Category Archives: Class Resources

Mapping the Homeric World

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Image from Eclectic/Eccentric.

Image from Eclectic/Eccentric.

The Odyssey is one of earliest, and best, works in the “big trip” genre, so grand they named half the genre after it!  For freshmen looking to complete a 3D Map for their Odyssey project, here are a few tips.

First – the in-class map is by no means definitive, but has two components that I think are key: an oversized Ithaca and an Underworld far (far) to the west.  You don’t have to reach the Pillars of Heracles, but I like the idea of going to the edge of the known (Mediterranean) world.

Second – use your resources to help you tell the story!  Some of my favorites are on Google Earth (download it if you haven’t – it’s worth it!), especially the Odyssey on Google Lit Trips, which features facts and artwork at the locations in each episode.  Your map doesn’t need to be overly complicated, but consider adding stickers, flags, or figures to keep the travels alive.

Third – you don’t need to use salt dough, but this is a straightforward method to make your map 3D that is both easy and useful!  The video below was made in jazzy style by a very good friend of mine some years ago, and gives you a nice breakdown of the salt dough process.  I definitely expect your map to be in color, so grab the appropriate food coloring to go with it or paint it after it dries (a few days later)!

For Glory!

Poem in Your Pocket Day (2016)

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Edna St. Vincent Millay. Photo credit: Carl Van Vechten. Poets.org

Edna St. Vincent Millay. Photo credit: Carl Van Vechten. Poets.org

“Travel”

by Edna St. Vincent Millay, (1892-1950)

The railroad track is miles away,

    And the day is loud with voices speaking,

Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day

    But I hear its whistle shrieking.

 

All night there isn’t a train goes by,

    Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,

But I see its cinders red on the sky,

    And hear its engine steaming.

 

My heart is warm with friends I make,

    And better friends I’ll not be knowing;

Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,

    No matter where it’s going.

#pocketpoem

Spring Break!(?)! and Some Games to Busy Your Time

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Southeast Wyoming hasn't changed much since then...

Southeast Wyoming hasn’t changed much since then…

Hope the no-wifi game isn’t the only thing to keep you entertained over your unexpected break!  If internet has been restored (which I am assuming to be true, as you are reading this post…), be sure to e-mail me any missing assignments – SWRPapers, Unit 5 Reflective Essays, Annotated Bibliographies – because the 3rd Quarter is over!  All grades are final on Tuesday.  If I don’t have it then, there’s not much I can do.

For more fun and games, why don’t you check out this sweet game my wife made for one of her classes.  It serves as Shakespeare Connections/Exploration Amazingness!  No extra credit is being offered as of yet, but maybe you can earn a “Super Awesome” Prize if you solve the puzzle!

sploder

http://www.sploder.com/?s=d004w1ct

Shakespeare Test on The Ides of March!

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Violent delights have violent ends!

Violent delights have violent ends!

This message is intended for the freshmen classes!  I wanted to share a few wonderful resources from a 3rd Hour Shakespeare’s World Research presentation today.  As you may remember, there is a veritable slew (slew!) of subjects included on Tuesday’s Ides Test.  These great four links help fill in general knowledge of Shakespeare’s life and works.

Here’s a link to a brief timeline of the life of Stratford’s most famous son:

http://www.earlyshakespeare.com/images/Timeline.pdf


 

 

This YouTube video takes a humorous look at introducing Shakespeare (make sure you stick around until the ironic, slow open is over):


 

Of course, here’s the Canadian Folio copy of the play:

http://www.canadianshakespeares.ca/folio/folio.html


 

And, because why not, more awesomeness relating to the Bard from a 2012 TEDxTalk:

The Readiness is All!

Magicke Moste Foule – October Threads

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DeltaRae

It’s the season of suspenseful storytelling, with an emphasis on imaginative yarns and wanderings through folklore.  Here are some of the videos from class, by your request, that captured through digital wizardry (a most mysterious magic) the senses, tales, and spine-tingling thrills of the school year in October.

Intro to Literature: “The Bottom of the River” by Delta Rae

The song you can’t escape from, no matter how far the river takes you.  Perhaps one of the greatest music videos out there, not least of which in the terrible joy of ambiguity.

Brit. Lit – The Middle Ages: “The Canterbury Tales: Part I”, from Christmas Films, Pizzazz Pictures, and Right Angle.

These episodes aired on the BBC in 1998-2000, excerpting highlights from Chaucer with inventive animation swings.  Not for the faint-hearted or tidy-minded, but then, a lot of the fun stuff from different historical eras isn’t.

