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ENGL 697 t Teaching Literature in an Urban Setting t Curriculum Plan


Creation Stories & Modern Theory

TechBoston Academy t ELA Grade 12 t Approx. Time Frame: 3 Weeks

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UNIT OVERVIEW

LEARNING STANDARDS




  • Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.




  • Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.




  • Demonstrate, in writing, an accurate grasp, in-depth command, and comprehensive understanding of the material, as well as an ability to cite multiple sources, avoid plagiarism, and follow a standard format for citation.

UNIT OBJECTIVES




  • Students will be able to define myth, explain what meaning can be derived from analyzing myth, and explain myth’s purpose within human culture.

  • Students will be able to gain a deeper understanding of various ancient cultures (i.e. Mesopotamian, Greek, Judeo-Christian, Japanese, Afro-Caribbean) by analyzing the style and structure of their respective creation stories.

  • Students will be able to gain a deeper understanding of various critical theories (Anthropological, Freudian, Marxist, Feminist) and apply their understanding toward the analysis of various mythological creation stories.

  • Students will be able to analyze and evaluate the earliest stages within the chronological development of literature and human thought.

UNIT OVERVIEW




  • This unit will serve as the genesis of our World Literature course. The focus for the academic year will be to analyze and evaluate the chronological development of literature from around the world. My aim will be to enhance my students’ global critical consciousness in developing their critical eye on identity, language, class, and culture by learning to deeply read the word, and the world. The literary odyssey that we will follow to track the human condition will include works from ancient civilizations (Greece, Rome, and China), the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), the High Renaissance (Italy, Spain, and England), the periods following (Enlightenment, Modern, and Post-Modern). Simultaneously, we will be analyzing the human Self, as it relates to each of us individually, as well as how it relates to humanity as a whole. The underlying central theme asks: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? Prior to beginning this survey of world literature that will provide insight into how we view and experience the world, students must be familiar with the early beginnings of the human thought. This will assist in addressing the question: Where do we come from? This can be achieved by critically analyzing creation stories from various ancient traditions (i.e. Mesopotamian, Greek, Judeo-Christian, Shinto), and to supplement these creation stories, students will also delve into theories on mythology from leading thinkers on the subject (i.e. Frazer, Freud, Durkheim). This unit will set a foundation for all future texts we will read over the course of the year and provide us with multiple cultural lenses in which to analyze the ideas behind these literary works.

UNIT CALENDAR




MON

TUE

WED

THUR

FRI

Ancient Mesopotamian’s Enuma Elish


Frazer’s Golden Bough



Hesiod’s Theogony



Freud and Rank’s The Myth of the Birth of the Hero


Judeo-Christian Book of Genesis



Durkeim’s The Elementary Forms of Religious Life



Ancient Japan’s Holy Nihongi



Marx & Ridley’s Theories on Myth



Afro-Caribbean’s Mythology of the Yoruba


Weigle’s Women and Mythology



Essay on

Myth &

Theory


(Thesis/Outline)


Essay on

Myth & Theory

(First Draft)

Essay on

Myth &

Theory


(Peer Review)







LESSON PLAN 1
LESSON TITLE


  • Ancient Mesopotamian’s Enuma Elish

LESSON OBJECTIVE(S)




  • Students will be able to define myth, explain what meaning can be derived from analyzing myth, and explain myth’s purpose within human culture.

  • Students will be able to gain a deeper understanding of Ancient Mesopotamian culture by analyzing the style and structure of the creation story, Enuma Elish.

LESSON PLAN


INTRODUCTION

  • DO-NOW / WRITING PROMPT:

What is a myth? What is a theory? What is the difference between the two terms? Can you provide an example of each?

  • Student will be given time to respond prior to transitioning into a class discussion. Student responses will be tracked on the whiteboard.

  • Teacher will identify commonalities between myth and theory and explain how the terms are very much the same, as they are created to make sense of the world using empirical evidence and rational logic. However, the inconsistencies and fallacies within myth have been exposed with the advancement of modern science, and therefore, are no longer seen as historical reality by some individuals.


MINI-LESSON

  • Introduce Paul Gauguin’s famous painting, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?, and discuss how it will serve as a mental model for our work this year. Then transition into how mythical creation stories establish the foundation of who we are and where we come from.

  • Introduce the Ancient Mesopotamian creation myth, Enuma Elish.

