Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Classics in the News, Part I

Classics in the News, Part I
Bringing Modern Reports of Ancient History into the Classroom

The eLatin eGreek eLearn homepage.
It might surprise some to learn just how frequently an article pops up discussing the themes of a museum display or the arrival of a new exhibit, or about how an ancient town or statue has been digitized, or about an archaeological find such as the caryatids at Amphipolis or the Antikythera shipwreck. With so much pertinent information circulating, articles could easily slip past a student unnoticed. I set up an alert through Google to keep me updated and have adopted the forum on eLatin eGreek eLearn, the Ning run by Bolchazy-Carducci, as a place to post them. Doing so has sparked an idea for a classroom project.

An image, courtesy of  the Greek Ministry
of Culture, of a caryatid found in a tomb
at Amphipolis.
The project involves a little sleuthing around the internet and drawing some connections, but it should ultimately be a fun learning experience. Students should bring a relevant, interesting, or fun article they find and share it with the class, touching on the main message of the article and where they found it, its significance today, and how it relates to classical studies, giving the project the opportunity to be both enjoyable and educational. Have students sign up or assign them a day throughout the term when they can present their discoveries. Students going earlier may have difficulty digging stuff up, but I have provided plenty on the Ning's forum to serve as a jumping-off point.

Colin Jost, left, and Michael Che
currently host Saturday Night
Live's "Weekend Update." 
The project also provides students the opportunity to get creative with their presentation styles. In an older blog post I mentioned some programs useful in mapping projects. If appropriate for the article, they may also be useful here. For example, students may find Prezi, mentioned in the older post, useful for this type of project, but students have other options, such as a PowerPoint slide show or making a movie with Animoto, or perhaps they would enjoy emulating Saturday Night Live anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost and providing the class with their own classics-related weekend update. There are many ways to get creative, and I urge classrooms to do so.

Stay tuned for my next post where I provide an example of one of the many ways this can be done. In the meantime, if you have any ideas on how else to make this an effective project or if you have other classroom projects, comment below! I would love to hear from you.

-Connor Hart