Antigone (English teachers)

Discussion in 'High School' started by EngTeacher15, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. EngTeacher15

    EngTeacher15 Companion

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    Jul 13, 2009

    I will be teaching Antigone for the first time next school year. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions or materials? That'd be great! :)

    Thanks,
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jul 13, 2009

    I haven't taught that in years, but if you can get your hands on the video called Greek Drama: From Ritual to Theater, it's very good and uses parts of Antigone to illustrate the concepts. Unfortunately, it's one of those that costs $169 to buy, which is just absurd.

    One good activity to do with the play is to have your students make masks and to actually try performing with them, as the ancient Greeks did.
     
  4. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 13, 2009

    It's been a long time since I've taught this piece specifically, but I will tell you that the kids LOVE it. It's the one thing that they remember when they come to me (as juniors) from their sophomore year.

    Have fun!
     
  5. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Jul 14, 2009

    I'm not an English teacher, but since I teach Latin, I obviously have an interest in the classics. I've noticed that some kids I teach learn things like Anitgone or the Odyssey in a vacuum, so to speak. I'd recommend to make sure you explain to them the basic plots of Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonnus. Also, explain a little about Greek comedy! Some of my kids come to me not knowing that the Greeks wrote anything that wasn't quite so depressing!
     
  6. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    Jul 17, 2009

    I've taught it for a few years, and haven't accomplished getting them to LOVE it yet, but think that it has a lot of good stuff in it. I do make sure to tell them the stories of Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus first-- those are pretty good attention getters!

    This year I focused a bit on the "moral dilemma" aspect-- I found several examples of moral dilemmas online which the kids were interested in discussing. The choice between doing a "wrong" thing for a "good" result vs. a "right" thing for a "bad" result gets them talking, and several characters could be said to be in such a situation.

    I also cover Aristotle's definition of tragedy during the unit and use a variety of modern scenarios and ask kids to decide whether or not they are actaully tragedies, and if not, what's missing. (In addition to discussing who is the real tragic hero of Antigone and how it fits the criterea, of course.)

    Finally, I found an online lesson plan once that talked about different historical periods and settings in which Antigone has been staged (for example, Nazi-occupied Paris in the 40s) or the different parallels that have been made in different historical periods. I've had them generate ideas for different time periods/ places that the play could be recast into. I can't find the source for that lesson plan, though.

    The part that I am still stuck on is the actual reading of the play-- it's dull when the kids read it out loud, but they have trouble understanding it when they read it on their own, and "performing" plays like this often turns out to be kids standing still and reading. I'd be curious to hear about how other teachers handle the actual reading/ comprehending aspect.
     
  7. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 17, 2009

    Ms. H, which translation do you use?
     
  8. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Jul 18, 2009

  9. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 18, 2009

    Dovian, that was AWESOME!
     
  10. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2009

    Thanks. My student teacher found it and I think it's so fun. The best part is it's not youtube so I can show it easily. (Youtube is blocked in our district.)
     
  11. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    Jul 20, 2009

    I used the one in my anthology-- translated by Paul Roche. I've honestly never compared it to any other options, though, so can't say if its a good one or not.
     
  12. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Jul 20, 2009

    An inbetween I use for things like this and Shakespeare is to let them read in groups with some study questions. This means everyone can have a part, so they don't get bored, but they have some guidance as to what they should be looking for, so they understand better. Then all you have to do is go around the room and answer their questions. For really low-level students you could even give them approximate line numbers for where they might find the answer.
     

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