Senior Literature Shields

Joy Taylor, Senior Reporter

The seniors in Ms. Sally Hawthorne’s British Literature class are learning a little about their heritage and themselves during their class time. These students were assigned the project of making a shield as an alternative to writing an essay over characteristics such as chivalry in stories such as “The Canterbury Tales”, “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, and “Le Morte D’Arthur”. It is one of Ms. Hawthorne’s favorite projects as indicated by the use of it for at least one of her units every year since 2002.

The students were given three weeks to work on their shields which contained information about themselves. The left half of the shield contained the first name of the students and focused on who they are as individuals. The right half of the shield focused on their last name, or their family name. This side of the shield consisted of pictures symbolically connected by their ancestors about the last name of the individuals that they found interesting.


Ms. Hawthorne says that, “It is interesting for students when researching their family names to discover the influence from years ago that still apply today.” Ms. Hawthorne shared that the goal of this project was to allow students the opportunity to use the information from the literature in particular “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” and through synthesis apply what they learned to everyday life and put it into everyday use. Ms. Hawthorne added that not only were the notable traits also deemed necessary for a knight discussed but the character of who the knights were as a people was focused on because who they were was as essential as the traits, such as bravery, chivalry, and leadership they possessed.