Length of Lesson: 40 minutes
Students will be able to recall the Greek myth
Icarus and Daedalus
; Students will be able to interpret the myth following a prompt in a small group.
Students will be able to perform their interpretation of the myth; Students will be able to give opinions about the performance of their classmates.
copies of the Greek myth
Icarus and Daedalus
; paper; pencils.
Sequencing of Activities
Initiation: (3 minutes) I will open the lesson with telling students about the origins of Greek mythology. First, myths were created and spread within the oral-poetic tradition (circa 800 b.c.e.). By the time they were written down (during the Classical times in Greece, circa 500 b.c.e.), they had survived 400 years of changes, interpretations, additions, subtractions to finally become the versions that we know today.
This fact permits us to try interpretation of the myth pointing out new angles of the characters' personalities.
(35 minutes) I plan using this myth as the last story in the unit. By this point in time, students will have experienced several discussions about different kinds of responsibility. Therefore, I will let them experiment with interpretation of responsibility in this myth. I want them to sense their growing ability to see the workings of stories and also responsibility as represented in stories. I will post several questions directing them to interpret the story. This exercise will result in ambiguity. I think they may enjoy the opportunity to retell the story where two or more choices have some good or some bad outcomes (8). For example, why must Icarus listen to his father? Even if he fell into the sea, didn't he prove that the process of flying – when one enjoys the freedom of the flight and is not bound by his own body – is worth trying? If Daedalus knew about the possibility of Icarus's temptation to fly high, why did he choose the dangerous escape by air, and not some underground way, for instance? And why did Daedalus build a temple to the gods after Icarus had died?
I can also scaffold the developing of interpretation for students by providing them with the CMT type questions: "What type of person do you think Icarus was? Use details from the story to support your answer," "Using details from the story, explain why you think the tragedy occurred?" I will ask students to choose one of the routes to change the myth and come up with their own version in groups of three or four. Such arguing and thinking makes for more mature people. After they discuss their new myth, they will perform an impromptu play, telling their version of the myth. This activity of mythmaking has a lot in common with "what if" and "performing a scene" activities described above, therefore I expect students to be confident and build on their acquired knowledge and skills during the work on this unit's last story.
(2 minutes) Students will exchange their opinions about the plays they performed. We may acknowledge the most interesting performance.
Methods of Assessment:
Students will demonstrate an impromptu play as a result of the group work.