Anglo-Saxon Boast Assignment
Download Printable Copy Anglo-Saxon Boast Assignment HERE
The Anglo-Saxon hero was celebrated in poetry and song, and he was expected to tell of his exploits and adventures. These tales were his boasts. Beowulf boasts of his prowess in lines 141-169 of Beowulf. Using these lines as models, write your own “Anglo-Saxon” boast which meets the following criteria:
v It must explain three of your past accomplishments and boast of one future accomplishment.
v It must be 20 lines long.
v It must imitate the Anglo-Saxon poetic form with four accented beats per line, no end rhyme, and a caesura in each line.
v It needs to contain four kennings, multi-word metaphors which re-name people, places, or things.
v It needs to have three examples of alliteration.
v It must be on a piece of paper or construction/poster paper no smaller than 8 ½ by 11 inches, and it must be appropriately decorated in keeping with the accomplishments mentioned in the boast.
Each of these elements must be highlighted and labeled.
Higlac is my cousin and my king; the days
Of my youth have been filled with glory. Now Grendel’s
Name has echoed in our land: sailors
Have brought us stories of Herot, the best
Of all mead-halls, deserted and useless when the moon
Hangs in skies the sun had lit,
Light and life fleeing together.
My people have said, the wisest, most knowing
And best of them, that my duty was to go to the Danes’
Great king. They have seen my strength for themselves,
Have watched me rise from the darkness of war,
Dripping with my enemies’ blood. I drove
Five great giants into chains, chased
All of that race from the earth. I swam
In the blackness of night, hunting monsters
Out of the ocean, and killing them one
By one; death was my errand and the fate
They had earned. Now Grendel and I are called
Together, and I’ve come. Grant me, then,
Lord and protector of this noble place,
A single request! I have come so far,
Oh shelterer of warriors and your people’s loved friend,
That this one favor you should not refuse me—
That I, alone, and with the help of my men,
May purge all evil from this hall.
YELLOW = kennings
BLUE = past accomplishments
GREEN = future accomplishment
RED = four accented beats
PURPLE = caesuraTURQUOISE = alliterationTeacher Example:
I am Jana, daughter of TK and Lenore,
Affectionately nicknamed ReidZilla and Cruella De Reid,
Known, far and wide, as the strict English teacher.
Many have been my triumphs, many my accomplishments.
Valedictorian of the class of 1980, I graduated with honors
From the Land of the Bears, Baylor University.
Flinging my green and gold afar, I traveled to Granbury,
Home of the Pirates, to fight ignorance and bring the light of
To students, the hope of the future. My greatest goal
Has always been to help students learn to think.
Once here, I experienced many challenges,
Many successes and many defeats. Named Teacher of the Year
In both 2003 and 2005 and Educator of the Year in 2000,
Some have honored me for my abilities. But the greatest honor
Comes when a student thanks me, when a student
Understands a concept, when a student asks me to be his or her
On Facebook and tells me how I helped him in college
Or her in class, then I know that I have made a difference,
I have achieved my ultimate goal: to change the world,
One person at a time.
YELLOW = kennings, 4 examples
BLUE = past accomplishments, 3 examples
GREEN = future accomplishment, 1 example
RED = four accented beats, 1 example
PURPLE = caesura, 1 example
TURQUOISE = alliteration, 3 examples
Anglo-Saxon Boast Rubric
Presentation 20 points __________
Appropriate length 10 points __________
Diction 10 points __________
Content (three present accomplishments, one future) 20 points __________
Conventions of Anglo-Saxon poetry 20 points __________
No end rhyme
Four beats per line (one line)
Caesura (one line)
Kenning (four examples) 10 points __________
Alliteration (3 examples) 10 points __________Total __________Anglo-Saxon Boast Pre-writingDownload printable copy Boast Prewriting HERE
- Brainstorm a list of at least FIVE marvelous things you have done in the past. (You have more than five spaces here so that you can brainstorm MORE!) This could be everything from a piano recital when you were seven to pee-wee football to working a job to making All-State Choir. BRAG ON YOURSELF!
- Next, you need a goal to brag about. What do you want to BE when you grow up? Your goal could be to graduate from GHS, to go to a certain college (Sic ‘em BEARS!), to enter a certain profession, etc.
- Now, brainstorm a list of kennings that you could use to describe or rename the people involved in your accomplishments above or the places you went to accomplish these goals or the names of the accomplishments themselves. (EX. Your football coach—“the great play planner,” your mother—“laundry washer,” etc.)
- Now you need THREE examples of alliteration. Alliteration is when you repeat a consonant sound at the BEGINNING of a word at least TWO times in ONE line.
Ex. “secret sessions, talking of terror” You could combine this with a kenning such as “fabulous fence builder” for your grandfather who builds fences on his ranch.
Now it’s time to write. Begin by WRITING A PARAGRAPH ABOUT YOURSELF IN WHICH YOU INCLUDE ALL OF THE ELEMENTS ABOVE. Don’t worry about making lines of poetry or putting in the pauses (caesuras). JUST WRITE.
You could begin your boast just like Beowulf did
Hail ________ (use your teacher's name here)
I am the son/daugher of ___________.
The days of my youth have been filled with glory (copied straight from Beowulf!)
Start here listing the things you've done that you listed in STEP ONE above.
Then list the thing you're going to brag that you'll do in the future.
- Now, divide your paragraph randomly into lines. You need twenty lines. Make sure your paragraph is long enough to go to twenty lines. If not, WRITE MORE! DON’T just divide it up into sentences. PURPOSEFULLY split a sentence into TWO lines. End the sentence in the MIDDLE of a line. That CREATES A CAESURA! You can do the same thing by putting a comma in the middle of a line or using the FANBOYS in the middle of a line. YOU ONLY HAVE TO HAVE ONE CAESURA in your ENTIRE BOAST! Don’t refuse to do this assignment because you’re having trouble with a caesura! Make sure the lines don’t rhyme because Anglo-Saxon poetry didn’t rhyme.
- Read EACH of your lines to see if there are four beats in one of them that are accented. If you don’t understand this, ASK FOR HELP!
- Then, type up your boast and decorate it. You can decorate it on the computer, or you can decorate it by printing it and putting it on construction paper, scrapbook paper, etc. with appropriate decorations (like footballs for your participation in pee-wee football or music notes for singing in the third grade music program). Make sure you highlight the elements in your paper—alliteration, past accomplishments, future goal, caesura, four beats in a line, kennings.