Reflection: Staircase of Complexity Who Put the "H" in Hrothgar? - Section 3: Hrothgar, Hygeliac, Beowulf, What's in a Name?


This lesson is crucial to students' understanding Beowulf; it's important that they grasp that we are reading a modernized translation of the original poem and that Heaney has done his best to capture the flavor and the sound of the old Anglo-Saxon rhythms.  Students don't have difficulty grasping the concept that languages change, simplify and adjust, they know this is true because they are contributing to the shifts and changes in language all the time, however, there is that moment when they really think about it, and it's one of the big light bulbs of the unit. 

Additionally, this is a great place to talk about names, about the way things, places and people are named, and who gets to decide those names. I think we can become disconnected from our names, not know what they mean, or how we got them.  This lesson can be a great way to connect students to their names and get them thinking about names in a cultural context. 


  Language and Complexity
  Staircase of Complexity: Language and Complexity
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Who Put the "H" in Hrothgar?

Unit 5: Beowulf
Lesson 2 of 12

Objective: SWBAT appreciate Old English as a precursor language to Modern English applying that understanding as they begin their study of Beowulf.

Big Idea: Language changes over time and students begin with the oral tradition of Old English to note that origins of our modern language.

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10 teachers like this lesson
English / Language Arts, epic poem, Old English, Beowulf, alliteration, heroes, Kenning, Old English, Literary Analysis
  60 minutes
first page of beowulf
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