Monday, July 1, 2013

Jumping in... New Fiction/Traditional story, myth or religious work

Thought to work on this week :

I am a social studies teacher. My 6th grade curriculum focuses on ancient civilizations. What is enduring ? What should we take away from earlier groups ?

I am an avid reader. What are the themes do I see recurring ? How do they relate to these same themes, or characters or plot events that also were important to earlier cultures ?

Here is one of the new common core LA  curriculum standards for 8th grade literature :

Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of
events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or
religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the
material is rendered new.

Questions I'd like to explore when "unpacking this standard"  and deciding how students can benefit from having this skill .....

 What is considered modern fiction ? 20 years ? 50 years ? If this is a grade 8 standard do you think they mean a childrens story or one for adults ? 

What are the "traditional stories", myths or works from religion that YOU consider worthy of being part of our cultural texts.

Should we talk about American culture or multicultural ? 

So teachers, friends, parents, scholars, professionals.. chime in ... list some texts new or old that you think are worthy of being explored to address this standard.

Also a prediction on assessment. Do you think students will be asked to provide their own example of this in an essay ? Do you think they will be given two texts ? Will it matter if they are/ are not familiar with these texts ? 

I'd love to hear from you, but will also be trying to collect my own examples and share them as we go along !

1 comment:

  1. OK That was a pretty challenging first blog post to respond to...

    I did have a great conversation with a good friend and incredible educator, and a wonderful young reader (19 year old) and we came up with some ideas. We had a lot of interesting conversation to define modern and traditional.. we also came to the conclusion that writing for that specific age group (14 year olds) as Young adults seems to be a fairly recent thing..

    So how about Romeo and Juliet/ West Side Story (Although some might argue grade 8 is a little early for that...)

    Also we thought about Greek myths and something like Percy Jackson which directly uses characters from the myths.

    Any more ideas welcome.. We thought about "To kill a Mockingbird" but determined that we couldn't decide if it would be modern or traditional and also that it actually has a very specific setting and a theme that matches that time and place pretty exclusively.

    I was wondering if Holocaust literature could be generalized into bigger genocide themes throughout time and history. Or maybe other war related tales.. wishing those themes were not so pervasive :(

    Also explored when dystopian stories came into play .. Ray Bradbury ?? And now Hunger Games ??

    Promise a lighter topic in my next blog post !!