ALEX Lesson Plan

Grendel and the New Kid

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Lauren Rittenberry
The event this resource created for:CCRS
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33054


Grendel and the New Kid


Students will compare/contrast Grendel from Beowulf to a new student in school who has been bullying students in the school. Students will create graphic organizers and compose explanations of the situation and come up with possible solutions. 

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 12
2 ) Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text. [RL.11-12.2]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.12.2- Identify how two themes develop throughout a text and analyze how they interact and build on one another; create an objective summary of a story.

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 12
20 ) Write informative or explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. [W.11-12.2]

a. Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. [W.11-12.2a]

b. Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic. [W.11-12.2b]

c. Use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts. [W.11-12.2c]

d. Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic. [W.11-12.2d]

e. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing. [W.11-12.2e]

f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic). [W.11-12.2f]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.12.20- Compose informative or explanatory texts by stating a topic, providing facts or details, providing an appropriate conclusion related to the topic.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will:

  • Read Beowulf and analyze the character of Grendel
  • Compare/Contrast Grendel with a modern-day bully
  • Write well-developed paragraphs using standard grammar conventions

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

  • Copy of Beowulf or excerpt from Beowulf
  • Graphic organizer (T-chart or Venn diagram) -- This is optional. You may give students the option to draw or create their own visual representation of the comparison and contrast. 

Technology Resources Needed:

  • Computer with Internet access for online submission of written explanations
  • Google accounts for teacher and students for submission through Google docs


  • Students must have read Beowulf or the excerpt "The Wrath of Grendel" from Beowulf
  • Students must have a general understanding of the behaviors and actions of Grendel.
  1. BEFORE STRATEGY: Bellringer activity--Have students respond to the following questions: What is a bully? What are some characteristics of a bully? What causes a person to become a bully? (It is up to the teacher's discretion as to how responses should be structured. You may require a paragraph response or may be fine with a bulleted list. The purpose of this activity is to drive the next discussion.)
  2. Teacher will facilitate a discussion about the bellringer topic. Teachers must make sure students can participate in a respectful discussion without naming names of other students. By the end of the discussion, there should be a general consensus in the classroom about the characteristics of a modern-day bully. 
  3. Teacher should introduce the following scenario:

You are from a close-knit community. The students at your school have grown up together, and despite differences, are very close. At the beginning of senior year, a new family moves to town, and their son enrolls in your school. He immediately begins harassing, bullying, and torturing all of the students in the school. Nobody is successful in stopping his negative behaviors, even the administration.

Determine why this new kid is acting in this way, and figure out a way to make him stop.

4. Students will complete a graphic organizer (possibly a T-chart) that compares and contrasts Grendel’s actions in Beowulf and the actions of the new student in school. Students will have to go back to Beowulf’s text to identify Grendel’s actions throughout the text. Graphic organizer must include at least three similarities and at least three differences. 

5. Students will write one to two well-developed paragraphs in which they hypothesize the reasons behind Grendel’s behavior in Beowulf and the new student’s behaviors in school. Students must consider issues such as fate, good vs. evil, etc., and take into account differing opinions of good vs. evil. Students must type their response into a Google document and share with the teacher--if internet access is not available, students may turn in paper-pencil products. (Rubric for written assessment is attached.)

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Assessment Strategies

  • Informal Assessment during discussion to make sure all students are actively engaged in discussion.
  • Graphic organizer must include at least 3 similarities and at least 3 differences.
  • Written product assessed according to attached rubric. May score out of 4 where a 4 equals an A, 3 equals a B, etc. Scoring is up to individual teacher's discretion.


For higher-level learners, students may be required to stage an "intervention" with "the bully." Students will be required to compose a script for the intervention and will have class time to act out the scenario for the whole group.


Below grade level students may be provided with a pre-designed graphic organizer. Depending on the levels of the individual students, examples may be provided.

The written component may be reduced for struggling students. If students are required to write two paragraphs, these students may only be required to write one developed paragraph.

Paper-pencil products may be accepted from students not proficient with computers or for students who do not have Internet access. 

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.