The Stories We Tell
A unit focused on the ways language and style impact narrative. Students will look at what makes a "good" story, what makes an "effective" story, why we tell stories and what purposes storytelling might serve, and how diction and style are an essential part of storytelling.
The anchor text is the Old English poem, Beowulf. Students will read the poem with an eye towards its language, tone, and stylistic elements, then they will attempt to imitate the Beowulf poet by rewriting classic fairy tales in the style of Beowulf (alliterative verse, words that have their origin in Old English, kennings, litotes, understatement, epithets, etc.).
In addition to the anchor text, students will watch videos and read other texts that are related to Beowulf and to storytelling. The unit is structured as a blended unit, where some of the work is done online, using online resources and Web 2.0 tools, while other work is done in class, face-to-face with the teacher. There are opportunities for differentiation, with supplemental resources for students who wish to move ahead, as well as resources that may be used by students who are struggling to master the material.