Odyssey season is upon us! Unless you too want to wander around the rocky islands of 9th Grade trying to get home, you would do well to heed our Olympian decree to keep up with the readings and get that final project done.
For the (24!) books of the epic, you have plenty of resources in getting the gist of the plot so you can focus more on our essential questions and archetypes. So, as the grey-eyed one provided Odysseus the tools he needed to be successful, this post is Part I of our mission to get you out of here in one, sophomoric, piece.
Besides the class books and graphic novels/comics, check out these links to get your Mentor on!
Traditional guides: the safety net of Sparknotesand the too-cool-for-school ethos of Shmoop(which has some funny infographics peppered throughout, and way too many popups…)
Full-text versions of the epic: including Ian Johnston’s recent translationout of Vancouver Island University, and two prose translations, old(A.T. Murray) and older (Samuel Butler).
And some really interesting new-media options: including some open/ed. designs from our community of Padlet(this one’s Verity Webster’s) and a fascinating, and highly distracting, clickable offeringfrom Emery University’s Carlos Museum. Clicking on the Greecetab will take you to the interactive site (Flash required).
Of course, we have the in-class options, but the Odyssey is one of the biggest stories ever told! You should journey onto the kool-aid seas of the internet to get the best version for you.
The annual Shakespeare commemoration (although, really, here’s it’s pretty much every day) is marked in this edition with a beautiful, sad song and a funny graphic adaptation of class favorite Romeo and Juliet.
From last year’s Shakespeare Live! from the Royal Shakespeare Company (aired on BBC), here is Gregory Porter singing “When that I was and a little tiny boy (With hey, ho, the wind and the rain)” from Twelfth Night, Act 5, Scene 1.
Freshmen! Welcome to theater. We begin this week in, er, the Beginning! The Ancient Greeks are credited with the invention of modern theater, and you are learning all about ’em this week through the City Dionysia packet. To complete the prompts, visit the most excellent resource of ARTSEDGE, the Education in Arts wing of the Kennedy Center.
Visit the site, which opens up in your first section: Prologue.
A new week, a new unit! Now, I know all of you loved Macbeth ever so much (almost at dashing-brains-on-the-floor levels), but it’s time to move into our needlessly overpacked third unit — the Enlightenment, Restoration, and Romantic Eras in 6 weeks or less!
As promised, I have included today’s content-opening overview so that you may review the years, terms, and personalities that you might explore in your Unit Projects.
Last night, the third (and final) Presidential Debate was held a few blocks down from me at UNLV, and I’m happy to say that I survived with no more than a smattering of harsh words heard.
In case you’ve forgotten, this is my preferred candidate for the time being:
Putting that behind us (and not soon enough) – Well done, everyone! I didn’t get any notice (yet) from concerned individuals – parents or administration – so I can only assume that all is good. I will be traveling back homeward near the end of the week, and will resume gradebook updating and responding to queries early next week. If you have any questions or items that I should note, please consider leaving me a note in the turn-in tray, which should be filled with:
9th: “The Interlopers” WS, Peter and the Wolf Viewer’s Guide, “Gray Area” graphic organizers, and the Wolf Writing Constructed Response (as well as any missing TKAM items).
12th: Unit 1 Projects, with reflective essay and rubrics attached, leaving me a note if your project didn’t fit in the bin, or was digital upon completion. All of the Unit 1 (Beowulf and Canterbury)items should be in as well.
1010: Playing Devil’s Advocate graphic organizer, Toulmin Model organizers, Character Cards, and any notes or relevant votes pertaining to the Town Hall.
Congrats, again, everybody! Start planning your Halloween costume if you haven’t already (like some of us did back in July) – the costume contest will be in one week, on the 27th of October!
And on that final pic, good gourd, you shall dance into the weekend. Woot!
It’s mid-October again! Time to repost some “Magicke Moste Foule”. Sadly, I won’t be with you in this most wonderful week – what with 9th graders contending with wolves, Brit. Lit. finishing their pilgrimage to Canterbury, and the 1010 peeps playing Devil’s Advocate – out am I making conferencing! Just because I can’t be with you doesn’t mean I’m not here to help. All week, I will send you updates from my conference, and give you an opportunity to check in with me about assignments and other nonesuch. Be good to your sub, and check in every day for bonus items and reminders.
It’s the season of suspenseful storytelling, with an emphasis on imaginative yarns and wanderings through folklore. Here are some of the resources 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.
9th – Intro to Literature: This week, you’ve got suspenseful wolf texts to read and watch. All worksheets and reading notes will be due at the end of class Thursday. Today it’s “The Interlopers” – if you don’t finish in class, you can find the story online or pick up a print copy in the classroom. Also, because it’s the song you can’t escape from, no matter how far the river takes you, here’s “The Bottom of the River” by Delta Rae. Look for the wolves in the lyrics!
Perhaps one of the greatest music videos out there, not least of which in the terrible joy of ambiguity.
Brit. Lit: You’re finishing Unit 1 this week, with an emphasis on what this unit does for our class. Why study Early and Middle English? Answer this question with your impressive project, due Thursday. In today’s class you met Death – don’t incur another visit by turning in that project late! Remember: project reflective essay, rubric. All due Thursday!
For those of you looking for more Chaucer inspiration, here’s “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.
ENGL 1010: Oh, my eggheaded darlings. I haven’t forgotten you. If you think I have, let’s play Devil’s Advocate about it! That’s your goal this week, and to help you poke holes in arguments you don’t like, we won’t just shout “WRONG!” or console ourselves with “That’s your opinion”. Get logical! Here’s the link to our favorite Book of Bad Arguments. Sometimes the best way to be right is simply being less wrong – point out those fallacies in your content this week!
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!
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 week, Friday, September 30. 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!