  • Provide contextual information via PowerPoint on Ancient Mesopotamian culture (i.e. social, economic, political, etc.)

  • Review Mesopotamian religious beliefs (polytheistic vs. monotheistic) and the relationship between a culture’s religious belief and their respective creation story.


ACTIVITY

  • As a class, read the Ancient Mesopotamian creation myth, Enuma Elish, and instruct students to annotate while reading, specifically by highlighting key characters and significant plot lines, while also composing a summary of each individual page prior to continuing.


CLOSING

  • Instruct Students to complete the reading for homework.



LESSON PLAN 2
LESSON TITLE


  • Frazer’s Golden Bough

LESSON OBJECTIVE(S)




  • Students will be able to explain man’s relationship with the natural world and its influence on man’s transition from the mystical to the religious.

  • Students will be able to explain the perception of truth in regards to historical myth and express its contribution to contemporary society.

LESSON PLAN


INTRODUCTION

  • DO-NOW / WRITING PROMPT:

Why would Ancient Mesopotamians create a myth such as Enuma Elish? Why create a story of supernatural, all-powerful gods? What would their existence explain?

  • Student will be given time to respond to the prompt prior to transitioning into a class discussion on the topic. Student responses will be tracked on the whiteboard.

  • Discuss Enuma Elish, specifically its portrayal of the origin of cosmos, polytheistic over monotheistic, hierarchy of power, gods’ connection to natural world, man’s purpose, moral duality, patriarchy over matriarchy, etc.


MINI-LESSON

  • Introduce the social anthropologist Sir James George Frazer and review his theory on the progression of belief. Topics to cover include:

    • Primitive Lifestyle: Hunter-Gatherer vs. Agricultural

    • Supernatural Beliefs: Magical vs. Religious

    • Historical Transition: Age of Magic > Age of Religion


ACTIVITY

  • As a class, read Frazer’s The Golden Bough and instruct students to annotate while reading, specifically by highlighting passages relating to Frazer’s progression of belief, while also composing a summary of each individual page prior to continuing.


CLOSING

  • Discuss class reading and attempt to summarize Frazer’s theory on the progression of belief, and “our debt to the savage” (i.e. myth as truth and its contribution to modern science)

  • Instruct Students to compose a summary of the reading for homework.



LESSON PLAN 3
LESSON TITLE


  • Hesiod’s Theogony

LESSON OBJECTIVE(S)




  • Students will be able to gain a deeper understanding of Hellenic culture by analyzing the style and structure of Hesiod’s Theogony.

LESSON PLAN


INTRODUCTION

  • DO-NOW / WRITING PROMPT:

What to you know about Greek mythology? (i.e. origin of the cosmos, Greek gods/goddesses, heroes/heroines, mythologies role in Greek society)

  • Student will be given time to respond to the prompt prior to transitioning into a class discussion on the topic. Student responses will be tracked on the whiteboard.


MINI-LESSON

  • Introduce the Hesiod’s creation myth, Theogony.

  • Provide contextual information via PowerPoint on Hesiod and Hellenic culture (i.e. social, economic, political, etc.) the genealogy of the Greek gods.

  • Discuss significance of authorship over anonymous.


ACTIVITY

  • As a class, read the Greek creation myth, Theogony, and instruct students to annotate while reading, specifically by highlighting key characters and significant plot lines, while also composing a summary of each individual page prior to continuing.


CLOSING

  • Instruct Students to complete the reading for homework.



LESSON PLAN 4
LESSON TITLE


  • Freud and Rank’s The Myth of the Birth of the Hero

LESSON OBJECTIVE(S)




  • Students will be able to explain how psychoanalytical interpretations of various myths explain their unifying commonalities.

LESSON PLAN


INTRODUCTION

  • DO-NOW / WRITING PROMPT:

Describe your relationship with your parent(s)/guardian(s). If applicable, do you feel that you have/had a different relationship with your father than with your mother? Explain. How are relationships portrayed in Hesiod’s Theogony between a child and his/her mother and father? Are there any common trends within the creation story?

  • Student will be given time to respond to the prompt prior to transitioning into a class discussion on the topic. Student responses will be tracked on the whiteboard.

