This activity is meant to assess students’ reading comprehension of lines 1-228 of Beowulf. This assessment is meant to be open book and asks the students to cite their answers by line numbers. It includes FOUR objective questions, TWO subjective questions (in which multiple answers may be possible but students can receive credit by explaining their answers and citing sources) and a total of TEN vocabulary words that the students are asked to define. One of the subjective questions asks the students to draw a scene from the poem and label details.
I use this activity as a substitute for an objective reading quiz and count it and others like it as a reading quiz in my grade book. This activity is appropriate for homework or classwork and can also be completed in pairs.
In addition to assessing reading comprehension, this activity is an excellent way to reinforce paraphrasing, quoting, and citing of sources. The answers given on the answer key are all in MLA format.
Please note that all page and line numbers on the answer key refer to the Norton paperback edition of Seamus Heaney’s translation, ISBN# 978-0-393-32097-8.
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