Friday, January 27, 2017

The Story of the World Part II

(Brian Hartenstein, Great Wall of China, 1995)

Looking back now, I guess it had always been my plan, even though it took years to realize.  From my earliest days, I wanted to be a father and a traveler, and I wanted to take my children around the world.  People are nomads and life is transitory.  Profound relationships can easily slip away and become forgotten.  Yet one's relationship to the land, to the history of an area, to the splendor of our world's natural beauty, this can never be lost.  In the same way, a parent's love only deepens and broadens over time.  With this in mind, I wanted to share my home curriculum from last year (2016) with my three daughters, what I called: The Story of the World.  We basically unpacked our travel bags, unplugged our phones, applied for shiny new library cards, and fed on a steady diet of books for a year.  We'd been globe trotting for seven years...  and so a time-out was needed to catch our breath and make sense of all we'd seen.  I imagine we're about half-way through this full journey with another seven years to go before they become sick of ... their old man!  But the relationship to these places, the historic figures that shaped them, and the stories that still survive, will enrich their hearts and minds for a lifetime.
(Pomosa Temple, Busan South Korea, 2009) 

January:  Ancient Egypt, The Old Testament, The History of Jerusalem

(Guiding Question:  What is culture?  How can ancient cultures influence our modern life?  What is God?  What are ways God speaks to us and becomes real?)

1.  Ancient Egypt Texts, Documentaries:  Hieroglyphics, Mesopotamia, Sumerians.

2. Old Testament Complete Stories (Focus: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Life of Moses, Ten Plagues, Exodus, Commandments, Promised Land; Life of David, poems, psalms, and Solomon)

3. The History of Jerusalem.

Literature:
Poem of Gilgamesh
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
Night by Elie Wiesel
(Roman Coliseum, 2011)

 February:  Greek Myth, Gods, Epic, Drama

(Guiding Question:  What are myths and heroes?  Why do we need stories?)

1.  Complete Stories of Greek Myths and Gods (Focus: 3 Kinds of Myth, Pantheon of Gods)

2. Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey

3. Sophocles' Oedipus Rex

4.  The Twelve Labors of Hercules

Literature:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
(Acropolis, Athens, 2011)

 March:  Greek Philosophy, The Hero's Journey

(Guiding Question:  What is philosophy?  What is virtue?  What is the hero's journey?)

1.  Socrates: (Focus: Socratic Method, Socratic Seminar)

2.  Plato: (Focus: Allegory of Cave, Dialogues, Eudaimonia, The Philosopher King)

3.  Aristotle: (Focus: 11 Virtues, Vice, Golden Mean, What is Philosophy)

4.  Life of Alexander the Great

Literature:
Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
(Windmills of Mykonos, Greece, 2011)

April:  Life of Jesus, History of Ancient Rome

(Guiding Question:  What is faith?  How is faith tested?  How is power used for and against people?)

1.  Gospels of Jesus: (Focus: New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)

2.  Rise and Fall of Roman Empire: Texts and Documentaries

Literature:
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Maus by Art Spiegelman
The Aeneid by Virgil
(Theatre in Ephesus, 2011)

May: Europe's Dark Ages, Rise of Islam

(Guiding Question:  What are the major world religions and how are they similar and different?  What is a romantic spirit?)

1.  History of Middle Ages (Focus: Joan of Arc, Charlemagne, Magna Carta

2. Life of Mohamed (Focus: Quran, Mecca)

3. The Stories of King Arthur

4.  One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights)

Literature:
The Inferno by Dante Alighieri
Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
(Agra, The Taj Mahal, 2010)

June:  The Crusades, Medieval Times, The Renaissance

(Guiding Question:  How has storytelling shaped our understanding of the world?  Why is "re-birth" important in life?)

1.  Epic Tales of The Crusades (Focus: Trade Routes, Silk Road, Influence of East-West Culture, Richard the Lion Heart, Saladin, Robin Hood)

2.  Wonders of Ancient World (Focus: New Technologies, Silver Coins, Gutenberg Bible, The Long Bow, Weapons of War)

3. The Renaissance (Focus: Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Copernicus, Galileo, Luther)

Literature:
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
(Tibetan Monastery, Ladakh India, 2010)

 July: Ancient Civilizations, Age of Exploration, Age of Shakespeare and Elizabeth

(Guiding Question: What are the influences of ancient civilizations?  What does it mean to "explore" the world and oneself?)

