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Of Monsters and Men
Transcript of Of Monsters and Men
How have monsters and heroes influenced literature? How has this changed over time?
I'm going to divide you up into two teams. One half of you will be
and the other half will be
In the seven minutes that I am going to give you, you are going to brainstorm as many famous examples of your given topic.
Think not only about famous examples in books but in television, film, history, video games...anything goes!
Now that you have a selection of examples from both MONSTERS and HEROES please draw this table in your workbooks:
INDIVDUALLY fill in this chart with at least three points for each heading. What do you think makes a monster? What about a hero? Save this chart for later as it will come up again.
When we think of monsters and heroes that we are currently exposed to it is easy to get caught up in what we see in film and on television.
The history of monsters and heroes is much deeper than that, however; it is something that can be traced to a time before literature as we know it even existed.
There is a distinct timeline in HERO/MONSTER stories. It dates back to ancient Greece and can be seen in writing throughout history.
We are going to create a timeline of hero/monster stories. In order to understand these heroes and monsters we need to understand where they came from.
I am going to divide you into seven groups. Each group is going to get a list of figures (Monsters and Heroes) and a specific genre. You are also going to receive ONE sheet of A3 paper and ONE information sheet.
Your task is to complete an information poster based on the figures you have in front of you. You must use your poster to inform the reader:
The general dates surrounding these figures
The genre of literature and characteristics of the genre
At least two visual examples representing your group
A general story line for this type of Hero/Momster story
Any important historical context (what was happening in the world when this type of literature was being written?).
You only have this lesson to complete this task. The best way to do this would be to divide the tasks within the group and glue finished tasks onto the A3 card. If you do not finish your task in the time allowed you will need to take it home and finish it.
Our goal as a class is to fill in the information needed to complete this timeline:
If you have NOT completed your information poster for the timeline you must complete it at home.
Take a KTW chart and glue it into your book. Fill this out at home. You do not need to use complete sentences but I would like to see at least 3-4 things under each heading.
DUE: next lesson
It all goes back to the Greeks
What makes a hero/monster? How do Greek myths shape our idea of a hero/monster?
We are going to watch a clip from
that looks at heroes and monsters.
Once the clip is finished I want you to make a list in your workbook of
features you would associate with a Greek hero and
features you would associate with a Greek monster.
a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
a large, ugly, and frightening imaginary creature; an inhumanly cruel or wicked person; a congenitally malformed or mutant animal or plant.
Look at the following images. As we flash on each one I would like you to write down two words you associate with each one.
What makes a Greek hero different from other heroes? What about a Greek monster?
Greek heroes were defined as In mythology and legend, a man or woman, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his or her bold exploits, and favored by the gods.
These heroes had a special physical strength or feature that set them apart from the rest of the world. For example, Hercules was gifted with extreme strength and Atalanta was incredibly gifted with a bow and arrow.
A Greek monster was a grotesque creature. It was not something natural but rather had something specific about it that was dangerous, deadly and different. Monsters in Grecian times were often conglomerations of a number of things.
For example, Cerberus was a three-headed dog, a Hydra was a serpent-like creature that regenerates thre heads for every one cut off and an Echidna was a monster with a woman's head and a snake's body
We're going to spend some time looking at figures in Greek mythology; specifically, heroes, monsters and everything in between.
I'm going to divide you into groups of five. Each group is going to receive a myth focusing on a specific figure.
You are going to have FIFTEEN minutes to fill in the character chart I have provided using the myth at our table as well as any background knowledge you might have.
Once the time goes off you are going to rearrange your groups so that there is one person representing each myth to a group. You are going to share your figure with your group.
Once everyone has share within your group you will have to vote on who your group feels is the most interesting figure. You will need to have THREE reasons to support your decision.
The group with the most inclusive and on-task group work and best, most cohesive supporting reasons for your choice will receive merits.
Heroes gone bad
What is an anti-hero? What is a tragic flaw? What effect do these features have on characterization?
At your table you have been given a piece of paper. Using your mind maps and list of features from the last two lessons you are going to come up with a definitive map of CHARACTERISTICS OF A HERO.
Everyone MUST contribute at least two words to the group map. Make sure everyone contributes something different.
Each group is now going to receive a Post-it with a word on it. Each Post-it note has a flaw on it.
We looked last lesson at what makes a hero.
Share two of your favourite words from your mind map.
