Iliad/Odyssey/Homer...with 7th graders

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by peachacid, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    Aug 29, 2013

    I am co-teaching a class of 7th graders this year, and we must teach excerpts from the Iliad and the Odyssey. We've started by reading about Greek Mythology, and then we'll have to talk about epic poetry. I am looking for some movies/cartoons/television shows that go along with this...any ideas? Someone mentioned Troy, but I'd like something a little more factual. The social studies teacher, who has the students in the spring, shows Clash of the Gods.

    Any ideas? Any tips for doing this with 7th graders? Half the kids are reading at basically an emergent level...fun!
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Aug 29, 2013

    No advice. But that was required reading in my upper level Ancient Greek History course for my history specialization. Seventh grade? Eek!
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 29, 2013

    Wow, we didn't do the Odyssey until freshman year! You could so excerpts of the TV movie The Odyssey. A teacher I worked with last year showed O Brother Where Art Thou as a comparison.
     
  5. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    O Brother Where Art Thou might be great for a wrap-up...but the kids are pretty young! I just took the first two stanzas of the first book of the Iliad, typed them into Word, added columns, and put very basic questions to help the kids through them. My kids are the "high" kids -- they're just below grade level or at grade level, but the other kids...sheesh.

    If we go through it this way, the first book will be done...by Thanksgiving...no but seriously we'll need 15 days to go through Book 1. YIKES.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 29, 2013

    Open Culture, http://www.openculture.com/2011/01/...sey_free_translations_by_literary_greats.html, notes some free audio versions: I would recommend having your students listen rather than read, and you might want to explain to them that in fact both poems were composed to be heard.

    For you, I might recommend this and its sequels for background and some nifty trivia to drop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onIapU0z0aQ&list=TLs1DJKKSAT1A. There's also a fascinating exploration of the process of digitizing the oldest complete extant manuscript of the Iliad at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri6X1Dz4Ycg.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 29, 2013

    I picked up one great DVD versions (cartoons) from Dollar Tree. I have my be 25 different classic literature pieces. They're from a company in Australia. I have The Odyssey.

    It's not part of our ELA class now, but I kept the video.
     
  8. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    Aug 29, 2013

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMV6qVFBoJw

    This video was made by some high school kids for an English project. I stumbled upon it when I was looking for something else entirely. It's kind of ridiculous but in an awesome way. Plus, my freshmen love it. It's the Polyphemus part.
     
  9. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    The Troy movie takes liberties with Homer, but stays pretty true to the themes of the story, I think. However, the violence is over the top for middle schoolers.

    In the '80's, there was a PBS documentary series hosted by Michael Wood called "In Search of the Trojan War." It is rather dated now in style, but has a great deal of archeology and Bronze Age history in it, as well as some epic poetry information. I show excerpts of it in my Latin classes. It is available on DVD.
     
  10. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Sep 3, 2013

    I highly recommend The Odyssey staring Armand Assante. There seems to be a dvd version that includes Gulliver's Travels, too. Here's a teaching unit program that I saw portions of before that looked great, especially for younger students. I know they sent me a sample packet for free - so even if your school won't invest, you can get a few things out of it! http://tellmeomuse.com/odysseus
     
  11. Furthuron

    Furthuron Companion

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    Sep 3, 2013

    I wouldn't teach Troy or Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? without signed parent permission. Also, Troy is WAY off the actual storyline of the Iliad. When I taught Odyssey, I made a huge map of all his travels, and each day as we read I mapped where he went. At the end, the kids made board games. I'd be happy to share my instructions - fell free to PM me. I also taught it along with Star Wars: A New Hope and did the Hero's Journey. Really fun if you have the time!
     
  12. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Sep 3, 2013

    Seconding Star Wars: A New Hope to teach epics/hero's journey. The Iliad and Odyssey seem a little hard-core for 7th grade; it's taught in 9th grade here.

    Scholastic has a Greek play unit somewhere that has both in it. I think I picked it up during the dollar sales. Kids liked reading them aloud.
     
  13. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    Sep 6, 2013

    Just wanted to tell everyone that the kids are absolutely loving this unit! We've read the myths in a book that was used in high school last year, filled out character sheets and maps, talked about the gods, written biopoems, watched short movie versions of The Trojan War and the Journey of Odysseus, and had some really good discussions about the gods and goddesses. Last night they read an excerpt from the Iliad for the first time, and they got it -- I gave them questions to answer and they were mostly correct. The "incorrect" answers were really close, and they are definitely thinking and working hard. Next week we have some assessments and they'll also do a PowerPoint project about one god or goddess.

    Now I just need to figure out what's next...! =)
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 6, 2013

    Great news, peachacid!
     
  15. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Sep 13, 2013

    Woah! And I thought teaching The Odyssey to my freshman was a challenge!

    I found this great DVD study guide--it's called Rocketbook DVD The Odyssey. It has a summary and analysis for each book. Honestly, it's not the most exciting thing in the world, but it's great to use to review. At the end of each section it has a quiz that the students can do while they watch the DVD.

    Good luck!
     
  16. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 14, 2013

    Thanks for the ideas, especially about mapping the travels and the various video aides. I'll be teaching this to a 9th grader later in the year.
     

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