Jump to content

Menu

Literature: Mixing more modern, unrelated lit in with lit from the historical period?


Recommended Posts

Ok, I'm finally nearing some actual decisions here! This is my last question for the week (or, well, for a few days, at least).

 

We'll be starting the history cycle with ancients in 9th, but my DD doesn't have a particular interest in ancient history, and I think if I bury her in ancient literature, she's not going to be terribly happy. Is it reasonable/advisable to mix in some more modern, unrelated literature pieces along with the ancient literature we'll be reading? Or is there some compelling reason to keep her in the "ancient world" headspace for the whole year?

 

Darn, while I was thinking that through in order to type it up clearly, I thought of two more questions!

 

Thanks all.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are so many different ways to teach literature and not one "right" kind.

If your DD is not thrilled about ancient literature, by all means mix in something else. Teaching history and literature of the period simultaneously is one possible way of doing things, but not the only one.

 

By the way, we found a great way to make Ancients more enjoyable and understandable. We used GC lectures by Elizabeth Vandiver for the the Odyssey and the Iliad (and there are more), and that went a long way to get my kids excited.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see any reason to mix history and literature in high school unless the student wants to.    One of mine hated ancient history; we'd have had a very tough year if I'd insisted that all literature be from that time period too.   

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did a full year of Ancient History and Literature for my daughters but I knew that would not work well for my son. Instead, I did a 2 yr overview of World History for 9th-10th grades and we focused on Myths and Legends in literature the first year. The only ancient work he read in its entirety was The Iliad. I assigned many excerpts from a World Lit textbook  and he read a lot of other books - just not a lot of Ancient Literature.

 

I am planning his senior year now and he asked to read The Odyssey. He really enjoyed The Iliad! I am considering adding The Oresteia...but there other things he wants to read. We'll see.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did a full year of Ancients and planning to continue Great Books more or less chronologically. But I like to do a Shakespeare play every year, so we will, and some colleges expect a year of American Lit, so for the next few years, I think we will mix in American lit throughout rather than doing a full year of just American.

 

You can do it however you want!

Edited by Penelope
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely do it however you want, and however will engage your student! I had planned a year of Ancients for 9th, both history & lit, but I could tell it wasn't clicking very well, so we changed things up. We've ended up covering history through ~1600 this year, and literature included a few ancient works - Epic of Gilgamesh, Odyssey - and a bunch of Shakespeare, and now at dd's request we're doing Milton! But she also read a bunch of Jane Austen, the Three Musketeers, and other things.

 

Another thing you can try is to pair modern works with Ancient works. That has been quite compelling for us, and very enjoyable. A few good pairings we've enjoyed:

 

The Book of Job + The Masque of Reason by Robert Frost

The Odyssey  + The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

The Canterbury Tales + Sometimes We Tell the Truth by Kim Zarins

Northanger Abbey + Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier and Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer

The Taming of the Shrew + The Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Richard III + The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Twelfth Night + The Madness of Love by Katharine Davies

Macbeth + Something Wicked by Alan Gratz

Hamlet + Something Rotten by Alan Gratz and Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all. I think I'm mainly needing some veterans to pat my hand and say it's OK to go with my gut on some of this stuff!

 

Definitely do it however you want, and however will engage your student! I had planned a year of Ancients for 9th, both history & lit, but I could tell it wasn't clicking very well, so we changed things up. We've ended up covering history through ~1600 this year, and literature included a few ancient works - Epic of Gilgamesh, Odyssey - and a bunch of Shakespeare, and now at dd's request we're doing Milton! But she also read a bunch of Jane Austen, the Three Musketeers, and other things.

 

Another thing you can try is to pair modern works with Ancient works. That has been quite compelling for us, and very enjoyable. A few good pairings we've enjoyed:

 

The Book of Job + The Masque of Reason by Robert Frost

The Odyssey  + The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

The Canterbury Tales + Sometimes We Tell the Truth by Kim Zarins

Northanger Abbey + Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier and Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer

The Taming of the Shrew + The Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Richard III + The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Twelfth Night + The Madness of Love by Katharine Davies

Macbeth + Something Wicked by Alan Gratz

Hamlet + Something Rotten by Alan Gratz and Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

 

 

THANK YOU! I was thinking this very thing and was considering asking for suggestions, but I thought maybe I'd used my allotment for the week :lol: I was planning to do some research on my own and you just saved me a bunch of time. I really appreciate that. 

Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely do it however you want, and however will engage your student! I had planned a year of Ancients for 9th, both history & lit, but I could tell it wasn't clicking very well, so we changed things up. We've ended up covering history through ~1600 this year, and literature included a few ancient works - Epic of Gilgamesh, Odyssey - and a bunch of Shakespeare, and now at dd's request we're doing Milton! But she also read a bunch of Jane Austen, the Three Musketeers, and other things.

