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Grade Level(s): 12
By: S. Touw, English Teacher

British Literature


  • To understand description and dialogue
  • To understand point of view
  • To understand views of heroism



  1. After students read the battle between Grendel and Beowulf in their literature books, they are given a section from Gardner's book with the encounter between Grendel and Unferth.
  2. The students discuss the qualities of a hero that Garder identifies and compare them with their own concepts.
  3. Students then work in groups to tell the battle between Grendel and Beowulf from Grendel's point of view. They may use either prose of poetry.
  4. Students share their stories with the class.
  5. Either by teacher reading, student reading or handout, the class looks at Gardner's telling and discusses Gardner's use of description.


Students are encouraged to read all of Gardner's book. I use the section from Grendel and Unferth that was printed in a Literary Cavelcade magazine many years ago. I read Garderner's section of the battle between Beowulf and Grendel after we have completed hearing and discussing their re-tellings.


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