An Elementary Odyssey: Teaching Ancient Civilization Through Story

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The reader soon becomes convinced that this is one creative teacher! Incorporating the best thinking of today's move toward thematic, integrated teaching of social studies, Millstone outlines his successful interdisciplinary weaving of the arts, writing, and storytelling . . .”–Association of Teacher Educators
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780435088415
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 5/1/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 212
  • Age range: 9 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

After discovering he was not destined to be a research chemist, David Millstone worked as a newspaper reporter and printer before becoming an elementary school teacher in 1972. His professional passion for more than ten years has been introducing Homer's Odyssey to fifth graders at the Marion W. Cross School in Norwich, Vermont, a small-town public elementary school.
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Table of Contents

Getting Started

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

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