Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What would Polyphemus say?

Today in library, we brought together students’ study of Greece with their study of using dialogue in creative writing. As a whole group, we read a picture book adaptation of the story of Odysseus and the cyclops Polyphemus. Students observed that although we were reading a picture book, it was not a story for little kids! Odysseus did not manage to escape from Polyphemus’ cave until half of his men had been eaten. At that point, he was able to convince the Cyclops to indulge in the Greeks’ wine and fall asleep, at which point he became a helpless victim to the Greeks’ attack on his eye with a sharpened log. Dangerous times!

After hearing the story, students worked with partners to answer the question, “what would a dialogue between Polyphemus and his eye doctor sound like?” The pairs got right to work, choosing to answer this question with an interesting blend of script-like writing, speech-bubbled cartoons, and illustrations, which we hope to finish, revise, and share with each other in future library classes. Some of our work in progress:

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