 

Another thing you can try is to pair modern works with Ancient works. That has been quite compelling for us, and very enjoyable. A few good pairings we've enjoyed:

 

The Book of Job + The Masque of Reason by Robert Frost

The Odyssey + The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

The Canterbury Tales + Sometimes We Tell the Truth by Kim Zarins

Northanger Abbey + Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier and Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer

The Taming of the Shrew + The Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Richard III + The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Twelfth Night + The Madness of Love by Katharine Davies

Macbeth + Something Wicked by Alan Gratz

Hamlet + Something Rotten by Alan Gratz and Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

I didn't read carefully - looks like we had the same suggestion! Great list!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could also come up with a list of modern works that are retellings of or contain illusions to ancient works, if you want to keep things cohesive.

 

For example, here is a list of novels that were inspired by The Odyssey: http://www.earlybirdbooks.com/8-novels-inspired-by-the-odyssey/

 

And thank you too! I was trying to figure out how to word my searches when I started researching, and you just gave me my starting point :D

 

We live in a small state with a LOT of libraries, and we're heading into book sale season. I'm trying to pin down as much as I can so I can start combing the sales. I have four book sales on my calendar in the next two weeks alone, as well as a HUGE one coming up at the beginning of May where I think I'll be able to pick a a bunch of Great Courses sets very cheaply, so I'm researching as rapidly as possible. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the way, we found a great way to make Ancients more enjoyable and understandable. We used GC lectures by Elizabeth Vandiver for the the Odyssey and the Iliad (and there are more), and that went a long way to get my kids excited.

 

Oh, I meant to address this as well. I keep seeing her name come up in my research here, so I'll definitely be using her lectures. The only hitch is that DD needs DVDs. Audio lectures don't hold her attention and her mind wanders. We've been watching some lectures on Great Courses Plus, and even just seeing someone standing at the podium lecturing engages her much more effectively, so I'll need to dig up the DVD sets. I wish they some of the Vandiver courses on Plus, but I guess if she's one of their more popular lecturers, they want to maximize profit on those. I'm hoping to find them at one of the upcoming book sales. We have some huge ones in very affluent areas over the summer, so I'm crossing my fingers. 

Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely do it however you want, and however will engage your student! I had planned a year of Ancients for 9th, both history & lit, but I could tell it wasn't clicking very well, so we changed things up. We've ended up covering history through ~1600 this year, and literature included a few ancient works - Epic of Gilgamesh, Odyssey - and a bunch of Shakespeare, and now at dd's request we're doing Milton! But she also read a bunch of Jane Austen, the Three Musketeers, and other things.

 

Another thing you can try is to pair modern works with Ancient works. That has been quite compelling for us, and very enjoyable. A few good pairings we've enjoyed:

 

The Book of Job + The Masque of Reason by Robert Frost

The Odyssey  + The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

The Canterbury Tales + Sometimes We Tell the Truth by Kim Zarins

Northanger Abbey + Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier and Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer

The Taming of the Shrew + The Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Richard III + The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Twelfth Night + The Madness of Love by Katharine Davies

Macbeth + Something Wicked by Alan Gratz

Hamlet + Something Rotten by Alan Gratz and Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

 

This is a great list! I just wanted to add that my older daughter really enjoyed: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller to pair with The Iliad.

Edited by Kfamily
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely do it however you want, and however will engage your student! I had planned a year of Ancients for 9th, both history & lit, but I could tell it wasn't clicking very well, so we changed things up. We've ended up covering history through ~1600 this year, and literature included a few ancient works - Epic of Gilgamesh, Odyssey - and a bunch of Shakespeare, and now at dd's request we're doing Milton! But she also read a bunch of Jane Austen, the Three Musketeers, and other things.

 

Another thing you can try is to pair modern works with Ancient works. That has been quite compelling for us, and very enjoyable. A few good pairings we've enjoyed:

 

The Book of Job + The Masque of Reason by Robert Frost

The Odyssey  + The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

The Canterbury Tales + Sometimes We Tell the Truth by Kim Zarins

Northanger Abbey + Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier and Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer

The Taming of the Shrew + The Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Richard III + The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Twelfth Night + The Madness of Love by Katharine Davies

Macbeth + Something Wicked by Alan Gratz

Hamlet + Something Rotten by Alan Gratz and Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

 

This is probably one of my favorite things to do.

 

To a certain extent, I disagree with disengaging literature from the history.  In tandem, they make each other so much richer.  We did do as Rose suggested above because I wanted my son to see why Great Books are well, "great."  We usually trace a piece through to art, more modern literature, or even current songs that are inspired by those works.  There are a whole bunch of rock and heavy metal artists whose music reflects knowledge of the classics.

 

We also always did a couple of plays, predominantly Shakespeare,  each year and attend 3 to 4 live performances.  I use short stories often illustrate particular literary elements that I want to cover, so the student still has plenty of variety regardless of the historical period the student is covering.

 

I know the tenses are mixed up.Just too tired to fix it.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...