by Katie Smith, SDSU

Now that you have read Beowulf, you will explore how an oral history survived in a time without the written word. You will study literacy and how it came to fruition, and the definition of literacy in today's society. This WebQuest will help you to re-create the story of Beowulf using anything other than words. You will then present the story to students of the future.

Introduction

Words.  We see them every day.  You are reading them on this page right now. 

Words are powerful because they allow us to describe events, objects, people etc.  Think about all the directions you have read in order to take tests, all of the text messages from your friends, and all the lyrics to your favorite songs.  Think about the punchlines to your favorite jokes....

How successful could you be if you couldn't read?  How successful could you be if you couldn't write?  How would anyone ever remember what the rules are?  How would anyone ever deliver a package?  If you couldn't write anything down, how would you remember the musical notes to play the music to help you remember your favorite song?  You would need to practice and rehearse every day and teach your children and your neighbors the rules, songs and stories that you want remembered.  

This is your challenge: to design an art form that will facilitate the telling of Beowulf's story so that it can be retold for generations to come!