  • Discuss Hesiod’s Theogony, specifically its portrayal of the origin of cosmos, polytheistic over monotheistic, hierarchy of power, gods’ connection to natural world, man’s purpose, moral duality, patriarchy over matriarchy, etc.


MINI-LESSON

  • Introduce the psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Otto Rank and review his psychoanalytical interpretations of myth. Topics to cover include:

    • Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces (similarities despite space/time)

    • “Idea of the People”

    • Explanation by Original Community

    • Modern Theory of Migration

    • The human psyche: id, ego, superego (i.e. Oedipus Fable)


ACTIVITY

  • As a class, read Rank’s The Myth of the Birth of the Hero and instruct students to annotate while reading, specifically by highlighting passages relating to Rank’s mythological theories, while also composing a summary of each individual page prior to continuing.


CLOSING

  • Discuss class reading and attempt to summarize Rank’s mythological theories, and whether Enuma Elish and Hesiod’s Theogony adheres to Freud’s Oedipus Complex.

  • For homework, instruct students to apply their understanding of Freud’s Oedipus Complex by composing a psychoanalysis of their relationship with their parental figures.


LESSON PLAN 5
LESSON TITLE


  • Judeo-Christian’s Book of Genesis

LESSON OBJECTIVE(S)




  • Students will be able to gain a deeper understanding of Judeo-Christian culture by analyzing the style and structure of the Jewish Torah and Christian Bible’s Book of Genesis.

  • Students will be able to explain the significant implications of shifting from polytheistic towards monotheism belief systems.

LESSON PLAN


INTRODUCTION

  • DO-NOW / WRITING PROMPT:

All of the creation myths we’ve discussed in class have been based on polytheistic beliefs, the idea that there are multiple gods. What conflicts arose as a result of having multiple gods? Why might be the benefits of producing a monotheistic creation story?

  • Student will be given time to respond to the prompt prior to transitioning into a class discussion on the topic. Student responses will be tracked on the whiteboard.


MINI-LESSON

  • Introduce the Jewish Torah and Christian Bible’s Genesis.

  • Provide contextual information via PowerPoint on Judaism and Christianity (origins, beliefs, similarities/differences, Adam/Eve, Cain/Abel, Noah’s Arch)

  • Discuss significant shift from polytheistic towards monotheism.


ACTIVITY

  • As a class, read Jewish Torah and Christian Bible’s Genesis, and instruct students to annotate while reading, specifically by highlighting key characters and significant plot lines, while also composing a summary of each individual page prior to continuing.


CLOSING

  • Instruct Students to complete the reading for homework.



LESSON PLAN 6
LESSON TITLE


  • Durkeim’s The Elementary Forms of Religious Life

LESSON OBJECTIVE(S)




  • Students will be able to explain the complex relationship between religion and society.

  • Students will be able to explain how myth portrays moral duality and promotes a collective social ethical behavior.

LESSON PLAN


INTRODUCTION

  • DO-NOW / WRITING PROMPT:

What is myth? What is religion? How are the two connected and/or interdependent?

  • Student will be given time to respond to the prompt prior to transitioning into a class discussion on the topic. Student responses will be tracked on the whiteboard.

  • Discuss Genesis, specifically its portrayal of the origin of cosmos, transition from polytheistic towards monotheistic, hierarchy of power, gods’ connection to natural world, man’s purpose, moral duality, patriarchy over matriarchy, etc.


MINI-LESSON

  • Introduce the sociologist David Émile Durkheim and review his theories on religion. Topics to cover include:

    • Truth of Religion & Hierarchy/Classification of Religion

    • Foundations of Logical Thought (collective reality, thought, behavior)

    • Connection Between Religion and Myth: Ritual as Myth in Action

    • Rationale for Religion: Social Ideal over Natural Explanation


ACTIVITY

  • As a class, read Durkeim’s The Elementary Forms of Religious Life and instruct students to annotate while reading, specifically by highlighting passages relating to Durkeim’s religious theories, while also composing a summary of each individual page prior to continuing.


CLOSING

  • Discuss class reading and attempt to summarize Durkeim’s religious theories, and whether the creation stories discussed in class adhere to his theories.

  • For homework, instruct students to explain how each creation myth discussed adheres to Durkeim’s religious theories.


