1. How many years was Odysseus a captive on Calypso's island?
2. What does in medias res mean?
3. What name does Odysseus give to Cyclops in order to fool him?
We're friends, right? Ok. Good. Because if we're friends, then this cannot be the whole of your instruction for large texts like The Odyssey. When I work with teachers, one of my primary goals is to help them to see skills first--then the literature. But here's the rub.
- As English teachers, we truly love our content. It's difficult to allow it to take a backseat or even to teach in excerpts.
- When working with a large piece--and The Odyssey is by far the largest piece I think most of us work with--it's difficult not to simply power through the plot just to get done.
Introducing...da-da-da-dum...Skills by Scene...a true labor of love! This is the first in what will eventually be a series of large texts--including novels and plays--broken down into teachable chunks with an explicit skill focus and suggested activities. Each chunk is paired with a modern poem with suggested annotations and questioning strategies. To wrap it up, students bring Odysseus home in self-directed and skills-based rotating stations.
No more study guides, friends! You know what I'm talking about...those awful packets that go chapter by chapter with low-level question after low-level question. And don't you dare tell me your study guide has high-level questions in it because I love you, but I know [and you know] that you most likely get low-level responses.
Let's start getting ready for next year! Are you ready?!
- Step 1--THROW AWAY your study guide. If you need support, call a friend to hold your hand while you walk it to the recycle bin. You'll be ok.
- Step 2--Take a picture of your trashed study guide and email it to me!
- Step 3--Download Skills by Scene--The Odyssey and prepare to teach it like never before.
Thanks for joining me on this new adventure!