ILIAD Wrap-Up Continued and Review for Unit Test

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SWBAT demonstrate applied comprehension through collaboration, writing, and discussion.

Big Idea

"You will not be punished by your anger; you will be punished for your anger." Gautama Buddha

Lesson Overview and Note to Teachers

My classes are held in 100-minute block sessions every other day.  Activities in the lesson take one class period to complete.  Today is a continuation of the lesson from last class.

Last class, students engaged in collaborative debriefing (Assignment: ILIAD Debriefing and Wrap-Up) on their responses to the text as well as their questions and observations about it.  Then, in small groups, they created a presentation to share their interpretations with the class.  

After the debriefing and wrap-up, students participate in activities to review for their unit test on Beowulf and the Iliad.

ILIAD Wrap-Up: The Sequel

12 minutes

Due to time limitations yesterday, four of the five groups presented their work (Student Work: ILIAD Debriefing and Wrap-Up).  Today the last group presents. They note correctly Achilles' progression through the hero's journey:

  • Departure, including the call to action: When Achilles hears about the death of Patroclus, who is killed by Hector
  • Quest: Achilles seeks to kill Hector, avenging Patroclus' death
  • Return: When Achilles returns Hector's body, fulfilling Priam's request for his son's body.

This remaining group points out the clip and text differs in that the clips are made more for entertainment and do not provide as much detail as the text.

The theme they presents and substantiate with textual evidence is, "Individuals' emotions may get in the way of their actions." 

After the presentation we revisit the Big Idea, "You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger." Students discuss how Achilles loses Patroclus as a result of his anger towards Agamemnon, who steals his woman slave Briseis. Students point out that Achilles' refusal to fight because of this slight by Agamemnon causes Patroclus to fight in his place and be killed by Hector.  We discuss how Achilles' quest for revenge consumes him, and how he transforms from being consumed by anger to having empathy for Priam when he pleads for Hector's body. 



Collaborative Reflection: Learning and Last Call

40 minutes

I ask students to reflect with their group and write a common answer to two questions: (1) What did you learn from the activity? (2) What remaining questions do you have about the Iliad?

We debrief on group reflections.  Sample reflections are as follows:

1. What did you learn from the activity on the Iliad?

  • To explain and further investigate further views of the text
  • To answer ambiguous questions by looking back into the text and citing the lines 
  • How to analyze and characterize aspects of the Iliad, its contents, and its characters
  • About the background of the Iliad, which helped us to better understand the actions in the excerpts
  • From the text, we learned the theme, "Don't let your emotions control your actions."
  • Each hero goes through a certain series of events although the events may be portrayed in different ways; they are all similar.
  • Confusion about the text was always answered through class discussions.
  • In Greek epics, the gods always tend to interfere in some way.


2.  What remaining questions do you have about the Iliad?

  • Why doesn't Achilles kill Priam when he comes to the Greek camp? Students discuss that Achilles would create more trouble by killing the Priam, king of Troy.
  • Why does Patroclus wear Achilles' armor? Patroclus wears Achilles' armor because he is trying to intimidate the Trojans.
  • What is the point of the Niobe story? The Niobe story shows how one woman, even after a tragedy, thinks of the normal things like food.  Achilles tells the story to show Priam that even in tragedy, they can share something normal like supper.

Unit Test Review: ILIAD: Greek, Trojan, or god?

17 minutes

Students will take the unit test next class on Beowulf and the Iliad.  Due to time constraints, we complete two review activities.  The first is an exercise (Assignment: ILIAD Character Review) that I adapt from supplementary materials in Language of Literature (McDougal Littell, 2003).  

Student complete the character review (Key: ILIAD Character Review) in pairs as a way to review the characters and plot of the excerpts. 

Due to the nature of my instruction, I have found that this is the best way to review content for the Iliad.  Students can reassess their understanding of the plot.

Unit Test Review: Quotes for Written Response

31 minutes

Part of our study of the epic poems Beowulf and the Iliad has been language and discussing key passages in light of their context.  I align instruction and assessment in my curriculum.  Therefore, my review for the unit test aligns with the assessment.  My assessment will evaluate student knowledge of content and critical reading strategies while providing data I can use to remediate as necessary and hone in on critical reading strategies to enforce in subsequent units.

The unit test includes a section where students have to provide context and significance for key quotes.  To provide an exercise in preparation, I allow them to work in pairs to complete a mock activity (Unit One Test: Review for Written Response Section) (little do they know these are the actual quotes for the test and that I will let them use their notes the day of the test).  

Students discuss the quotes and the questions posed on each one. I ask them to write bulleted answers to the questions (Student Work: Quote Review Activity) (Student Work: Additional Sample Work) rather than writing paragraphs for the sake of time as the test is next class and the class period is almost over.