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Beowulf/Grendel Trial or Debate Activity Essay

Two teams will debate the merits of Grendel’s viewpoint. The rest of the class will act as judges and rate the winning team. (ALL students will contribute to the debate by helping to suggest/refine talking points – each group will vote for members to participate in debate).

Resolved: Since the world and everything in it is an unplanned accident, existence is meaningless ;the past is irrelevant; nothing matters.

For: This team will take the attitude that the proposition is true. They will try to prove it by using the arguments and experiences of Grendel and the dragon.

Against: This team will take the attitude that the proposition is false. They will try to prove it by using the arguments of Unferth, Beowulf, the Shaper, Ork, and any other evidence in the story.

Rules:
1. No evidence is admissible unless it can be supported by the novel. 2. Each team will have three, two-minute chances to speak. In the first two-minute period they will present their argument. The second two-minute period will be used for rebuttal. In the rebuttal period, a team may argue only points which the other side has presented. The third two-minute period will be a summation (summarize main talking points/close argument). 3. At the close of the debate, the rating will be collected, added, and the results announced. (from The Center for Learning)

Trial:
Participate in a trial of Grendel, either as judge, member of jury, court officer, court reporter, prosecutor, defense lawyer, the defendant, or a witness. (from The Center for Learning)

Standards for either Debate of Trial:
11-12.RL.1, 11-12.RL.3, 11-12.RL.7, 11-12.W.1, 11-12.W.9, 11-12.SL.1,
11-12.SL.3, 11-12.SL.4


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