Monday, August 11, 2014

Lightning Thief Unit Supplimentary Texts

The unit of The Lightning Thief pushes a fair amount of supplementary texts, all either gathered from Gutenberg, various websites, or some included with the EngageNY unit itself. Oddly, some of the materials from the Gutenberg website are available on iBooks, but one of the texts, Half a Hundred Hero Tales of Ulysses and the Men of Old, is only available on Kindle for free. You can get this text on iBooks for $3.99, but it's in the public domain, so why bother? Of course you can also save the HTML file from a web page as a PDF and import that PDF into iBooks, but most teachers probably won't go through that step.

The two books from iBooks are Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome by E.M. Berens and A Book of Myths by Jean Lang. Both are somewhat old-fashioned texts that are compendiums of Greek mythology. The Lang book has the advantage of also including myths from Norse mythology and Beowulf. Neither of them do the annoying practice of referring to the Greek gods by their Roman names, a habit of writers of this period. While this means kids will have to get used to Heracles as opposed to Hercules, and Odysseus as opposed to Ulysses, I much prefer this. The Lang book does use the Roman names, which is annoying.

One of the Supplimentary texts, “The Hero's Journey”, is found on a website, which is a great resource to discover. (I wish I had created something of the sort.) The document is a little hard to find, but I found it under the Teaching Materials menu. There are a lot of good materials here, and I especially liked the use of Star Wars as essentially a mythological tale, which it is. Too bad I won't be using it.

I'm also expected to have a copy of D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths, which I have. I also want the kids to have this.

So these are the basic texts. It's not a terrible idea to use the Gutenberg texts, and frankly I think they might be a better education of the myths than The Lightnng Thief.

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