1.  Ancient Civilizations (Focus: Aztecs, Mayans, Incas, Mongolians, Chinese Dynasties)

2.  Explorers (Focus: De Soto, Magellan, De Gama, Ponce de Leon, Columbus, Vespucci, Vikings, Marco Polo)

3.  Elizabethan England (Focus:  London, Life of Elizabeth, Shakespeare's Globe, The Plague)

Literature:
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe
(Brooklyn Bridge, New York, 2014)

August: The Enlightenment, Reformation, French Literature

(Guiding Question: What is enlightenment?  How can a life be "enriched" by thinking?)

1.  Texts on History of Enlightenment (Focus: Descartes, Newton, Rembrandt, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven)

2.  Music Appreciation Texts (Bach: Brandenburg Concerto, Air; Mozart: Magic Flute, Figaro, Symphony 36, Requiem Mass, Piano No. 11, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; Beethoven: Fur Elise, Symphony No. 5, No. 9, Moonlight Sonata)

3.  History of Protestant Reformation (Focus: Henry VIII, History of Anglican Church)

Literature:
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Three Musketeers, Man in the Iron Mask, Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmund Rostand
Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
(Mona Lisa, The Louvre, Paris 2014)

September:  French Revolution, Napoleon

(Guiding Question:  What is violence?  What is rebellion?  Why do people rebel?  What are basic human rights?)

1. History of French Revolution (Focus: Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Robespierre, The Bastille, Reign of Terror, The Guillotine, Declaration of the Rights of Man)

2. Life of Napoleon (Focus on Rise and Fall of Europe's greatest man, Josephine, Waterloo, Napoleonic Wars, Tolstoy's War and Peace, exile, death)

Literature:
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
The Giver by Lois Lowry
(Kimonos in Kyoto, Japan, 2015)

October: British Empire, Colonialism, Literature

(Guiding Question: Compare / Contrast Napoleon and Gandhi.  Who had the greater impact? How should a life be lived?)

1.  Text on British Empire (Focus: India, Colonialism, war ships)

2.  Life of Gandhi

3.  Satire (Focus:  A Modest Proposal by Jonathon Swift; Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde)

4.  Victorian England

Literature:
Treasure Island, Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde, and Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Lion, Witch, Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Pride and Prejudice by Jan Austen
(Angor Wat, Cambodia, 2012)

 November: Industrial Revolution, World War I

(Guiding Question:  What are the events leading up to World War I? How was it fought?  What is war?)

1.  Texts on Industrial Revolution (Most of these texts are reserved for following year, 2017, in American History Unit)

2.  World War I Histories and Documentaries (Movies Include: Gallipoli, All's Quiet on Western Front, War Horse, Legends of the Fall, Chariots of Fire)

3.  Charles Darwin and Sigmund Frued

Literature:
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Diary of Anne Frank
(Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore, 2015)

December:  World War II, The Holocaust, Atomic Bomb

(Guiding Question: What are the events that created World War II? What was the Holocaust? What is injustice?  How can God exist when injustice reigns?  How can one person stand up for their belief?)

1.  Texts on World War II (Focus: Causes, Maps, Documentary Footage)

2.  Life Joseph Stalin

3.  Life of Winston Churchill

4.  Life of Adolf Hitler

5.  World War II Histories and Documentaries *Note World War II will be covered in 2017 through American History curriculum. This is an introductory study of World War II through a European perspective.  (Movies include: Hope and Glory, Empire of the Sun, Casablanca, The King's Speech, Hitler's Last Days, Enemy at the Gate, Diary of Anne Frank, The Hiding Place)

6.  The Holocaust *Note This was a main idea weaving through the tapestry of study this year: Man's cruelty against man and the abuse of power.  We end the year focusing on The Holocaust through books, testimonies, movies, and documentary footage.  (Movies include:  Schindler's List, The Pianist, The Book Thief, Defiance, Sophie's Choice, Life is Beautiful, In the Grave of Fireflies)

7.  The Atomic Bomb (Focus: Texts, Documentaries, Historical Footage)

Literature:
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee



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