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Oedipus Rex Reading Comprehension

Class: Humanities 1 & AP English 12 Unit: What is truth? Lesson: Oedipus Rex Reading Comprehension Date: 10/1/13 Time: 85 minutes (full block class) Learning Objectives SWBAT [Students will be able to:] Cognitive (Know/Understand): Unit objective: Students will understand that Oedipus Rex is an ancient play that still has relevance today. Todays objective #1: Students will understand that thoughts can transfer over centuries. Unit objective: Students will know that thinking critically is crucial while reading any text, but especially ancient ones. Todays objective #2: Students will know that processing a text requires active engagement. Affective (Feel/Value): Unit objective: Students will value the classical work and tragedy, Oedipus Rex. Todays objective #3: Students will appreciate true examples of irony. Performance (do): Unit objective: Students will be able to identify literary devices in the texts they read Todays objective #4: Students will be able to locate examples of irony in Oedipus Rex. Todays objective #5: Students will be able to synthesize and evaluate each scene by responding to journal prompts. Todays objective #6: Students will be able to perform with confidence their assigned parts from Oedipus Rex in front of their group members. SOLs: 9.1.k Students will summarize and evaluate information presented orally by others. 9.4.e Students will explain the relationships between and among elements of literature: characters, plot, setting, tone, point of view, and theme.

Necessary Materials
Oedipus Rex Reading Questions

Journal Prompts Humanities book Labeled popsicle sticks (maybe) Elmo Internet connection

Instructional Methods and Procedures Note: Any words that I would say directly to students appear in italics. Step 1 [5 mins.]: Irony Recap Hello everyone! Its nice to see you again! As you can see on the board, we will begin by sharing your Exit Tweets that I so graciously forgot to tell you all about before you left. I did send out an email right after class ended to let you all know, though. I also tweeted a couple reminders, so I know that you knew about it! Think back to Alanis and Ironic to get your thought juices flowing. Who has an ironic happening to share?...Take a minute to brainstorm an ironic occurrence that happened since last class We will have a brief discussion after I pull up my teacher Twitter account to see all the ironic tweets. Well, Im glad that some of you found some irony in your life. Its often all around us! Step 2 [15 mins.]: Finish up Scene I I know that not everyone finished reading and answering the reading questions on Thursday, so you guys have five minutes to get back into your groups and finish up. So, quick, grab your books and scurry into your reading groups one last time! As theyre finishing up, Ill walk around to see if theyre understanding the reading questions as well as being productive. I will also give them a two and one minute warning to urge them along. Ok, your five minutes is up! Hold onto your reading questions because, wait, theres more!...Haha, anyone? Ok, we completed a journal prompt last class, but this time were going to be quiet and actually listen to the music. Ok? After about five minutes or so, well share out. Ok? Before we begin, does anyone remember from last class the purpose of this music playing?...Yes, its to mimic the music that wouldve been played during the strophes and antistrophes as the chorus sang and dancedOk, now please pull out some paper and a writing utensil, and lets get to writing! I will project the journal prompt onto the screen, cue some ancient Greek music, and write as theyre writing, careful to look around as Im doing so to monitor students and to assess their engagement. Ok, finish up your thought. Well begin sharing in a minute. A few students will share out for a small discussion before we move on. Thank you for sharing you guys! The more you speak in front of the class, the more comfortable youll feel speaking in front of groups of people. Im so proud! Step 3 [15 mins.]: Scene II After that lovely, little discussion lets switch back into our reading gear. Please open up your books to page 119. Keep an eye out for any instances of irony and be sure to answer your reading questions as you go. Before you begin, it would be a good idea to skim over the ones for Scene II to know what youll need to answer. That way you can have a sort of reading guide. Ok? Also, there are four parts in this scene, so everyone should be participating in each group: following along, paying attention, answering questions, etc. Before you guys re-assemble, were going to regroup once everyone reaches Ode II. So, that means, once your group reaches Ode II, stop where you are! Ill walk around to see how quickly everyone is moving and give you a time warning. So,

