Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Teaching like a Pirate: Funeral for Polynieces

Last week, I began reading Teach like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.  It is a great book about engagement! I immediately connected with the theme because like Burgess, I am told how easy it is for me to be creative (yeah, real easy).  I also subscribe to the methodology that kids need to be up and around in the classroom especially after I attended the Teaching Shakespeare Institute.  Teaching through performance has become a focus for me.  As an affirmation of this, the Speech teacher at my campus told me that the sophomores (this is my second year with them) had less stage fright and were more comfortable speaking in his class (and there are a lot of introverts in the group).  Yippee!

As our beginning to Antigone, I decided to research an Ancient Greek funeral and use our abbreviated schedule on Friday to re-enact the funeral for Antigone's brother, Polynieces.

I made a program for the funeral:

Polynieces Funeral

Then I set about buying props at the Dollar store and getting my room arranged.  We had a blast!  My fellow teachers were super supportive, wanting us to stop in front of their portable for our bouts of mourning.  The students also dressed for a funeral.  One student commented that this was "the weirdest thing she has ever done in school. Ever." Well, thank you.

Here are some pics from the event.

Props for the offering include: water, milk, honey, fruit, and celery

Women pulling out their hair (extensions) in the background.

The corpse laid out with all of the offerings.
I loved how excited the students were and I also loved how the other classes were envious.  The freshman Biology teacher kept telling his students, "you will have her next year."

Dave Burgess notes that our students are plagued by boredom throughout the day.  As teachers, we have two choices: be part of the boredom, or choose to be a respite from it!  I am glad I could be a respite from it.

Blessed to be teaching,

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