Literature – 7th and 8th Grade Literature

Syllabus – Session II

Required Materials:

– The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Green. This is the version that is easiest to get ahold of, but I actually prefer the version by Ann McGovern; her version is a bit more lighthearted, fun and a bit clearer. They both address the same stories, so choose what you think is best for your student.

– The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood. Easily found in the library system.

– Tales from Shakespeare by Charles Lamb. This is a classic and easily found on your library shelves.

Week One: Introduction to Robin Hood. We will be working on developing
cohesive paragraphs for the first two weeks of Session Two. I will assign chapters
and teams to illustrate and present episodes from Robin Hood’s adventures. All
students will be responsible for reading the chapters that I indicate
(approximately 8 chapters). Vocabulary words and definitions will be required.

Week Two: Discussion of the chapters. I will allow time for the teams to work
together on narration and illustration of their assigned chapters. Continuation of
work at home.

Week Three: Presentation of the adventures of Robin Hood. Working on
transitions between paragraphs and logical progression. Read the first half of The
Shakespeare Stealer. Vocabulary words and quotes required.

Week Four: Discuss the first half of Shakespeare Stealer. Work on a book-related
assignment. Continue work on writing short essays. Finish reading The
Shakespeare Stealer for week five.

Week Five: Finish discussing the book, share assignments, and take a quiz on
Robin Hood and Shakespeare Stealer. Read the Hamlet story in Tales of
Shakespeare by Charles Lamb.

Week Six: Discuss Hamlet and two other tragedies. Begin work on a Shakespeare
related assignment. Read two of Shakespeare’s comedies for week seven. We will
continue developing proficient paragraphs/essays.

Week Seven: Discuss the comedies and their unique characteristics. Talk about
Shakespeare’s poetry in class. We will discuss the revision process for their

Week Eight: A Shakespearean celebration! We will also have a short quiz on the
Bard and his writings, and the students will hand in their final paragraphs

Syllabus  ~  Session 1

Course Materials

Beowulf the Warrior by Ian Serraillier (There are only five copies of this book in the
SWAN library system. It is possible to obtain a used copy through Amazon. This book is
also available through Bethlehem Books: $5 for an ebook, $10 for paperback.)
One Thousand and One Arabian Nights by Geraldine McCaughrean. (There are seven
copies of this book in the SWAN system. Copies start at around $2 on Amazon.)
The Canterbury Tales by Geraldine McCaughrean. (Several copies in the SWAN library
The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green. (Readily available through the


Week One:

Get to know each other through games. Introduction to Medieval Ages literature.

Week Two:

In Week Two I will introduce the following concepts: heroic epic poem,
alliteration, and kennings. We will also discuss narrative point of view. I will explain the
historical background and linguistic background for the epic poem Beowulf. The students
will have the opportunity to create their own sagas. They will be required to read through
Beowulf the Warrior for Week Three.

Week Three:

The students will share their sagas in class, if they are willing. We will
discuss the story of Beowulf and learn more about the dark ages in Europe. The writing
assignment will be to retell a portion of the story from the viewpoint of Grendel’s mother
or the dragon. I will assign chapters to students as we begin reading One Thousand and
One Arabian Nights.

Week Four:

The class will have on-going opportunities to contribute to a class bulletin
board. We will finish reading the assigned chapters of One Thousand and One Arabian
Nights for Week Five. We will discuss the chapters from One Thousand and One Arabian
Nights. We will discuss the concept of a frame story. Each student will choose their
favorite chapter to “sell” to the class for Week Five.

Week Five:

We will finish our discussion of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. The
students will share their chapters through written report, poster, or even power point.
We will begin to discuss the background to The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.
We will compare Middle English to the Old English of Beowulf.

Week Six:

The students will read selected tales from Geraldine McCaughrean’s edition of
The Canterbury Tales for children in class. We will discuss chivalric behavior of the
Middle Ages, that time period’s concept of love and marriage, and the elements of a
cautionary tale. Together we will complete character charts. The writing assignment will
be to analyze the character defects and lessons learned in the assigned chapters.

Week Seven:

The students will finish discussing The Canterbury Tales by McCaughrean.
They will share and hand in their “lessons learned” papers. We will begin to explore the
time period of the legendary Robin Hood and his merry men. Each student will be
assigned a chapter to develop into a portion of a “film strip” complete with art work and
narrative. They will read the first twelve chapters of The Adventures of Robin Hood by
Roger Green.

Week Eight:

We will discuss the first half of the book The Adventures of Robin Hood. The
students will share their film strip creations. We will finish reading Robin Hood for the
first week of Session Two. The students will be assigned a second chapter illustrate and


Additional Resources:

The subject matter that will be covered in Session One lends itself well to field trips. If anyone
is interested, we can arrange a trip to any one of the following: Medieval Times, a trip to the
Art Institute, or a lesson at an archery range. Let me know if there is any interest in these