This activity is meant to assess students’ reading comprehension of lines 710-979 of Beowulf. This assessment is meant to be open book and asks the students to cite their answers by line numbers. It includes FOUR open-ended objective questions and a total of FIFTEEN vocabulary words that the students are asked to define. While all questions are objective in nature, students may provide a variety of textual evidence to support their answers.
Please note: this activity asks the students to name some of the EPITHETS used to describe Grendel. I introduce this vocabulary term in class the day before. I do define the term on the assessment itself as a reminder, but the students are on their own to remember the earlier lesson and find some new epithets in this day's reading. If your students don't know the word, you might want to consider eliminating or changing that question.
I use this activity as a substitute for a traditional 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 refer to the Norton paperback edition of Seamus Heaney’s translation, ISBN# 978-0-393-32097-8.
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