…is the hardest part….
Video courtesy of Jason Horton (Facebook).
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)!
May this be your month! To keep the classroom humming productively for the next four long weeks, this month’s playlist is a nice mix of thumpin’ seasonal picks, an Odyssey-themed setlist, and a summer concert series that I’m personally looking forward to. What will you do this month to make summer worth the wait?
If you’ve looked at this page but once, you know that the Bard is a pretty big deal around here. Today, then, would be remiss without an annual commemoration of his birth/death-day with some extra, added momentum. The whole world is turning out for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s (bodily) death, with touring productions, social media campaigns, reams of newsprint, and random English teachers’ blog posts. However, there is one special event that will be making its way to our humble corner of the world later this year.
The Folger Shakespeare Library, located in Washington DC, has 82 copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio. These items are extraordinarily rare, and unbelievable fragile. (You can read about the extreme safety precautions the Library takes by checking this link from NPR.) Published long after his death, the folio contains at least 18 of his plays that would not be known today without these labors of love. And this year, to honor his everlasting legacy, copies of the Folio will be traveling from the Folger Library out to all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and Wyoming’s temporary host is none other than our own State Museum in downtown Cheyenne!
From Sept 7 – 30, you can see one of these Folios, a repository of some of the greatest words ever penned by the human race, for the price of admission, which is typically FREE! While a trip to DC may be a prerequisite for American-ness, let’s be honest and say that this opportunity is likely your best bet to join in one of the most important celebrations available to young scholars and citizens of the world. Rather than leave you with yet another quote or pun on the topic, I think it suffices to let the plays speak loudest. Do yourself a favor and bask in the (probably musty) glory of all that is wonderful, inventive, and essential by checking it out next Fall!
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.
April (snow) showers bring new music! This month’s themes: weather, generations, and perspectives of poetry.
Women are awesome! Some people aren’t aware, apparently. That’s why March is designated Women’s History Month. It wouldn’t be a bad thing at all if someday we can collectively remember that history has been made by women, too – so you can do your part by checking out the titles below!
Kate Beaton is the magnificent wit behind the webcomic series Hark! A Vagrant, which has been printed in a few best-selling books (and also isn’t appropriate for all ages, especially because some killjoys detest constant giggling). The Princess and the Pony, great for kids and adults, tells the story of Princess Pinecone, who wants a noble warhorse to ride into Viking-style violence. For her birthday she gets instead a flatulent, rotund pony. What happens next is funny and feminist. Available from Scholastic Book Orders for $4!
Revolution begins at home! America may be relatively young on the world stage, but its women have radically changed history. The 26 women profiled in this book represent science, entertainment, athletics, innovation, exploration – basically all the walks of life that make our country what it is. Kate Schatz writes the profiles, and Miriam Klein Stahl provides each illustration. Available from Scholastic for $7, this pocket-sized guide is perfect for bite-sized, yet larger-than-life, world-widening.
Rachel Swaby was inspired to write this informative, invigorating collection of women inventors, scientists, and explorers after seeing too many get short shrift in their obituaries. Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter and – more importantly – the world’s first computer programmer (in the 1840s!), is included. As is Hedy Lamarr, scintillating movie star and also pioneer in radar technology. And those are just the most famous faces. This book captures the sentiment of the women’s history movement succinctly: the stories have been there all along, but someone *forgot* to tell the whole truth. We owe it to ourselves to fix that. Read well – it’s the best provision for changing your life.
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!
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:
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:
And, because why not, more awesomeness relating to the Bard from a 2012 TEDxTalk:
The Readiness is All!
Spring may be around the corner, or maybe there’s another big winter storm on the way. At least we know we’ll always have the wind! Wind up with these tunes – some oldies, some goodies, and a crew of Celtic crush.