Part II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep6tvT3NQ_o

Part III: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCq6117mYqg

 

ENGL 1010: Facundo the Great! from StoryCorps

The now-epic story of a stand-up guy who made room for others to stand up.  Keep checking out the StoryCorps animated features and other site items.  The Great Thanksgiving Listen is coming up soon! https://storycorps.me/about/the-great-thanksgiving-listen/

Thanks for reading/watching.  Now, get to work!

Banned Books Week 2015

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Banned Books Week 2015, courtesy ala.org/bbooks

Banned Books Week 2015, courtesy ala.org/bbooks

Every year, the last week in September becomes the focal point for a concerted effort to celebrate the freedom to read.  In this country, the First Amendment’s right to free speech must contend with a long history of censorship – promoted by individuals, organizations, and government.  Banned Books Week is organized by the American Library Association (ALA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and a host of non-profits, publishers, and legal defense funds.  It is supported by myself, among much of the reading world, and, through this week’s Extra Credit opportunity, by you!

To receive Extra Credit for Banned Books Week, you must choose one of the following options, and use professional images, symbols, designs, or media:

A) Create a Poster to celebrate the week, using the three requirements below:

  • Include the title Banned Books Week, in flashy color/font to catch the attention of passerby
  • Include a quote about censorship from this video provided by Simon & Schuster Books: Celebrate the Freedom to Read
  • Include suggestions on how to celebrate Banned Books Week in school or at home

B) Create a Handout to share information about banned and challenged books, using these criteria:

  • A list of frequently challenged books (Here’s a resource from the ALA)
  • Reasons why books are often challenged (Resources from the Huffington Post, in 2012 and 2014)
  • A checklist of frequently challenged books – check off as many as you’ve read!

C) Compose a 1 page essay (typed – 12pt font, TNR, double-spaced) on To Kill a Mockingbird as a challenged book.  Why (and where/when) has it frequently been challenged?  What might be ironic about wanting this book censored?  What is your reflection on reading the book – how might you oppose or defend a challenge to this book at our school?

Whichever option you choose, it must be submitted by the end of the day Thursday, October 1.  To be eligible, you must follow the requirements for each option, as well as aim for professional quality (Mom would put it on the fridge, and so would I!).  Successful efforts will be awarded 20pts, and above-average efforts 30pts (each option is worth more than a homework assignment!).  If nothing else, you can celebrate this week by finishing TKAM, and moving on to a new book which, having been published, probably has found someone to challenge it by now!

F(READ)OM!!

September Threads

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Illustration by Vladimir Radunsky, from On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne (see BrainPickings link below)

Illustration by Vladimir Radunsky, from On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne (see BrainPickings link below)

First Day of Fall!  A Happy Birthday to the Boss, a fond farewell to Yogi Berra (even though he signed with the Empire of Evil) and some links to ponder.  It’s important, especially for those of us living in a seemingly-remote corner of the world…(They say there are things to do, and I think that there are things to do, but students still tell me there’s “nothing to do”.  Doesn’t seem to equate more homework getting done…).  Anyway, it’s important for those of us who live in insular societies to join the larger world.  No one’s experiences are in isolation!  We as human beings are all part of a larger, circular order to criss-crossing paths and degrees of separation.  Like a spider’s web, movement on one end of our connective tissue affects somebody else.  I call posts like these “Threads” to connote this link up.  Here are some helpful links to get you up to date on food for thought and shout-outs to glory.

Burns, Wyoming’s First All-Girls FTC Robotics Team! – Marissa, et al are taking extracurriculars to new heights and radioactive, fan girl awesomeness.  Geronimo, allons-y and all that!

Brain Pickings! – Curated by Maria Popova, this all-learning, all-the-time resource from the greatest minds on happiness, intelligence, serenity, adventures, and the benefits of being alive.  This is a great site I visit frequently (sign-up for the newsletter to get a weekly rundown!) that informs my reading, teaching, and all-around efforts to share genius and mindfulness.  Excelsior!

Here are some of my favorites to get you started:

The Importance of Leisure in a Workaholic Society

Amanda Palmer Recounts Neil Gaiman’s Philosophical Dream

Fifteen Inspiring Picture Books Celebrating Famous Thinkers

Finally, the Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: all your holiday shopping, from Halloween to Valentine’s Day and back!

Thanks for reading, and keep an eye out for Extra Credit opportunities here soon!

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