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Showing posts from May, 2015

The Month Long Journey that Took Ten Years

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Did you ever wonder why it took Odysseus ten years to complete a journey that should have taken a month? Did you ever wonder why Odysseus after fighting a ten-year war, doesn't just jump in his ship and paddle back to Ithaca (and Penelope) as fast as he can? Well, those are questions that could be argued forever, and probably will be, but now there is an interactive map of Odyssesus's Journey to help readers keep track of the wandering hero. Something to notice about the map is that Odysseus could not have taken a longer route if he planned it that way.

Click on the link and you'll see. He starts out in Troy then heads right across the straight to Ismara which he plunders - oops, bad move. Before he and his men can get back on the ships many are killed. They then run into fierce storms that carry them all the way across the Mediterranean to northern Africa where they reach the land of the lotus eaters. The crew imbibes of the lotus and ends up not caring whether they ever…

School Projects - Let's Peep a Good Thing Goin'

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I have a love/hate relationship with projects--and then I get something like this, a two-foot tall diorama featuring one of my favorite subjects. I mean who doesn't love the Avengepeeps in all their gooey glory.

What do I mean when I say I have a love/hate relationship with projects? Sometimes I feel like students spend more time on their projects than on their papers, but hey, what are projects for anyway?

One thing, is to help students explore subjects from a new and different angle, to look creatively at a subject with a relatively low barrier of entry. In the case of Peep dioramas, students adapted a nation-wide Spring contest featuring the marshmallowy confections to come up with a fun way to look at the Avengers - this from a class that just finished reading Watchmen. I mean who doesn't love Bruce Peeper, the incredible Pulp, or Captain Ameripeep. Students analyze character motivation, personality, and setting to design appropriate subject peeps. How creative is this fo…