without further ado, lets get to it! Ill walk around, listening in on each groups progress to make sure theyre understanding as well as keeping up. Step 4 [15 mins.]: Read Ode II together Now that were all on the same pageha! Lets read Ode II together much like the Chorus wouldve recited it long ago. This half of the room will read the strophes, so you guys will go first; and this half of the room will read the antistrophes, so youll read the second strophe. Ok? Does everyone know when theyre reading?...Ok, lets begin! I will read along with whatever group has fewer readers. Isnt there something so energetic about reading or responding as a crowd? It might just be me, but I feel the electric energy!...Ha! While were still all together Im going to pull up another prompt. This time you dont have to write anything down, but you do have to think about it silently for a minute. Then you can talk it out with a partner before we share out our thoughts. Ok? Will someone please read aloud this prompt? Ill ask a volunteer or class on a student to read aloud the prompt. Ill then give students a minute to think about their response before they can talk it out with a friend. Alrighty ladies and gents, lets talk about what you guys think! We will then have a small discussion regarding the prompt. Step 5 [8 mins.]: Begin Scene III Wonderful thoughts you guys! Alright, to break up the monotony of it all, were going to switch up the groupsWooo! Ive randomly pre-picked themyay! Before you guys start shuffling about, were going to regroup for Ode III just like we did for Ode II, alrighty? Also, continue to answer your reading questions on your sheets. Like I said before, skim the questions before you begin reading the scene...Ok, here they are on the screen. Ill project their pre-planned groups onto the screen, but Ill also read them aloud for my auditory learners. Ill leave these up for a little bit, but lets get into your groups! Quickly, please! Step 6 [7 mins.]: Read Ode III together This ode isnt as long as Ode II, but were still going to read it together like a true chorus! Were going to quickly number off (1, 2, 1, 2) to determine whos reading what. 1s will read the strophe and 2s will read the antistrophe. Ok? Lets begin with you, Chad. Students will proceed to number off and we will read it aloud. Instead of writing again, were just going to share out an answer to one of the reading questions. Call your attention to #2 for Scene III. Will someone please read it aloud?...Ok, thank you! What did you guys write down? Ill call on volunteers and then choose students from my popsicle sticks if no one volunteers. Step 7 [10 mins.]: Begin Scene IV Im glad to hear your thoughts on this philosophical matter. Who knew you guys were so clever?...haha I knew, of course. Either way, proceed onto Scene IV. Again, skim the questions you need to answer for Scene IV before you begin. Also, there are four partshow perfect? So, everyone needs to be participating, as usual! Ill walk around to make sure that the reading questions arent giving them any trouble as well as make sure theyre staying focused with such little time left in class. Closure [2 mins.]: I know that weve flown through Oedipus Rex and that you all are terribly sad that its coming to a close, but dont you worry! Youll have the option to spend some more time with this ironic tragedy a little later on. Who can quickly summarize the play so far? In a sentence or

less?...Quick, quick, quick!...Lovely! Thank you! I appreciate your patience and sense of urgency, and Ill see you all on Thursday!

Methods of Assessment
Todays objective #1: Via responding to their journal prompts and engaging in our minidiscussions, students will understand the connections between two very different times: then and now. Todays objective #2: In order to understand the text, students need to answer the reading questions Ive given them. This way theyre actively engaged as they read. Todays objective #3, #4: One of their reading questions asks them to identify how the irony works in the particular scene. They will discuss the examples from the text with their group members in order to better understand it. Todays objective #5: Students will be able to understand the previous scene by responding to journal prompts and listening to their group members, as well as the entire class, during our small discussions. Todays objective #6: As students read in their different groups, theyll have confidence in their reading and performing skills among their classmates. In Retrospect (Post Lesson Reflection) My goal was to provide a sense of urgency in this lesson, as its the word of the year now, and I think that I succeeded! I did have a lot plannedjam packed, evenbut that was on purpose. I did, however, wonder if it was too much for one lesson. I asked Teresa about it, and she said that it was fine since they were getting up and moving around and there was a variety of activities. I think it flowed pretty well, but one group was finished about five or so minutes before everyone else was, each time. I didnt know what to do except tell them to read on, keeping them ahead of everyone else. They seemed a bit bored, and I tried to think of something else they could do, but I sort of blanked. Theyre all very bright kids, and thats probably why they flew through the questions and the reading without any problems. Im wondering what to do in the future, though. Make sure they arent in the same group so that they can pull up their peers? Or should I add on a possible activity? I feel like they wouldnt be too keen with that option. Humanities is an elective class, so I dont think theyd appreciate having to do more work as a reward for being efficient. When I had them reading aloud Ode II, a group in the back couldnt control their laughter because someone mispronounced a word. I wasnt sure what to do, so I asked them what was going on after they finished. I knew that would be a risk when I thought of it, but I figured theyd be mature enough. I dont think theres any real way to avoid that, though. The point of the read aloud was to mimic what an original chorus wouldve done. Now, I think I shouldve had them dance it out since there was dancing done by the chorus. Ill have to do that for my 12 AP classes! Either way, I

think students are going to laugh sometimes, and theres no way to prevent itand Im not quite sure that I want to anyway. Other than that, our transitions went well! I felt that I brought a sense of urgency, and I think that they enjoyed it for the most part. Were moving on to Lysistrata after we finish Oedipus Rex, so Im hoping that they arent too fed up with plays after all of this! I want to make them as exciting as possible. I wish we could go see a play performed, but I know that requires quite a bit of planning in advance and permissions galore. So, Ill try and plan field trips in my classroom one day.

Materials Appendix
Humanities 1 Oedipus Rex Reading Questions Things to keep in mind as you read: The discovery of previous events ~ crime scene How Sophocles builds up to the climactic point step by step The emotional effect the tragic discovery of Oedipus has on you o Does this change by the end of the play? How Sophocles interprets and portrays Oedipus as a character The personal tragedy of Oedipus and what makes the play a tragedy Scene I 1. There are many instances of irony throughout the play. List three examples from Scene I. Name:

2. Sophocles gives us a clear picture of Oedipus. Draw or describe him citing text from the play. (You need to cite text from the play for both options.)

3. Teiresias tells Oedipus: You weave your own doom. Agree or disagree? Explain yourself!

4. At this point in the play, do you think Thebes supports Oedipus, or are they becoming skeptical? Explain using proof from the play.

Scene II 1. How are Kreon and Oedipus alike? How are they different?

2.

Is Oedipus anger warranted? Why is he so angry?

3. How do you think Iokaste feels about the argument between Kreon and Oedipus; and what about Oedipus worry and confusion concerning Laius death?

4. Note the instances of dramatic irony in this scene. What do they do for the play as a whole?

5.

What is meant by: The tyrant is a child of Pride (123)?

Scene III

1. Iokaste mentions how distracted Oedipus frightens her, as helpless sailors/Are terrified by the confusion of their helmsman (124). How would you feel if you were a member of Thebes during this time of tumult?

2. Iokaste tells Oedipus: Why should anyone in this world be afraid,/Since Fate rules us and nothing can be foreseen?/A man should live only for the present day (125). Do you agree with her?

3. What would you be thinking if you were Iokaste during the conversation between Oedipus and the Messenger? Scene IV 1. The shepherd is old, but do you think the messenger is trying to persuade him? Are either of them reliable?

2. Oedipus keeps pushing the shepherd to reveal it all. Would you have let it be, or would you have persisted to find your fate like Oedipus? Why or why not?

3.

Draw a picture that represents Ode IV.

Exodos (Scene V) 1. Was hanging herself justified? What could Iokaste have done instead? Would it have helped in the long run?

2.

Why is it ironic that Oedipus blinds himself?

3. How would you handle Oedipus if you were Kreon, after he deeply wronged him (131)?

4.

For what unthinkable fate has Oedipus been preserved (131)?

5. What does Choragus mean by: Let every man in mankinds frailty/Consider his last day; and let none/Presume on his good fortune until he find/Life, at his death, a memory without pain (132)?

6.

How is Oedipus Rex a tragedy?

Journal Prompt #1 This parados is full of vivid images (sunwhipped city, the roots of my heart tremble, etc.). Choose one image and use your imagination to describe it further. Predict what these images might mean for the rest of the play. You can do this either by writing or by drawing. Be creative!

Journal Prompt #2 Teireseas tells Oedipus that he can not see the evil that he has caused. Hes insinuating that Oedipus blindness is his curse. Whats your curse? Are you a hot head? Too nice? Selifsh? How did you discover your curse? Do you accept it or intend to change it?

Journal Prompt #3 Kreon tells Oedipus: You do wrong/ When you take good men for bad, bad men for good./ A true friend thrown aside--why, life itself/ Is not more precious! (120). Is friendship that important to you? Think of an anecdote (a snippet version of a true story) that helps support your position.