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Imagine a darkened chamber of rapt listeners, thrilled by tales of adventure and bold deeds . . . intrigued by faraway lands . . . moved by the plight of heroes caught in the grip of fate . . . amused by the folly of men . . . and inspired by the devotion of parents and children, husbands and wives, gods and men.
Now, imagine that the darkened chamber is your own classroom. The listeners are your students, who keep the Homeric flame alive through their study of The Odyssey. They create rough cartoons, vivid murals, and elaborate dioramas of the ancient world. They retrace Odysseus' voyage on contemporary maps. They script and produce fantastic puppet shows. Read various versions of The Odyssey (from comic books to full translations). Study the Greek roots of the English language. Retell the story and write epic poems. And in doing so, discover new ways to comprehend the ancient world-and our own.
In An Elementary Odyssey, David Millstone offers a thoughtful approach to curriculum design. You'll find practical suggestions on how to organize a curriculum, involve parents and other community members, and motivate students of all abilities. You'll be engaged by anecdotes, artwork, and lively excerpts from students' writing. You'll find specific teaching techniques, bases for evaluation, ideas for projects, and extensive bibliographies and resources. In short, you'll find a model for creating a classroom in which the arts and literature, writing and social studies are truly integrated.
1. Gotta Have a Hook...
Social Studies are Interdisciplinary: A Close Look
2. "So What Do you Do Besides Read the Text?"
Integrating the Arts
Transforming Children into Storytellers
Building a Community of Scholars
What About Writing?
Gastrohippotelechron: Moving Beyond Homer
Odysseus in First Grade
Why Does It Work?
9. Organization and Evaluation
A Teaching Philosophy