Saturday, August 30, 2014

EngageNY 6th Grade, Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 3: in Which Students Use an Age-inappropriate Concept to Discuss an Age-inappropriate Theme

The work for Lesson 3 of Unit 2 of The Lightning Thief unit can be summed up with this quote of directions:

  • Add that a thematic statement is expressed in a complete sentence and conveys a complete idea about the topic. It is a statement or claim about the topic: the writer’s thinking. A hint that often helps students to arrive at theme is to ask: “What idea or lesson does this story convey or communicate about the topic?” In this case, the theme answers the question: “What ideas does the Cronus myth convey about parent-child relationships?” 

So firsthand, the idea of theme as a testable concept s too mature for sixth-graders on the whole. I've discussed that already. Now we're going to use that concept and discuss in depth about a father Titan devouring his own children? Seriously? Cannibalism and murder of children?

I won't lie and say I don't address this issue too, but I treat for the horror it is. To spice things up, I even show a bit of Goya.

Yes it's horrible, but that's the point. Treat it as such. By analyzing this text, it's like using The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to teach film technique.

Not only that, this is a second day with the same text! Now that's a horror.


  1. so how did you make it better?

  2. I'm teaching this on thursday and it happens to be the day um being do i make it better?

  3. I would teach kids the myth of Perseus, which is a lot more appropriate than this myth. It might also find some alternative accounts like the Graves one and let kids read that and compare. This also depends on having an administration that supports this. Do you have any Greek mythology resources in your room or at your disposal?

  4. Ha! no but I can hit up the public library.

  5. This is a good website: