Heroes and Villains has been a great class for me because I have learned a lot about the history of the Middle East, way more than I have ever learned coherently before. I’ve also done some in-depth Bible reading, the story of Joseph, of Moses, of Daniel, and of Jonah.
I have two classes, 9-11 year olds and 12-14 year olds. I have 15 students in the 9-11 year old class and they are fun. I have eight in the 12-14 class and they don’t appear to be as engaged.
One of the students in that class took the class because she thought it would be fun since I was teaching it. She has never really gotten involved in the lesson, so I asked her about it. She said she thinks it’s boring; she’s already covered it.
If she has covered it, why isn’t she answering questions for candy? Even if she’s not allowed sweets, she could always give them to friends.
Anyway, the class isn’t really going where I wanted it to go originally, so we are going to switch gears and go into the “next phase.”
For the next four weeks, we are going to be covering Greek history.
The first week I’ll tell them the story of Troy, Ulysses, and Penelope, while they color pictures from Bullfinch’s Mythology Coloring Book. Hopefully the detail work will keep them involved while I tell the story. Then we’ll go to Horrible Histories’ Groovy Greeks and I’ll read to them about the Spartans. They’ll also each have one thing to read to the class about the Spartans. Then we’ll wash hands ancient Greek style, with oil and a towel. That should be different.
Week 2 I have mythical beast pictures. Very different from the fine line drawings of Bullfinch, but still very detailed. I am hoping they will enjoy the different style–and the idea of all the mythical beasts, which we will discuss. Then we’re going to do the Horrible Histories’ Groovy Greeks about the Athenians. After that we will make our own constellations up and stories to go with them.
For the third week, I was planning on doing other tales: Hercules and Oedipus. I have the pictures from those for them to color. Then we’ll do Alexander the Great. We’re going to talk about the Jews naming their children after Alexander. We are going to find out what our names mean. And then we will transliterate our names in Greek. That should keep the kids busy and interested.
The fourth week we’ll discuss a history of the Olympics, including the legend from 720 BC (Greek Grime) that a man’s clothes fell off and he kept running and won. After that no one saw a need to wear clothes. We’ll also discuss the modern Olympics, including the first one which had a wonderful made for TV show about it that came out. We’ll probably discuss Chariots of Fire and I’ll recommend the movie. They’d probably love it. Then we’ll discuss other things about the Olympics, ancient and modern. I’d like to do our own miniature Olympics, with our clothes on, of course!
Our whole school, all 200 kids, are supposed to join in getting together care packages for soldiers. That’s definitely a hero thing. Page 38 in Ancient Greeks: 40 Hands-on Experiments talks about what is a hero and tells the difference between a hero and a celebrity. So, if we make a big push for that early, I may switch off a week and do soldier heros at school and discuss that page.
Update: Week one went well. The younger class did the handwashing and hated/loved it. They loved hating it. I didn’t get to Spartans with that class. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to do the handwashing thing with the older kids. I’ll have to do it first next week.