Building Background Knowledge: A Lesson in Oedipus and Greek Theatre (2 of 2)

11 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT: Identify key ideas and details of Greek Theatre by viewing films, taking notes and writing an argument.

Big Idea

Storyboards and family trees help students retain information.

Create a Tragic Hero storyboard

20 minutes

Today is our second day introducing Greek History and Theater.  For our daily warm up, students will enter the classroom, get out their weekly warm up sheet, and answer the following prompt:

Yesterday you learned about the Tragic Hero.  Create a 4 frame storyboard comic that explains what a Tragic Hero is.  The definition should be revealed in action, not in conversation. 

Once students are finished creating their four frame storyboards, they will pass them around at their table so their classmates can see their work. Here is a student explaining their Tragic Hero storyboard and an student Tragic Hero storyboard example.  I ask students to review an important vocabulary term in this way to give a little variety to their daily writing.  Often, students who are really visual like to draw a cartoon to review a term.  Additionally, it is vital that students are able to define Tragic Hero and to apply that definition to Antigone. 

I asked students to create a storyboard because it's a great way to differentiate instruction.  Many of my students are visual learners and many like to create with their hands.  This is a great way for students to do that.  

Oedipus did what? Films to help us understand the story

30 minutes

Some of my students have read Oedipus and some have not.  An understanding of Oedipus is necessary for a full understanding of Antigone, therefore we will create a family tree and review the story of Oedipus using a series of 60 Second Recap videos from YouTube. I chose the 60 Second Recap videos because they are interesting and short.  After each video I can give the students time to write their notes and ask questions.  

First, I ask students to get out a piece of paper to take notes. I ask students to take notes rather than just giving them the information because taking notes from a lecture is difficult and students often struggle.  They need opportunities to write in many different areas and note-taking is an excellent opportunity for students to practice listening and writing (W.9-10.10). We begin with the Family Tree.  I use Antigone Family Tree document to create a family tree on the board. Students turn their paper horizontally and we create a tree together. I begin with Jacosta and Laius.  Once I write them on the board I explain their story.  From there, I continue adding to the family tree and telling the story of Oedipus.  

Once our family tree is assembled, we turn to YouTube to recount the tale.  I ask students to add information to their family tree (if they don't mind slightly chaotic notes) or to take notes on another piece of paper (for my linear students who need a neat and tidy note sheet.  I tell students to pretend they are gathering research to teach the story of Oedipus to a friend (W.9-10.9).  They will collect their research on their notes page.  

We will watch these films and the students will take notes.

Oedipus Introduction

Oedipus Summary

Sophocle's Era

Oedipus Plot

Oedipus character

Add Oedipus to your storyboard

10 minutes

Now that students understand the Tragic Hero and Oedipus, I want to give them one more opportunity to really remember what they have learned.  Students get out their storyboard they created at the beginning of class.  I ask them to create a new, four square storyboard explaining the story of Oedipus (RL.9-10.2).  I use the storyboard to give my visual learners an opportunity to review material in a way that is easy for them.