Day 38: Socratic Seminar

Today, many of the classes discussed “The Cyclops” in a Socratic seminar style — meaning I questioned them, they questioned each other, and we attempted to arrive at a conclusion.

  1. Spelling “definitely.” Students took notes on the spelling of definitely, which I remember by thinking of it as “de” – “finite” – “ly.” More than 75% of my students could not spell this word.
  2. Socratic seminar. Though in some classes we instead talked about the different steps of the chapter, since students didn’t seem to understand them, in most classes we discussed. Some of our topics: How are Odysseus and Polyphemous (the cyclops) alike? How are Telemachus and Polyphemous alike? How does Poseidon compare to Odysseus as a father? We agreed that, like Odysseus, Polyphemous is a loner, who is strong and disrespectful. Telemachus, like Polyphemous, knows about his father, knows his father is supposedly a great man, but has not had contact with him. Both fathers are distant from their sons. Polyphemous’ father is Poseidon, who Polyphemous asks to prove his patronage by sending Odysseus off course. Poseidon does so. Students debated who made a better father–Poseidon because he stands up for his son when asked or Odysseus because he’s trying to get home but can’t. Some people mentioned that Odysseus doesn’t ever speak of his son, though he always speaks of his wife, so he cannot be a great father.

HW: Read “Land of the Dead” by Tuesday. Take annotation notes in the margin (stickies).

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