The Urban Beowulf

Gifty Allen, English, West Charlotte High School

Final Unit (PDF)     Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

“The Urban Beowulf” is a six day-course that will be taught to English IV students while reading Beowulf. The curriculum focuses on students converting their oral language to written language. Students tend to have merged the two registers, not realizing that each should have its own autonomy. Through a series of projects, students will engage in discourse that forces them to appreciate their oral culture. In doing so, they will learn to translate their spoken language, with all of its linguistic nuances, to a written language with grammatical functions. Students will also gain 21st-century skills that they will find relevant to their lives not only as high school students, but as emerging college freshmen. By the end of the course, they will havea well-written college essay which they can use as they apply to colleges. “The Urban Beowulf” also gives students the opportunity to use current technologies, like Facebook, to accomplish the task of distinguishing oral and written languages. Beyond these positives, teachers also have the opportunity to get a cultural understanding of the students they teach. They will understand the problems students have with grammar and writing through projects students will enjoy.