

Grendel - Day 7 - Chapter 9 A Vertext  - Chapter 9 is pretty difficult and a Vertext (collection of quotes ordered for the lesson to help break the ideas down - while letting the students do all of the critical thinking "heavy-lifting" works really well.


  Grendel 5 - Chapter 5 & 6 Discussion

Thoughts on the Lesson 

By this point, students are usually groaning about Group Work.  See my page on Group Work.  But that's more than ok.  They groan because it is tough.  It makes them think.  And it's stressful to get done by the end of period.  All great reasons to do it.  When you can control the stress and the stakes - we are teaching students resiliency and grit.  This group work will give them the ooohhhh & ahhhhhs when they read and when they discuss.