Can you believe it?! Not much sense in thinking backwards now – so let’s go ahead and get started! Here is the welcome back slideshow that would normally air in the Back to School evening event. I will be absent this go ’round, attending an audition for Jeopardy! in Denver, which will hopefully look something nothing like this:
The Odyssey is one of the earliest, and best, works in the “big trip” portrayal, so grand they named half the genre after it!
Your explorations are also pretty grand, as long as you are choosing the path that best fits your kleos and nostos. The most recent post on this topic gave you some resources on Odyssey summaries and visual-friendly breakdowns. I’m happy to provide more study sites for you, from the British Museum and also from an esteemed Duke prof.
There are even special resources for those freshmen looking to complete a 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)!
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.
The following links are for the 1st and 4th Hour British Literature classes, but anyone should feel free to follow them to education (or emptiness). It may be said that no retelling can ever truly capture the horrors and mindset of warfare. But artists and authors have to try – sometimes only poetry or paint can communicate the senses and worst fears made real.
The British Library, again, gives us great multimedia and perspectives on our class content. The first link, on propaganda, should be used to answer prompt 13. The second link is extra reading, if you are looking for more perspective on the poems for your posters.
Romeo and Juliet is finally here! I wanted to share a few wonderful resources to keep you on track during our reading, including a few winners from last year’s Shakespeare’s World Research presentations (hint hint). As you may remember, there is a veritable slew (slew!) of information to keep track of. It’s all worth it though! Remember, we don’t agree with Plato – art isn’t useless! Look at what Lady Gaga pulled off in yesterday’s Super Bowl:
Theatrical skills can really pay off later! These great four links help fill in general knowledge of Shakespeare’s life and works. Also, although it’s a little early to be thinking about it, you can expect some potential Unit Test items below…
Here’s a link to a brief timeline of the life of Stratford’s most famous son:
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!