What happens when there is something wrong with the hero? What happens when the hero is flawed?
Stick the Post-it on your sheet. Now look at your mind map again.
How many of the adjectives/words on the sheet are impossible now that your hero is flawed?
Can you think of any examples of an anti- hero? A tragic flaw?
An inherent defect or shortcoming in the hero. The tragic flaw is the thing that prevents a hero from being too good.
An antihero is a leading character in a film, book or play who lacks the traditional heroic qualities such as idealism, courage, nobility, fortitude, and moral goodness
What is an antihero?
In your workbook I want you to differentiate between an anti-hero and a tragic flaw in a minimum of five sentences.
Try to differentiate without giving an example. I want you to focus on explaining the difference rather than using examples to prove your point.
While the Greek heroes were larger than life, powerful and stronger than humans they also had a habit of being selfish, boorish and vindictive.
WHAT ABOUT THE GREEKS?
Look at the figure you studied last lesson. Each of the figures we looked at had some form of a flaw. Some of them were even anti-heroes.
In your workbook now I want you to identify the tragic flaw in the character you looked at last lesson.
In a minimum of one paragraph I want you to identify the flaw and describe the effect this flaw has on the characterization of this character.
If you do not get this paragraph completed by the end of lesson it will be homework to complete it for next lesson.
Things you have learned this lesson.
Ways you contributed in the lesson.
Question you still have about the topic.
3, 2, 1
In your workbook complete a 3, 2, 1:
CONFLICT AND STRIFE
Learning Question: What is conflict? What type of conflict do we see in the poem Beowulf?
Is each of the following situations an example of conflict? Why?
WHAT IS CONFLICT?
Charlie and his friend get into a fight with some other boys at school. Charlie punches another boy and gets kicked in the knee in return.
Kara wants to play football. She also wants to go to dance class. Both activities take place on the same evening at the same time and she can only choose one.
Tom and his sister are arguing over the last chocolate doughnut. Tom licks the doughnut so his sister cannot have it and she, in a fit of rage, yells that she wishes she did not have a brother at all.
Morgan accidentally broke her mum’s favourite vase. When she saw how angry her mum was Morgan blamed her younger sister. Morgan now feels very guilty.
George and his family have to evacuate their house as there is a hurricane expected to land right where they live.
Kim cannot get to sleep. She cheated on her last Maths test and knows that her Maths teacher will be furious when she finds out...which she will.
In your workbooks come up with your own example of external conflict and internal conflict.
A struggle occurring outside the mind of a character
When a character’s troubles are influenced by an outside force (another character or the environment).
The struggle occurring within a character's mind.
When a character’s emotional, psychological or ethical well being is threatened or disturbed.
We are going to be looking at the poem Beowulf for the next few lessons.
Beowulf is the oldest surviving piece of English literature in existence.
It was written somewhere between the 8th and 11th century and by an anonymous poet.
It is written in Old English and has 3182 lines.
Beowulf tells an epic tale of monsters, heroes and good vs. evil in a time that is very foreign to us as modern readers.
We are not going to read the poem as it is in a language that is unfamiliar to us but we are going to be looking at characterization of heroes and monsters in this time period.
Beowulf is our hero in the poem. He is a Geat warrior who saves King Hrothgar and his men from the terrible monster Grendel. Grendel has been driven mad by the noise from the King’s men and has attacked the mead hall, killing hundreds, on a nightly basis.
Who is the hero in this story? Who is the monster
HERO VS. MONSTER
What type of conflict do we see in Beowulf?
IS THERE CONFLICT?
There is external conflict throughout Beowulf as the conflict comes through characters facing conflicts with other characters. There are outside forces at work.
We see external conflict in Beowulf on three separate occasions:
Beowulf’s battle and defeat of the monster Grendel.
Grendel’s mother’s rage at Beowulf over the death of her child.
Beowulf’s battle with the dragon.
External conflict occurs because something in a story affects the process and outcome of something else.
CAUSE AND EFFECT
When something happens, like the King’s men creating noise in Beowulf, it has an effect on the action of the story. The effect of the King’s men’s noise in Beowulf is that Grendel gets angry and attacks the men. Events in the poem directly affect the conflict.
Choose one of the three examples of external conflict in Beowulf.
Using the A4 paper and rulers provided, I want you to draw a cause and effect storyboard of the conflict.
