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British Literature, Volume 1: Beginnings to Age of Reason

Online Lessons

Organized chronologically, British Literature, Volume 1 focuses on authors and works from Anglo-Saxon epic poetry to Chaucer’s lively tales to the glorious Elizabethan period to the orderly, satiric wit of the eighteenth century. Lessons emphasize the links among literature, culture, and history. Part 1 presents the Anglo-Saxon era, with an emphasis on Beowulf. In Part 2, students focus on the Medieval period, including Arthurian legends and the Canterbury Tales. Part 3 deals with the great flowering of Elizabethan poetry and drama. Part 4 introduces the Cavaliers and Metaphysicals of the seventeenth century. In Part 5, students meet eminent writers of the eighteenth century, among them Swift, Pope, and Johnson. An extended list of recommended resources includes films and online materials.

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Student Activities

Students explore the concept of hero, poetic devices, epic form, ballads, lyrics, sonnets, social satire, and tragedy. They examine the work of Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, John Donne, George Herbert, John Milton, Samuel Johnson, and others.

Classroom activities include analyzing, creating artwork, brainstorming, charting, creative thinking, dramatizing, small- and large-group discussion, music, note-taking, presenting, questioning, reading, role-playing, and writing.

Digital Resources

Links to websites, online videos, maps, and games energize your classroom activities. All sites are pre-approved by our editorial staff for quality and suitability.

Aligned to Common Core Standards

To save lesson planning time and ensure rigorous and relevant curriculum, all Online Lessons are aligned to Common Core State Standards, the National Standards for the English Language Arts, and the National Standards for History.