For the past several weeks, freshman students at Roberto Clemente Community Academy have been exploring many key concepts, related concepts, and global concepts in the International Baccalaureate (IB) unit about mythology. Students started the unit reading international creation myths from cultures such as Iroquois, Norse, Native American, and Japanese. This allowed students to have choice in what they read for that week’s assignments. The students expressed great interest in their particular myth as they asked many questions as they read each myth and were eager to move on to other creation myths. Freshmen also read the Greek creation myths, Perseus and Medusa, and Love and the Soul, the myth about Cupid and Psyche falling in love. Reading stories that were told thousands of years ago, students still were able to make many connections to modern day society.
In addition, as a pre-reading strategy before The Odyssey, students will read independently, with partners, or in small groups a shortened version of The Iliad. The Iliad, also crafted by Homer, recounts the events of the notorious Trojan War and the fall of the city of Troy. This will provide students with a great amount of information so they are well prepared to tackle the challenging, rigorous reading of The Odyssey. To prepare students to best understand the many references to the Greek gods, Greek goddesses, and vocabulary terms, they studied the roles and powers of the ancient Greek gods and goddesses, who frequently appear in the unit’s anchor text.
As mentioned above, the anchor text for the unit is the Greek epic poem entitled The Odyssey, which was written by Homer, a blind poet who wandered from town to town telling the stories of Odysseus as he played his lyre. As the King of Ithacus, Odysseus wanted nothing more than to get home to his beautiful island and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus. Odysseus must use his wit and charm to fight off monsters, Cyclops, gods, and goddesses. We all look forward to practicing our IB and PSAT skills throughout the unit!