This book lays out a three to four week study of this seminal story in the development of the English language. Students learn to recite beautiful alliterative passages, create drawings of Celtic knot work, and learn of the culture of the Norse men. Also included is a dramatic presentation of the story of Beowulf that can be performed by a small group of students.

A Painting Activity

On wet paper, paint the glowing yellow moon with a yellow ring around it that begins to flow together. A slight touch of watery red is added on the fringes of moon’s ring to provide a bridging color to the deep blue-violet of the sky. Allow the yellow to stream out into a pathway running in a long diagonal across the page. With the # 20 brush, put layers of violet in the upper portion of the page and dark blue in the lower portion. Be careful to leave a place for the hall to stand, and avoid letting the blues and violets touch the yellow. The hall is painted in red and a little bit of red can also fall on either side of the path of moonlight. As the paper begins to dry, one can begin to paint in the dark silhouettes of trees and the window and doorway of the hall with a detail brush. Notice that the hall and the trees cast dark shadows on the ground. This is a good time to deepen the sky with another wash of blue violet and to let some of the violet wash over the path of yellow dulling it some so that the moon will be the brightest place on the page. Shadows can be deepened with more washes of blue. Finally when the painting is drying, the silhouette of the Grendel can be added.

  • Introduction to Beowulf…1
  • Synopsis of the Story…2
  • Sources…4
  • Beowulf, Alliteration and the Elementary Grade Student…5
  • Alliterative Passages from Beowulf…7
  • Lesson Presentations for a Three Week Block…10
  • Lesson Activities…11
  • The Main Lesson Book…12
  • Drawing and Painting Activities…15
  • The Seafarer…18
  • Three Alternative Activities…20
  • Anglo-Saxon Kennings…21
  • Anglo-Saxon Riddles…22
  • The Celts…26
  • The Druids…28
  • Celtic Knotwork…30
  • A Beowulf Drama…35

Lesson Plan

  • Week One: Lesson Topics
  • Lesson 1: Prologue
  • The Attack of Heorot by Grendel
  • The Coming of Beowulf to Heorot
  • Lesson 2: The Feast at Heorot
  • The Fight with Grendel
  • Lesson 3: Celebration at Heorot
  • Lesson 4: Grendel’s Mother Attacks
  • Lesson 5: Beowulf Attacks the Mother of Grendel
  • Week Two: Lesson Topics
  • Lesson 6: Celebration Again at Heorot
  • Lesson 7: Beowulf Returns Home
  • Lesson 8: Beowulf and the Dragon
  • Lesson 9: Beowulf Attacks the Dragon
  • Lesson 10: Last Words and Funeral
  • Week Threee: Lesson Activity: daily practice of parts from the Beowulf drama
  • Week Three: Lesson Topics
  • Lesson 11: The Seafarer
  • Lesson 12: Anglo-Saxon Riddles
  • Lesson 13 Anglo-Saxon Kennings
  • Lesson 14: Celts and Druids
  • Lesson 15: Knotwork