This unit lends itself to a variety of educational strategies. In a relatively homogeneous classroom, it is necessary to utilize a variety of strategies to reach
learners. The material in the curriculum unit provides a multitude of information in which a teacher can reach in, extract information and decide which strategies would work best to convey the information at hand. The use of PowerPoint to present some of the background information would work great because not only can the students get the information and potentially fill in graphic organizers but can also see maps and other visuals to enhance their understanding of Mesopotamia and/or the literary epic.
Students will also do text analysis. For me, text analysis is a combination of different writing techniques, especially the method of text rendering promoted by the Connecticut Writing Project. Text analysis will have students reading and responding in a journal. Journaling is a strategy to be used throughout the reading of
The Epic of Gilgamesh
. After reading each tablet, students will go into their journals and write down their thoughts and ideas about what is happening. The journal becomes a place to jot down ideas, ask questions, and look at key lines or events in the text. The journal also becomes a place students can refer back to when writing a final essay about the epic. Students will also write questions for the authors as well as for each other. For example, students may ask "why" a character made a certain choice or may begin a journal with "I wonder. . ." and make predictions about what characters may do.
Analysis of philosophical passages or important quotations is a skill and strategy that is becoming increasingly important in teaching literature. A philosophical passage is an important line or description from a text that will tell us what motivates a character or begins to tell us about a particular theme in the piece. During the reading of
, we will look for important passages and also look at how best to analyze them.
Direct instruction is a strategy often learned in education classes but often a tactic teachers are quick to shy away from because of the fear of "telling" students information rather than having them discover it themselves. In teaching about rhetoric and its history and/or teaching persuasive techniques, direct instruction can be used if the teacher involves the students. Doing K-W-L (Know, Want to Know, Learned) charts before and after a presentation, the students become involved rather than just sitting and listening.
Jigsaw activities involve students breaking out into smaller groups and performing a task (possibly an inquiry based task). After working with small groups, each of these groups chooses a speaker or presenter and conveys the findings to the entire class. Teachers can use the jigsaw technique to analyze a long speech (dividing it into sections and having groups analyze a section) or shorter speeches where each small group would have a different speech rather than analyzing parts of a larger one.
Assessment of the students' progress will be on-going. The two major assessments will be the student presentations of selected tablets of
The Epic of Gilgamesh
. Students will work in groups to act out the tablet and discuss its importance.