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April 14, 2014

Creative literacy: AHS seniors craft children's books based on Beowulf

— Superheroes, storybook characters and even a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle invaded Cowart Elementary School on Friday as part of a unique class assignment for honor students from Athens High School.

The exuberant seniors in DayLee Green’s Advanced Placement English class each created a children’s version of the epic Old English poem “Beowulf,” writing non-violent tales and illustrating the books.

“These students went above my expectations on this assignment,” Green said. “Re-writing an otherwise advanced reading involves synthesizing information. Having the children’s book adaptation on ‘Beowulf’ with non-violence also gave us an opportunity to explore project-based learning in an alternative atmosphere.”

Fifteen members of Green’s class spent more than two hours reading to Cowart students, clad as the featured character in their adaptations. Their colorful costumes ranged from a bearded gnome and “Beo-Chef” to a Ghostbuster, Super Mario and Minnie Mouse.

“The students embraced this opportunity also by dressing in costume and met speaking and listening standards set before them,” she said. “This was a successful, fun, academic activity that I hope to continue in the future. We enjoyed being at Cowart with (Principal Kim) Moore and her teachers.”

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