My students dislike Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxon period when I first start teaching it but after the first battle with Grendel, they really get into the excitement of the story. At the end of the unit this year, the entire class has to design a game, reflecting the key elements of the story and times. I gave my students a handout with guidelines, a deadline, a large piece of posterboard, and they took it from there.
The task emphasizes cooperative learning, allows students to contribute their expertise and really stretches their thoughts. After the students present their final product, I'll let them play the game. It's a delight to stand back and watch the entire process take place!