In this lesson, students develop an understanding of how texts establish character, explore the concept of the hero and the heroic in a variety of texts, and work collaboratively to negotiate interpretations of texts.
This lesson provides an introduction to the language and poetics of the epic poem, "Beowulf." Although students read "Beowulf" in translation, they will be introduced to the five characters in the Old English alphabet no longer used. Students will translate a phrase from the Old English, listen to a passage read in Old English, then learn about poetic devices important in "Beowulf." Finally, students will compare the use of alliteration in Auden's poem, "The Age of Anxiety" to the alliteration and meter used in "Beowulf."
In this lesson, students learn about proverbs: how they work, how they differ from cliches, how to interpret them, and how they can be culturally and personally significant. Students begin by talking about proverbs, interview family and friends to find proverbs that were not discussed in class, and figuring out the meaning of proverbs by creating a new definition of proverbs based on what they've learned.
In this lesson, students work with proverbs from home and from around the world, exploring how these maxims are tied to a culture’s values and everyday experience. Students first discuss how proverbs convey cultural knowledge and values, as well as how proverbs from other cultures are similar to and different from American proverbs. Next, students share family proverbs and explain their significance. Finally, they select one or two proverbs and use art materials, PowerPoint, or a word processor to create mini-posters that reflect the culture from which the proverbs originated.
Good riddles rely upon creative use of metaphor, simile, and metonymy; concrete imagery; and imaginative presentation and description of an object or concept. Because they are games, riddles are an excellent vehicle for introducing students to poetry and poetry writing. Students begin their exploration of riddle poems by reading sample riddle poems and guessing the answers. They then analyze the riddle poems to find the techniques used in the poems and to define what makes a good riddle poem. Students then write a riddle poem together as a class and conclude by writing riddles poems individually and sharing them with the class.