This packet contains the following items to use with your students when preparing for an essay on the epic poem Beowulf:
Beowulf Agree/ Disagree Activity
a. This student handout contains five thematic statements that are relevant to the Beowulf story. Students either agree or disagree with each statement and then briefly explain their reasoning. This handout taps into students' prior knowledge on life themes relevant to the poem in order to establish a framework for thematic ideas they will observe in the story. I typically use this activity as an Anticipation Guide at the beginning of the Beowulf unit; however, it can also be used as an essay brainstorming guide or a classroom debate guide. These statements really get students interested in the story as they begin to think about why they believe what they believe and discuss/disagree with their peers.
Beowulf Debatable Statements Activity
a. This essay brainstorming activity contains 16 debatable thematic statements that relate to the Beowulf story to help students generate ideas for a Beowulf essay. Students are to think about how each statement applies to the Beowulf story (apart from their own personal opinions) and then briefly explain how each statement is true or false in the story. Students can complete this activity on their own or in small groups, and it is a terrific means of organizing whole class discussion and debate prior to beginning the writing process. After discussing the themes presented, students can then select one theme as the focal point for a theme analysis essay on the epic poem.
Beowulf Essay Brainstorming Activity— Topics/ Themes Chart
a. In this activity, students are to brainstorm a list of topics and themes for the epic poem to use as possible claims in a Beowulf essay. Here, you will find a teacher page of instructions on how to implement a Topics/ Theme Chart in your classroom along with a sample chart for Beowulf.
Beowulf Essay Thesis Statements
a. This handout contains a list of thesis statements that could be used in a Beowulf essay. This is an excellent item to use for differentiation (students can select a thesis statement from the list to begin a Beowulf essay), or use them as models to help your students generate their own original thesis statements. Note that these thesis statements correspond to both the Topics/ Theme Chart and the essay prompts that follow.
Literary Criticism: “Subversive Female Power in Beowulf”
a. This is a literary criticism that I wrote about the role of women in the epic poem Beowulf. It is accompanied with an annotation guide and discussion questions about the essay structure as well as the topic of female power in the poem. Use this essay also as a model for a literary analysis essay on Beowulf.
Beowulf Essay Prompts + Outline Form and Rubric
a. This handout contains a list of prompts for an essay on Beowulf. All prompts ask students to take their analysis beyond the obvious to target Common Core Standards. Included with the list of prompts is a thorough outline form to help students organize their ideas and a 10-point Skills Rubric for grading.
ALL of these items are included in my MEGA BEOWULF BUNDLE (25 lessons and activities/ 108 pages with keys)! The entire bundle can be found here: