Tag Archives: World Lit.

Banned Books Week 2016

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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!

(Check out this cool infographic to learn more: courtesy of Electric Literature)

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:

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 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!

F(READ)OM!!

Courtesy @BannedBooksWeek on Twitter.

Courtesy @BannedBooksWeek on Twitter.

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!

May Playlist (2016)

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She shall be Rose the Destroyer!

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?

  1. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – The Waiting
  2. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z – Umbrella
  3. OMC – How Bizarre
  4. Tori Kelly – Nobody Love
  5. Summer Camp – Down
  6. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Darlington County
  7. The Kingsmen – Louie Louie
  8. Nashville Cast – The Book
  9. Dawes – From a Window Seat
  10. Shiny Toy Guns – Earth Below Us
  11. Christodoulos Halaris – Hymn to the Muse (Trad.)
  12. David Bowie – Heroes
  13. The Lively Ones – Surf Rider
  14. AWOLNATION – Sail
  15. Mumford & Sons – The Cave
  16. The Alarm – The Stand
  17. The Pretty Reckless – Heaven Knows
  18. The Strumbellas – Spirits
  19. Leon Bridges – Smooth Sailin’
  20. Chet Faker – Gold
  21. Adele – Water Under the Bridge
  22. Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch (O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack) – I’ll Fly Away
  23. Tom Waits – Long Way Home
  24. M83 – Midnight City
  25. The Avett Brothers – Live and Die
  26. Nahko and the Medicine for the People – San Quentin
  27. Gary Clark Jr. – When My Train Pulls In
  28. Trampled By Turtles – Come Back Home
  29. Lord Huron – The Man Who Lives Forever
  30. Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean – Hips Don’t Lie
  31. The Wallflowers – One Headlight
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