Farsley Farfield Year 5 Blog

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Beowulf!

Tuesday 16th January | 1 comment
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We have been studying the story of Beowulf in year 5.  There are 3 main parts to the story.  The first part is where Beowulf slays the evil monster, Grendel.  In the second part of the story, Grendel’s mother wants revenge but she too ends up being slain by the epic Hero, Beowulf.  In the third part of the story, Beowulf is much older but has one last enemy to fight – the fire-breathing dragon.

To really have fun with this story and explore the characters in more depth, we took part in several tasks.  One task involved us  thinking about the story from a different perspective – from the perspective of Grendel and Grendel’s mother. We hot-seated the characters to get their side of the story.  Each group had a slightly different take on this.  Let me give you an example…

Example 1:

Interviewer: Why did you attack the men in the mead-hall?

Grendel: Laughter causes me great physical pain and it makes my ears bleed.  I tried to ignore it for many years but eventually it all became too much.  I went to the mead-hall and tried to knock on the door but I didn’t know my own strength and ended up breaking the door down! All the men were lying on the ground under blankets.  I thought perhaps the laughter was dangerous to them too – had they died? I tried to breathe life back into them but ended up eating them.  Once I had eaten one, I just couldn’t stop.  My ears have been so sore I haven’t had a decent meal in months! I felt so awful about it that night after night I returned to try and apologise, but every time I went back they were really angry and attacked me, so I had to defend myself.

Example 2:

Interviewer: Why did you attack the men in the mead-hall?

Grendel: Why do you think? Night after night of late-night partying.  Up till all hours and drunk on mead! I couldn’t stand it any more.  I went up to the mead-hall and a big bit of broken tree was covering the entrance.  Apparently its a door, but we don’t have them in the swamps. Anyway, I broke it down and gobbled up anyone who dared look at me.  If you don’t like it, I’ll eat you too. I go back every night, to eat people and in return, every night I get a good night’s sleep.  Finally! If that’s what it takes, I’ll continue for many winters.

The second task saw us writing letters, taking on the role of King Hrothgar. We learned how to lay a letter out correctly, then wrote letters sounding as desperate as possible. We made sure to use the right vocabulary for the time period (for example – a warrior was known as a thane).  Read some of our letters below!

One response to “Beowulf!”

  1. Kirsty (Nina's mum) says:

    Great to read Grendel’s interviews, it sounds like a really creative way of learning.

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