Friday, April 16, 2010

Aeneid Class: Week 9: Travel Guide to the Underworld

This post relates to my literature class for children at Homeschool Out of the Box co-op in Norfolk, VA. This semester we are reading The Aeneid, using Penelope Lively's book In Search of a Homeland, and other supplemental materials. For other lessons, please click the Aeneid tag at the bottom of this post.

Welcome: Today's quiz was about Carthage and Dido, and we sang all our songs in their entirety. We had a successful memorization of Mark Antony's speech, and a very close call with Arma Virumque Cano -- next week for sure! Encourage your children to work on these poems at home, and recite them for friends, relatives, whoever will listen. Nothing builds confidence like repetition and also applause from Grandma.

Memory Work: Today we practiced "Horatio at the Bridge" as a dramatic reading. Horatios are Sarah R and Stephen K. I know they are hard at work memorizing their lines! The consuls and other brave Romans with speaking parts are encouraged to memorize their parts too, and EVERYONE should be memorizing the last bit, from "Romans in Rome's quarrel" to the end. The children are doing a magnificent job delivering their lines with feeling and ferocity! Great job, all.

The Underworld:

Today's project for the academic track classes is a travel guide to the underworld. I gave them the title page and chapter list, which we pasted into their scrapbooks near the end. Their assignment, which they worked on in class, was to complete the travel guide, one chapter per page, in their books. They can do it however they want to do it -- as a comic book, all text, all pictures, etc. They can do it humorously, seriously, standing on their heads, whatever. Next week I'm going to have a look at them, and the students who have fulfilled the assignment will receive a citizenship coin!

The enrichment track kids are creating a bestiary. They also received a title page and chapter list, and they also should complete the pages of their bestiary (including harpies, gorgons, a chimaera, Cerberus, and the Furies) to receive a citizenship coin. If you have lost your scrapbook, you can do this on separate pages stapled together.

Chariot Races Preparation:

Next week we are going to turn Grace Street into the Circus Maximus and hold our own chariot races. We have already arranged wagons to be chariots, but we need many more volunteers and items. The chariots will be run two at a time, from the end of the street by the apartment buildings down to the intersection at Yarmouth. We will have the green team (supported by the emperor and the Roman people), the blue team (supported by the Senate) and the red team, (supported by the political resistance). Please dress your children in one of these colors, if possible.

The children will play three roles -- horn blowers, horses, and charioteers. If your child is going to be a charioteer, he or she must MUST must have a bike helmet. Any horses that spill out their charioteers are going to be disqualified, but we still want to be ridiculously safe. If you want, you can also bring along elbow and knee pads -- that would be completely appropriate. We also need dog leashes, two per horse. Please label everything that you bring. We will need volunteers to stand at the ends of the Circus Maximus and hold traffic when necessary. We will also need a first aid kit with bandaids and bactine in case anyone falls over and gets scraped up. So please let me know if you can:

___ Be a traffic guard
___ Bring bandaids and bactine and be the first aid station
___ Bring dog leashes -- the basic kind with a snap on one end and a loop on the other.
___ Bring helmets and knee pads and elbow pads
___ Be an official

If you do not want your child to participate, that is totally fine. He or she can be a horn blower and still have fun. Please email me with any questions you have, to volunteer to help, or with any issues you want me to address.

If you like, you can watch the video of the chariot race from Ben Hur! If you have trouble with the embedded video, here is the link. Be warned: it is violent -- people get run over by horses, for example. But it is a bit of classic movie history and still after all these years a very exciting scene.

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