Summer Books: The Beowulf Notebooks, Day One
This going to be a lit-heavy Summer of Funner…And by that, I mean, we are going to read some of the “classics” and relate to them by taking notes, drawing, memorizing bits, writing about them, re-writing them, or writing original work inspired by them. And the theme of this summer? Well, that would be “dystopias.” Why “dystopias”? Well, the kids are so excited about “problem” books or “dystopias” such as the Hunger Games series and Divergent that I thought it might be a good idea to have a look at the more powerful and inspiring models these “enjoyable throwaways” draw from …We’ll spend the whole summer reading dystopias of various sorts and examining the “heroes” in each. And, in August, the kids will slowly and steadily write and illustrate the story of a hero in a dystopia of their own creation.
First up, Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf. Why? For one, the kids are already familiar with the story. They have Gareth Hinds’ 2007 graphic version of Beowulf. And, of course, the song of Beowulf fits well into our “hero in a dystopia” theme. The poem surveys the life of a hero in a ravaged landscape. Beowulf’s initial heroism, however, is challenged when the mother of the dark, grim figure Grendel seeks vengeance for the death of her “son.” Later on in life, Beowulf meets the challenge of killing a fearsome dragon, but not without finally losing his own life. Even at the end of the epic poem, one has a sense of discord and the turmoil to come.
So, how are we approaching Beowulf this week? Since Beowulf was a poem meant to be memorized and recited or sung out loud, I am reading the kids the poem in three parts from Wednesday to Friday. It takes about 75-90 minutes to read 1/3 of the piece, even when stopping for bathroom breaks, stretching, and to explain what’s going on. [It could easily be read in five shorter sections over the course of a week instead of our three.] Meanwhile, in their Yesterday Books, the kids are taking notes on “plot” and “characters” and their “favourite phrases.” [I’m not correcting their spelling..] And they’re drawing whatever images come to mind. Wednesday’s reading took place on the back porch.
- Summer of Funner has a new Host and a New Look! Join Us & Re-Subscribe!!
- Thanks for a Fabulous Summer! Stay Tuned for The Lunchbox Season!
- Summer of Funner Film Festival 2013: Dystopian and Urban Films
- Summer Books: Imagine Like Bradbury, Story Sketches and Dystopian Novel “Teasers”
- “Face” Painting
- Summer Books: Mapping Gulliver’s Travels
- Pickle Day 2013: Make It Spicy!
- Backyard Campout Weekend!
- Summer Books: Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination & Poe-Inspired “Ghost Story Starters”
- Summer Books: Paradise Lost, Book 9, and Automatic Villain Poems
- Join me for something new!
- UNARMED TRUTH and UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, The Women’s March on Washington : Toronto
- New Year’s Eve Movie Party : Transformation Movies
- Merry Christmas
- Family Advent Calendar : Christmas Eve Checklist
- Family Advent Calendar : Make Bûche de Noël + 5 Bûche de Noël Recipes
- Family Advent Calendar : Family Pajama Exchange
- Family Advent Calendar : Double Chocolate Cookies with Andes Mints
- Family Advent Calendar : Daily Bread Food Bank Donation #givingtuesday
- Family Advent Calendar: Football in the Park After Dark
So This Is Where the Club Meets!: Summer of Funner Categories
Check Out Our Theme Days!
- Chocolate Day
- Clay Day
- Comic Strip Days
- Crazy Fruit Day
- Cucumber Day
- Egg Day
- Jelly & Ice Cream Day
- Macaron Day
- Mad Science Day – Candy Experiments
- Make-it-Yourself Days
- Marshmallow Day
- Mural Days
- Peach Day
- Pizza Day
- Pomme Day [Apple & Potato Day]
- Protest Days
- The Day in Condiments [Mustard Relish and Jam]
- Sketch Day
- Soap Day
- Strawberry Day