A Gilgamesh Play For Teen Readers

( 4 )

Overview

Gilgamesh and Enkidu. The oldest story known to man. In a teaching unit, performable play format, A Gilgamesh Play for Teen Readers tells the essence of the Gilgamesh story without the archaic (and often inappropriate) language. It is the only such format of the story, and furnishes teachers a thorough and interesting background regarding the world of young people in ancient Mesopotamia. The author is a National Board Certified Teacher, and has...

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Overview

Gilgamesh and Enkidu. The oldest story known to man. In a teaching unit, performable play format, A Gilgamesh Play for Teen Readers tells the essence of the Gilgamesh story without the archaic (and often inappropriate) language. It is the only such format of the story, and furnishes teachers a thorough and interesting background regarding the world of young people in ancient Mesopotamia. The author is a National Board Certified Teacher, and has taught middle school for over twenty years.

Because there are so few plays on the story of Gilgamesh geared to teens, this play was created to fill the void. Although not an exact retelling of the story, the play furnishes a great deal of insight into the ancient Mesopotamian culture, as well insight into the story of Gilgamesh. The play features:

• Probing questions on various themes for teenage discussion
• Themes listed for the teacher use in a quick-reference
• A quick-reference Sumer-cabulary with keywords bolded in the play
• Pre-teaching suggestions for teachers
• A complete Sumerian 'further reference list' for teachers to utilize

The story is the legend of the great king Gilgamesh, and the eventual tragedy of his friendship with Enkidu-lord of the wild. It was written by a Sumerian, but was absorbed into later Babylonian culture. Because of Gilgamesh's arrogance and pride, the gods created Enkidu-a warrior as powerful as the king-in order to teach the king humility. The warriors became friends and had many adventures together. But the evil goddess Ishtar punished Enkidu with an untimely death sentence, and Gilgamesh undertook a long journey in search of Utnoa(Utnapishtim) the Faraway-survivor of the Great Flood-who possessed the secret of immortality. At the story's end, the fruit benefits neither the king nor his friend, but ironically, Gilgamesh-through his timeless story-has indeed become immortal.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440110306
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/23/2009
  • Pages: 60
  • Product dimensions: 0.12 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 11.00 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2007

    'Fun little play portraying an ancient tale'

    'A Gilgamesh Play for Teen Readers' is a GREAT teaching resource! I've taught seventh grade social studies ancient history for a number of years, and this play exactly fits the bill! Written for teens, this play tells the classic story of Gilgamesh and Enkidu in language that middleschoolers can understand and learn from. Sumerian culture and history are embedded so subtly, that students won't realize how much they've learned! For teachers, this book offers reading within the content areas, excellent higher level thinking questions, and enough open-ended questions to lead students to write at a deeper level than simple lecture would lend itself to. Students become engaged with the material, are active participants in learning, and become engaged and proactive learners through this play. I hope the author writes more plays like this, his talent and understanding of middle schoolers certainly shines through! This is the same author as the book 'Teacher Under Construction', a how-to book on teaching at this level. I highly recommend this book to all teachers, public, private, and home-schools, who work with students in this study. Who knew ancient history could be so fun?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2007

    'Very nice adaptation of the story, usable in the classroom'

    When I read 'A Gilgamesh Play for Teen Readers,' I became jealous of today's middle-schoolers. I don't recall there being, when I was their age, anything both as fun and as informative as this play is. Dr. Parks has written a fast-paced entertainment that's also a masterpiece of education. While playing a variety of vivid and well-drawn characters, the students will learn, not only the main points of oldest epic poem still in existence, but also the heart of the world's first civilization. In his play Dr. Parks does something brilliant and unexpected. He doesn't just retell the story of Gilgamesh he sets it within a larger story in which all kinds of Sumerians go about their everyday lives of study, work, and play. Thus, the actors and the audience don't just relive the mythical friendship of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, and its tragic outcome at the hands of the jealous goddess Inanna, but they also see how the epic reflects the lives of the Sumerians who imagined it, and what it meant to them. Beyond the play itself, Dr. Parks has filled his compact book with a number of valuable resources. His introduction gives an overview of Sumerian civilization and a summary of its greatest story, as well as a comprehensive list of themes and topics that one can teach from the play. Some of the scenes (or 'tablets') of the play end in lists of questions that challenge the students to reach a deeper level of understanding of what they've acted. Finally, there's a 'Sumer-cabulary' that clearly explains key terms highlighted in the play. Too often, students miss the lessons of history because they're taught dully and dryly. Students who benefit from 'A Gilgamesh Play for Teen Readers' will retain history's lessons as these come to life around them and become part of them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2007

    'An Excellent Classroom Adaptation of this Ancient Story!'

    'A Gilgamesh Play for Teen Readers' is a GREAT teaching resource! I've taught seventh grade social studies ancient history for a number of years, and this play exactly fits the bill! Written for teens, this play tells the classic story of Gilgamesh and Enkidu in language that middle schoolers can understand and learn from. Sumerian culture and history are embedded so subtly, that students won't realize how much they've learned! For teachers, this book offers reading within the content areas, excellent higher level thinking questions, and enough open-ended questions to lead students to write at a deeper level than simple lecture would lend itself to. Students become engaged with the material, are active participants in learning, and become engaged and proactive learners through this play. I hope the author writes more plays like this, his talent and understanding of middle schoolers certainly shines through! This is the same author as the book 'Teacher Under Construction', a how-to book on teaching at this level. I highly recommend this book to all teachers, public, private, and home-schools, who work with students in this study. Who knew ancient history could be so fun?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2007

    'Cute play which really piques the kids' interest in Gilgamesh'

    I don't know why there aren't more plays written for middle schoolers that have some SUBSTANCE rather than short, 3 page 'playlets'. Kudos to this author for helping correct this dilemma. This is a rather long play. It will take the average teacher about two days. But it is packed with references to the customs, gods, childhood life, and inventions of the ancient Mesopotamian people. It has terrific questions after each scene ('tablet'), and a useful 'Sumercabulary' at the end. FYI, the format is large pages which make it nice for the kids to use. Cute play with surprise ending! (NOTE: all of the explicit sexual references in the original Gilgamesh story have been omitted.)

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