LESSON PLAN 7
LESSON TITLE


  • Ancient Japan’s Holy Nihongi

LESSON OBJECTIVE(S)




  • Students will be able to gain a deeper understanding of Ancient Japanese culture by analyzing the style and structure of the Ancient Japan’s Holy Nihongi.

LESSON PLAN


INTRODUCTION

  • DO-NOW / WRITING PROMPT:

N/A
MINI-LESSON

  • Introduce the Ancient Japan’s Holy Nihongi.

  • Provide contextual information via PowerPoint on Japanese history and culture (i.e. social, economic, political, etc.).


ACTIVITY

  • As a class, read Ancient Japan’s Holy Nihongi and instruct students to annotate while reading, specifically by highlighting key characters and significant plot lines, while also composing a summary of each individual page prior to continuing.


CLOSING

  • Instruct Students to complete the reading for homework.



LESSON PLAN 8
LESSON TITLE


  • Marx & Ridley’s Theories on Myth

LESSON OBJECTIVE(S)




  • Students will be able to explain how myth reinforces the continued exploitation of the poor and inequitable power structures.

LESSON PLAN


INTRODUCTION

  • DO-NOW / WRITING PROMPT:

How can religion be used to legitimize power? How can religion be used to keep an individual or group from losing power? Can you provide a historical or contemporary example that illustrates this?

  • Student will be given time to respond to the prompt prior to transitioning into a class discussion on the topic. Student responses will be tracked on the whiteboard.

  • Discuss Ancient Japan’s Holy Nihongi, specifically its portrayal of the origin of cosmos, polytheistic over monotheistic, hierarchy of power, gods’ connection to natural world, man’s purpose, moral duality, patriarchy over matriarchy, it’s attempt to legitimize Japanese Emperor


MINI-LESSON

  • Introduce the sociologist Karl Marx and marxist F.A. Ridley and review their theories on myth. Topics to cover include:

    • Marxism and Oppression (The Communist Manifesto)

    • Marx Critique on Hegel

    • Roots of Religion: Natural and Supernatural

    • Religion as Class Warfare



ACTIVITY

  • As a class, read an excerpt from Marx’s A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right and an excerpt from Ridley’s Socialism and Religion instruct students to annotate while reading, specifically by highlighting passages relating to their theories on myth, while also composing a summary of each individual page prior to continuing.


CLOSING

  • Discuss class reading and attempt to summarize Marx and Ridley’s theories, and whether the creation stories discussed in class adhere to his theories.

  • For homework, instruct students to explain how each creation myth discussed adheres to Marx and Ridley’s theories.

LESSON PLAN 9
LESSON TITLE


  • Afro-Caribbean’s Mythology of the Yoruba Religion

LESSON OBJECTIVE(S)




  • Students will be able to gain a deeper understanding of Yoruban culture by analyzing the style and structure of the Afro-Caribbean’s Mythology of the Yoruba Religion.

LESSON PLAN


INTRODUCTION

  • DO-NOW / WRITING PROMPT:

N/A
MINI-LESSON

  • Introduce the Afro-Caribbean Yoruba creation story.

  • Provide contextual information via PowerPoint on Yoruba history and culture (i.e. social, economic, political, etc.).


ACTIVITY

  • As a class, read Afro-Caribbean’s Mythology of the Yoruba Religion and instruct students to annotate while reading, specifically by highlighting key characters and significant plot lines, while also composing a summary of each individual page prior to continuing.


CLOSING

  • Instruct Students to complete the reading for homework.



LESSON PLAN 10
LESSON TITLE


  • Weigle’s Women and Mythology

LESSON OBJECTIVE(S)




  • Students will be able to explain how myth portrays female figures and the impact these portrayals have on how female figures are perceived in society.

LESSON PLAN


INTRODUCTION

  • DO-NOW / WRITING PROMPT:

Reflecting on the creation stories discussed in class, how have female gods and humans portrayed? What role do they play within the divine hierarchy? To what extent do they wield power? How are female humans perceived by their male counterparts? Have these perceptions changed since these creation stories were created thousands of years ago?

  • Student will be given time to respond to the prompt prior to transitioning into a class discussion on the topic. Student responses will be tracked on the whiteboard.

  • Discuss the Yoruba creation story specifically its portrayal of the origin of cosmos, polytheistic over monotheistic, hierarchy of power, gods’ connection to natural world, man’s purpose, moral duality, patriarchy over matriarchy, etc.


