One of the key literary elements in Old English poetry is the kenning. Kennings are words or phrases that work something like pronouns do in modern English -- they rename something. However, unlike modern English pronouns, kennings are intended to be much more descriptive. They serve the purpose of making the characters, settings, etc., much more visual and immediate for the listening/reading audience. Mastering the identification of kennings in Beowulf assists students in the areas of reading comprehension and writing style. Kennings are related to similes and metaphors, and, grammatically, they help teach the concepts of nouns, proper nouns, and pronouns.
Beowulf Kennings Worksheet by Robert M. Baker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License