Presentation on theme: "McLean 6 th Grade Center English and Counseling Department Cooperation Into the Fire Out From the Ashes Dear Parents and Guardians, We are pleased to inform."— Presentation transcript:
McLean 6 th Grade Center English and Counseling Department Cooperation Into the Fire Out From the Ashes Dear Parents and Guardians, We are pleased to inform you that we will once again be facilitating the Odyssey book study as part of your students experience in English class. Last year Counselor Kelly and Ms Gonzalez piloted an in-depth study of Homer’s 2700 year old epic poem The Odyssey with amazing results for every student involved. Your student is about to embark on an awesome journey into the literary world of Greek mythology while finding modern day relevance in today’s media, news, literature and more importantly themselves. Students will be exploring in depth meanings of the twelve trails faced by Odysseus as he battles his way back home to Ithica, defying all odds, slaying creatures and facing perils along his journey. Homer’s tale of heroism is still important today, so while we cheer for Odysseus we will also witness Frodo Baggins, Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, Anakin and many other noteworthy characters fight against the odds to victory or fail on their quest to become a Greek hero. Five to ten minute clips from various movies will be used to enrich the learning experience. Students quickly discover that a Cyclopes is not merely a Cyclopes for Odysseus, but rather an externalized representation of his own internal struggle with his ego. A lotus plant or Turkish delight are archetypical representations of anything that can be addictive from video games to drugs. A boggart in Harry Potters closet is more then an elaborate fictitious creature dreamed up by J.R. Rowling. What makes this study so fascinating is its relevance to the students themselves. They will ponder the question every step of the way: do I have what it takes to become a Greek hero in the year 2006? The looking glass will be turned upon them while they identify their own internal battles as middle school students on their own odyssey. Challenges will await them with every trial of Odysseus as they seek to identify their lotus plants, Kikonian failures and the testing of Calypso. We will take a deeper look at current topics of drug addiction, peer pressure, gossip, gangs and others. Students will end their journey through this lesson with the realization that their own personal Odyssey has only just begun--into the fire out of the ashes they will rise. We encourage you to talk with your student about this study, it will bring an enrichment to your students life like no other unit. Please feel free to ask any question you might have or to stop by and sit in on one of the trials to see for yourself what a relevant and rigorous journey our class will be embarking on. Kelly KozlowskiKaren Gonzalez Professional School CounselorEnglish Teacher
McLean 6 th Grade Center English and Counseling Department Cooperation Into the Fire Out From the Ashes Dear Parents and Guardians, Hello again from your student’s English and Reading class, I trust that you received our introductory letter explaining the joint effort of the English Teacher and Counselor lessons aimed at enriching students’ personal experience of the epic poem written by Homer 2700 years ago. The purpose of the joint undertaking is to give students rigorous understanding of the complexity of the literature and set the stage for the relevance to the students’ lives. It has come to our attention already that many students are sharing their experiences at home, discussing the difficulties of claiming internal power (taking up their own Odyssey), identifying bears (Kikonians) in their lives, finding within them their own Cyclopes and how it has peaked the curiosity of their parents who are wondering what is going on in this life-changing book study. In fact we have been approached to offer the same experience to the parents of our students. With excitement your child’s English teacher and the counselor are exploring the amount of interest parents have and will offer a parent class after school once or twice a week. Let us briefly try to explain what the lessons are all about. The focus of each lesson is personal growth. For example one of the twelve lessons is The Kikonians – godly Love. We follow the trials of Odysseus as a starting point and then bring in modern media characters who are also waging the same internal battles faced by Odysseus. The emphasis is that on the surface we see the struggle as Odysseus slaughtering the Kikonians or Anakin killing the Sand People, the real experience is an internal battle within ourselves. To further our example of the Kikonian testing, we look at Helen Keller’s life, Arwyen from Lord of the Rings and other well-known figures including the Virgin Mary and not so well-known figures such as Shiva examining what they represent symbolically to society. Once there is an understanding of what we are seeing and what we are not seeing within the characters themselves, we turn the looking glass upon the students. They are then to reflect on their own Kikonians or bears, lessons of Helen Keller, Mary and Shiva, sympathy versus compassion and so forth. To wrap it up they are challenged for the following week to stretch themselves personally as the characters we studied were engaged. It is a process that steps slowly from the literature to the same theme in modern media to personal identification with life's eternal struggles. Students are learning a language of self expression, creating symbols in their lives to discuss internal struggles with friends regarding peers, drugs and so much more. If you as a parent also understand that language you might be better able to communicate with them at times when they face life’s challenges. If you are interested in experiencing the same challenges your student is undertaking, we will offer that opportunity. Please sign below and send form to school with your student and we will contact you with details. Or call the school and let us know personally. We have not yet picked the days of the week but the time will be 4:15-5:45 while students can be in our after school sports program. Kelly KozlowskiKaren Gonzalez Professional School CounselorEnglish Teacher Print your name and include a phone number where you can be reached and return to school.