MINI-LESSON

  • Introduce the anthropologist Marta Weigle and review her theory on women and myth. Topics to cover include:

    • Gynephobia and Misogyny



ACTIVITY

  • As a class, read an excerpt from Weigle’s Women and Mythology and instruct students to annotate while reading, specifically by highlighting passages relating to her theories on women and myth, while also composing a summary of each individual page prior to continuing.


CLOSING

  • Discuss class reading and attempt to summarize Weigle’s theory, and whether the creation stories discussed in class adhere to his theories.

  • For homework, instruct students to explain how each creation myth discussed adheres to Weigle’s theory.


LESSON PLAN 11
LESSON TITLE


  • Essay on Creation Stories & Modern Theory (Thesis & Outline)

LESSON OBJECTIVE(S)




  • Students will be able to compose a thesis statement.

  • Students will be able compose an outline of an analytical essay demonstrating their understanding of myth and modern theory by providing textual evidence and analytical explanation to draw a synthetic conclusion.

LESSON PLAN


INTRODUCTION

  • DO-NOW / WRITING PROMPT:

What is a thesis statement? What purpose does it serve?

  • Student will be given time to respond to the prompt prior to transitioning into a class discussion on the topic. Student responses will be tracked on the whiteboard.


MINI-LESSON

  • Introduce the final assessment for the unit:

    • In a 1250 word essay (approx. 3 pages), analyze and evaluate one or more creation story, and one or more modern theory.

  • Prior to beginning the writing process, a mini-lecture will be presented on the structure and purpose of a thesis statement.


ACTIVITY

  • Students will be asked to identify how they would like to structure their essay. Two possible options would be to:

    • focus on one (or more) mythological creation story and analyze it through various critical lenses, or

    • focus on one (or more) critical theory and demonstrate how this theory is evident within various mythological creation stories

  • Upon selecting a direction for their composition, students will create a thesis statement that will serve as the focus of their essay.

  • With a thesis statement constructed, student will spend the remainder of the class generating an outline for their analytical essay. If students complete their outline, they may begin working on their first draft.


CLOSING

  • Teacher will check-in individually with each student to assess progress, address any questions, and remind students that the outline must be completed for homework.


LESSON PLAN 12
LESSON TITLE


  • Essay on Creation Stories & Modern Theory (First Draft)

LESSON OBJECTIVE(S)




  • Students will be able compose an rough draft of an analytical essay demonstrating their understanding of myth and modern theory by providing textual evidence and analytical explanation to draw a synthetic conclusion.

LESSON PLAN


INTRODUCTION

  • DO-NOW / WRITING PROMPT:

What is MLA formatting? How should your essay be formatted to meet MLA standards? How do you cite a passage from a text using MLA formatting?

  • Student will be given time to respond to the prompt prior to transitioning into a class discussion on the topic. Student responses will be tracked on the whiteboard.


MINI-LESSON

  • Introduce MLA standards and establish the expectations on how student essays should be formatted.

  • Review creative ways to embed citation into an essay and how to properly format an MLA citation.


ACTIVITY

  • With a thesis statement drafted and an outline constructed, student will spend the entire class typing the first draft of their analytical essay.


CLOSING

  • Teacher will check-in individually with each student to assess progress, address any questions, and remind students that the draft must be completed for homework.



LESSON PLAN 13
LESSON TITLE


  • Essay on Creation Stories & Modern Theory (Peer Review)

LESSON OBJECTIVE(S)




  • Students will be able critique an analytical essay by identifying the essay’s strengths and areas in need of improvement.

LESSON PLAN


INTRODUCTION

  • DO-NOW / WRITING PROMPT:

What is the benefit of reviewing your own work? Of having others review your work? What must be done, and what must be avoided, to ensure that a peer review is beneficial to the author of the text?

  • Student will be given time to respond to the prompt prior to transitioning into a class discussion on the topic. Student responses will be tracked on the whiteboard.


MINI-LESSON

  • Review with students how to properly review a peer’s work.


ACTIVITY

  • Provide students with anonymous copies of student essays and facilitate a peer review workshop. Students will use a peer review worksheet to assess the strengths and areas in need of improvement of individual essays.


CLOSING

  • Teacher will return student essay’s to their original authors for their review, and will remind students that the final draft of their essay must be submitted by the upcoming Monday.




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