Sunday, May 09, 2010

Aeneid Class: Week 13: Aeneas' Shield

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: We are coming to the end of our class! That is sad for me. I have really enjoyed working with your children this semester. We still have a lot to get through in these last few weeks however, including today -- two painting projects to get through!

Aeneas' Shield: At the end of the reading assignment for today, Aeneas' mother, Venus, gives him a present. This special shield foretells the future of Rome, including our favorite characters, Julius and Augustus Caesar, of course! Virgil wouldn't want to let a chapter go by without reminding us that the whole point of this epic is to validate the authority of the emperor! Today we are making shields with watercolor. To do this project you will need watercolor paper marked with concentric circles, and watercolor paints. Those children who were in my Jungle Book class last semester were reminded that mandalas come in many forms -- and that concentric circles marked with symmetrical designs are everywhere! Some of the students took up the challenge to make pictures of the founding of the Roman empire, and some did more abstract designs. Here are some examples of their work:

I was particularly impressed with how some of the children in the enrichment class were able to graphically articulate the growth of Rome from one city to a big and powerful empire through assimilation and attack. We've been talking about how the bigger you get, the easier it is to get bigger, either by intimidation or war. It was great seeing that some out on some of the shields!

The shields will be used as programs for next week's Rostra event.

Rostra Banners:

Next week we will be putting on our final big event: Oratory at the Rostra. We created banners to decorate our platforms today. I was absolutely floored by the fact that I had ten children all working collaboratively around a single banner, and in three classes I had no arguing, no "he got paint on my part!" at all. Kudos to these kids, really! Super great job. You'll have to wait to see the banners, because I didn't take pictures yet, but they are... expressive.

Rostra Info:

The children almost all volunteered to take part in the oratory at the Rostra next week. You are invited to attend! It will be held in the classroom. Warning: If you are made nervous or queasy by children standing on tables, please bring the appropriate sedatives for yourself. :) Below are the memory lines they chose to recite. You will find the words they're working on in their scrapbooks, or I'm printing them below. They do NOT need to memorize all of the poem in order to participate. Even one line is fine! I told them even one syllable is fine, actually. Encourage the children to recite only what they're really comfortable reciting -- we want this to be a very positive experience, and that means fewer lines is better, if more lines bring anxiety. Look for your child's name in the list below. If you and your child are not sure what you should be working on, please let me know. If your child's name is not on the list, it means they did not want to participate. All participants will receive a special issue "Rostra" citizenship coin.

Mark Antony's speech at Julius Caesar's funeral: Stephen, Louis, Carrie, Hannah, Nathan, Richard, Benny, Cecelia, Basi, Catherine, David, Sadie.

Aeneid in Latin: Shira, Ben, Sarah M., Martina, Julia, Elsa, Katie, Max, Morgan, Miranda

Horatio at the Bridge (either the first two verses, or the last two verses, or both): Emily, Jillian, Sarah R

Brayton will be the MC at the 9:30 class, and Celia will be the MC at the 10:30. I will MC the Juniors.

Reading Assignment:

Reading for next week is Nisus and Euryalus and The Return of Aeneas. After we finish with our Rostra presentation we will be having regular class with singing, Horatio practice, and a quiz over the Rostra fast facts.

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