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Exercises & Activities
Grendel and the Zodiac
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The zodiac is divided into twelve signs, each associated with a symbol, and each representing particular personality traits. Each chapter of Grendel is associated with a sign of the zodiac. It will be your job to connect each chapter to its associated sign. You will need to find examples from the novel to support your claims. You should provide the direct quotes from the novel and the page numbers upon which you found the quotes in your presentation and report.
You will work with your group mates (or alone, as the case may be) to compile examples of the various ways in which the zodiac sign of your chapter is represented. You should look at the action or plot sequences of the chapter; the characters’ actions, feelings, decisions, dialogue; Grendel’s thoughts and decisions; and anything else of relevance to discovering the nature of the zodiacal representations in your chapter. Don’t be surprised if, when you start delving deeper into the text, you find references all over the place. Include as many as you find. I will expect to see many, many examples, as there are plenty to be had.
Here’s what I’m looking for in the end:
- Multiple references to the text of Grendel including the characters, plot, themes, etc. in the form of direct quotes with page numbers.
- A report that details the examples found and a concise explanation of how and why those examples relate to the zodiac sign of your chapter and the zodiac sign’s characteristics.
- Use of one or more of the websites I have provided for you or a website you discover on your own. You should cite the website in your report and quote it directly and properly. You should also come up with examples from the book to support the conclusions you draw from the information gained from the websites.
- Equal participation!! No one person should be doing all the work, unless of course you are a group of one, literally. In the event that you are working solo, please know that you have been given a shorter chapter and that the lack of help will be taken into consideration.
- If your chapter happens to be your zodiac sign, get personal with it!! Do you think that these Astrology things are accurate at all? Why or why not?? Can you see how the sign works with the chapter more easily because you are that sun sign?
- Above all, I want to know WHY you think/feel the way that you do and HOW you came to your conclusions. Did your group agree unanimously? Were there disagreements? What happened? Why’d you choose the path you chose in the end? Could you reach an agreement on your opinions? Did you have a tough time with this assignment? Did this assignment make you more interested in the book? In Astrology? Continue to ask yourself why and how until you’ve exhausted the questions, and you’ll know that you’ve finally given me enough information.
About this Document
I'm sure everyone is familiar with the zodiacal references in each chapter of Grendel. I put together this 3-page handout to help introduce the idea to my students. I assign them a chapter and then have them create a presentation or poster explaining how different parts of the chapter have anything to do with the sign or its characteristics. (They have to tell us about the sign, too.) This just helps get them started in the right direction.