Included here are six reading guides and vocabulary to accompany each section of "Beowulf." It is important to note that I used the Seamus Heaney translation, so the line numbers and vocabulary are specific to that text.
In teaching "Beowulf," I split the text up into six "digestible" chunks. We may have spent more than one day on a particular section, but I chose to assign reading guides by section rather than by day. Reading guides in this resource are copied 2-3 on a page to save paper when printing. Each question has been marked as either "L1," "L2," or "L3" to denote the rigor of the question in accordance with Bloom's Taxonomy.
The vocabulary was chosen straight from the text on the basis of its merit as an SAT-level word as well as its importance to the text. If I felt that my students would be lost or confused while reading because of an unfamiliar term, I added it to the list.
I do not assign the entire text of "Beowulf" to my students due to time constraints and the fact that the Anglo-Saxon poetic form tends towards verbosity and repetitiveness. The readings were chosen to highlight the most important "episodes" of the text and to preserve the narrative flow. The readings are broken down as follows:
-Part One (lines 1-319): Introduces the Speardanes and Grendel
-Part Two (lines 320-661): Beowulf arrives at Heorot and makes his boasts
-Part Three (lines 662-1006): Grendel's attack and defeat
-Part Four (lines 1251-1491): Grendel's mother's revenge
-Part Five (lines 1491-1905): Beowulf fights Grendel's mother
-Part Six (lines 2510-2846): An older Beowulf fights the dragon