Friday, December 12, 2014

Classroom Project


2015: A Sea Odyssey

What would Aeneas's journey look like today? What sites remain from his original journey? How would the places he visited differ, and what would he see now? If you or your students are wondering how to make a class project from these questions, look no further. The internet provides a plethora of programs to assist students in creating these projects. Some of the best for ease of use and presentation are Google Maps, Zee Maps, and Prezi. Of course that only grazes the surface of the possibilities-let your students explore!

One of the great features of programs such as Google Maps, Zee Maps, and Prezi, is that students have the opportunity to include images from the modern world relating to things Aeneas might encounter, were he to take his trip today. This hunt for modern images is a great way to have students interact with the ancient world and discuss how it’s relevant today. Contemporary architecture would be a great theme for a student to focus on. Just as Aeneas visits several temples and performs religious sacrifices on his journey through the Mediterranean, so might the student, too, bring the class to similar places of practice, from churches on Crete to a monastery on the Strophades. Or, perhaps a student would want to imagine what meals Aeneas ate at each location on his journey and what he might eat if travelling there today. Let the student assume the role of a travelling food critic and review meals typically found at each location. Or, students may choose to show ancient sites from Aeneas’s world as they appear today, from the island of Delos to the remnants of Troy in Turkey. All of this becomes easy and presentable with these internet programs!

Some ideas for the presentation are to have the student:
  • Trace the journey on provided maps or maps of their choosing and make a brochure or itinerary of Aeneas’s route
  • Include images, screen shots, and annotations at each site, or provide their own to enrich and add color to the voyage
  • Calculate distances between each site (perhaps in Roman units!)
  • Zoom in and add depth to each site, or step back and examine the whole picture
  • Follow a theme throughout the journey and set up a point of comparison between Aeneas’s journey and one taken today
Online programs provide students with options to bring the ancient travels of Aeneas to a modern classroom. With many themes to explore, their ability to provide students with options makes tracing Aeneas’s journey through a modern lens fun and easy!

Stay tuned for next week's post, where I give a specific example of how to present cuisine in the Strophades using Prezi.

– Connor Hart