Objectives

  • Understand and explain basic literary devices epic, epic hero, simile, epic simile, simile, personification, flashback, poetic justice, metaphor, and analogy (9.R.3.3, 3.1)
  • Use basic reading strategies like questioning, summarizing, and identifying confusion to read a difficult text (9.R.2.1, 2.3, 2.2)
  • Evaluate a character's traits to determine the values of the culture from which that character arises (9.R.4.1)
  • Write a formal essay exploring a work of literature and including quotations from the text in the essay

Lessons


Day 1 - Introducing The Odyssey

Tasks
  1. A vote: What is the greatest adventure movie of all time?
    1. Write on white board: 2 choices - if your choice is already up there, write no more
    2. Erase any that don't have two
    3. One sentence pitch for each nominee, then a Final vote (heads down is a fun way)
    4. We're reading an adventure story - the greatest adventure story of all time
  2. Read the first page out loud
    • quick discussion about what it says
    • quick talk about the time line and how the original story is set up
  3. Definitions of terms - see them online and take notes from them (their style, their way)
    • epic - long poem telling a story about the actions of heroes and gods
    • epic simile - long, drawn out version of a regular simile. Usually can be detected by its use of phrases like "Just as" or "Even as" or "Just so" or "Just that way"
    • epic hero - larger than life person who takes on a dangerous journey. He possesses the character traits most valued by the culture who tells his story
    • simile - a comparison of two things, using the words like or as
    • personification - giving human traits to a non-human item or thing
    • flashback - when a story is told by a character who looks back on the past - flashes back to it
    • Poetic justice - When a character gets what he deserves. When the most fitting reward or punishment is doled out to a character.

Notes
With carryover assignments, only finished the notes in the block. With the mini, never achieved the notes.

Day 2

Tasks
  1. Quickly discuss each of the literary terms (almost study-like, drill-like)
  2. Read Lotus plants
  3. Asking questions . . . Answering questions
    • Write as we read - at stopping points; answer in pairs, then to group. Keep discussion, etc. to no more than 10 minutes
    • What is our current Lotus Plant?
  4. If time remains, consider a blog article defining a lotus plant that currently exists - or maybe a quick jot on paper and discussion amongst a pair or group of three
  5. If more time is left, begin reading to the Cyclops


Day 3 - Cyclops

Tasks
  1. Read the Cyclops, pausing to ask questions every couple pages
    • Teacher read to get momentum (until after Cyclops eats a few), then students read in groups, asking questions as they go
  2. Literature terms of focus: simile, personification
  3. When finished with 20 - 30 minutes of reading, look back and find the hardest phrase or most difficult part
    1. With a partner, do a close reading of that part
    2. Determine what makes it so difficult to read, how you might go about figuring out how to read it, & what you think it says. Trade with another pair and see if you can get those & be right. As a class, look at two of the hardest parts (10 - 15 minutes total)
  4. Continue reading, pausing for questions and what students think is the best part (& why)
  5. when finished, begin setting up the comic strip

Notes
With the close reading of difficult part - required too much explanation for a quick exercise. Of questionable value in the end.

Days 4/5 - The Monsters

Tasks
  1. Read the monsters out loud, students reading when possible, teacher helping paraphrase
    1. Before each reading, teacher gives a bit of pre-reading framework to make sense of it
    2. First read the Circe description, then jump back to the textbook as it happens (one monster at a time)
  2. Notes pages:
    • Divide a white piece of paper into four quadrants, label each with 1 monster.
    • After each section, class jots details from the text (and line #s) about the monster.
    • On the opposite side, sketch a quick picture.
  3. Literature terms of focus: epic simile
  4. Create a Wanted Poster for the monster of choice
    • An accurate picture (with color)
    • 5 characteristics with line numbers from the text
  5. Watch the movie version (O Brother Where Art Thou for sirens, regular movie for other two)
  6. Write a one-page "essay" comparing and contrasting the book's depiction of the monsters with the movie
    • discuss ways to construct comparison/contrast

Notes
Made the wanted poster mostly homework - seemed to work well & capitalizes on class time

Days 6/7 - Homecoming

Tasks
  1. Prepare for the homecoming
    1. come out of the flashback, set up the characters
  2. Literary terms of focus: poetic justice
  3. Reading the flashback
    • in small groups, read the section where Telemachos and Odysseus reunite & Argus
    • Together, with assigned sections, we all read out loud through the battle
  4. Before the challenge, stop & predict
    • Predict the ending that would have the most poetic justice
    • Write Odysseus' revelation speech (to initiate battle)
  5. Read reunion with Penelope individually, silently
  6. Watch the movie version of the homecoming
  7. Blog article - how are the monsters an analogy for YOUR life?
    1. Write about 5 of the 7 monsters we encountered (you can count the suitors as a monster). Describe minimum two characteristics of the monster and how that monster is like something in your life.
    2. Monster list: Lotus-eaters, Cyclops, Sirens, Scylla, Charybdis, Helios, Suitors
    3. Can prepare for it in class even w/out computers (do prepare before logging into computers)

Days 8/9 - Odysseus and Me

Tasks
  1. Revisiting essay writing
    • Discussion about essays and improving them with outlines
    • Present a format for an outline
  2. Prepping for the Odysseus and Me essay
    • Reading the essay question, reading an example
    • Brainstorming: characteristics of Odysseus (on the board)
    • Brainstorming: times when I've shown those characteristics
    • Organize these things on paper, writing down particular lines (with line numbers) for each of the incidents from The Odyssey
    • it helped students to write on the board a list of the main events that occurred within the story, as reminders about what they could pull from for details
  3. Making a formal outline
  4. How do I put these quotes into the text?
  5. Writing the essay




Old ideas

Beginning
  1. Watch film on The Odyssey
    1. What kind of a person is Odysseus? What is he like?
    2. How can The Odyssey be seen as having to do with our lives? What adventures does the video compare to The Odyssey? How were they like The Odyssey?
    3. Four interesting things you learn from watching the video
    4. What role do the gods play in The Odyssey?


Lotus plant

  1. Read Lotus plants
  2. Asking questions . . . Answering questions
    • Write as we read - at stopping points; answer in pairs, then to group. Keep discussion, etc. to no more than 10 minutes
    • What is our current Lotus Plant?
    • Seeing the metaphor/analogy of the story by reading The Wretched Stone



Monsters:
  1. Create a Wanted Poster for the monster of choice
    • An accurate picture (with color)
    • 5 characteristics with line numbers from the text
  2. Watch the movie version (O Brother Where Art Thou for sirens, regular movie for other two)
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