II. Objectives and Strategies
My reasons in presenting my unit are several. First, I would like to present my students with the idea of quest; that is, why do men leave home in search of things both material and spiritual? Secondly, I would like my students to gain an appreciation for new literary experiences. Exposure to literature from other times and places will facilitate this objective. These experiences will focus on the early quests from the Holy Grail. Third, we will study man’s obsession with gold. This yellow metal has transcended its purely economic value and has attained an importance reserved only for magical and spiritual objects. Fourth, we will travel across the Atlantic and through the Caribbean with Columbus on his voyages as discoverer, explorer, conqueror, and entrepreneur. We will seek to present an overview of his achievements and to accord him his rightful place in history (whatever that might be). Finally, we will attempt to gauge the reactions of the Spanish Crown, the Arawak Indians, and the American people as we cross geographical and chronological lines of time.
My curriculum unit will assist me in many ways in my classroom. At Clemente School, our comprehensive school plan strongly emphasizes reading and writing skills. Students will be challenged with oral and silent readings to seek out various themes and main ideas, and to identify major characters and their involvement in each story. As we become involved in the quest for the Holy Grail and in Columbus’s voyages, the students will employ analytical and comprehensive skills. Daily journals will be encouraged as we read Columbus’s navigational log. Finally, the historical application of Columbus’s journey will serve to provide students with a better understanding of the accomplishments of these early explorers.