Your storyboard should have a minimum of four cells as well as a caption for each cell.
The Language of Monsters
How do language features help form a character?
Look at the following image from an artist’s interpretation of Beowulf:
You are going to have one minute to try and fill in the grid provided with as many adjective you can think of to describe this scene.
You now have three minutes to move about the room and try and fill in the rest of your sheet. You must share with others to try and fill in all the blocks with different adjectives.
The first person to fill in all the blocks with different adjectives will receive a merit.
complete this activity without speaking. Share without talking to prevent others from hearing your good word choices.
Lets look closer at the descriptions of Beowulf and Grendel. What is the difference?
The reader does not get a lot of information about Grendel. We know that he is a horrible beast and that he is strong, evil and dangerous. But other than that we know very little.
With Beowulf not only do we as the reader get information about him physically (he is as strong as three men) but we get information about his past conquests. He is a hero, leader and extraordinary man.
Why do you think we get more description of the hero than the monster?
Grendel’s appearance does not matter. He is there to induce fear in the reader. Middle English monsters were ambiguous. The main purpose was to scare audiences.
Beowulf is our hero. We need to know what he looks like because he has to fit the confines of a hero. He has to fit in with the characteristics of the hero role.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
In your workbook come up with a list of characteristics that you would associate with Grendel. Remember that Grendel is not described in detail because he is meant to instill fear -- Grendel’s appearance is left to the reader’s imagination.
Now that you have a word list I want you to draw an illustration for Grendel. What do YOU think he looks like?
Show and Tell
What is the difference between showing and telling in writing?
Merit to each correct answer. You MUST raise your hand to answer.
I am a portal to another world which you can not enter, only you can see me because I can't see you, What am I?
The beginning of eternity,
the end of time and space,
the begining of every end,
and the end of every place.
I can sizzle like bacon,
I am made with an egg,
I have plenty of backbone, but lack a good leg,
I peel layers like onions, but still remain whole,
I can be long, like a flagpole, yet fit in a hole
I can fly but I have no wings. I can cry but I have no eyes. Wherever I go, darkness follows me. What am I?
Riddles like these train our brain to think about what the object actually looks and feels like rather than telling us what it is. They describe the object without being specific. The reader must use his/her imagination and the five sense to figure out what it might be.
In Beowulf we must rely on our imaginations to come up with the image of Grendel. We hear description of his actions and a general sense of the feelings he evokes in others, but no specific description of the creature.
You will be creating your own monster. Imagine you are warning people about this new monster.
You will be creating a WANTED poster for your monster.
Think about monsters in your own experience as well as monsters in Greek and Middle English times. Your monster can be any monster but remember characteristics that we've focused on so far.
You will need to have an image as well as a description of your monster.
You will have to focus on showing rather than telling about your monster in the description part of this creature. How can you describe your monster without being specific? You want to intrigue your reader and emphasize how terrifying your monster is.
DUE: next lesson
TWO MINUTE SHARE
Turn to the person next to you and share your monster. Feedback to each other - what is going well? How can your partner improve?
CULTURE and CONTEXT in Medieval Times
What role does context and culture have in stories about monsters and men?
What does historical context mean?
How does culture shape literature? How does literature change depending on the historical context?
Turn to the person next to you and work quietly to answer these two questions. You must answer in complete sentences and use your own prior knowledge to find the best answer.
You have FIVE minutes
Merit to whoever can name this man.
The Canterbury Tales
written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the late 14th century.
The Canterbury Tales tells the story of a group of pilgrims as they journey to Canterbury Cathedral to pay homage to Thomas Beckett - a martyr to the Church.
The pilgrims tell stories to each other as they travel to pass the time. Some of the stories are funny, some tragic, and some are in direct competition with the others.
The Canterbury Tales was hugely popular at the time it was published and Chaucer is considered to be one of the greatest minds in English literature.
The Canterbury Tales was the first time we saw ordinary people depicted in common literature.
The Church was hugely influential on all aspects of society - especially literature.
Heroes and Monsters changed with the introduction of The Canterbury Tales and the influx of the Church's influence.
How do you think the idea of HERO and MONSTER changed during this time?
Real people were becoming the focus of literature. A hero did not have to be physically strong, powerful or a figure of greatness. He/she could be an ordinary person. A monster was not always a hideous and grotesque creature, but hidden amidst society.
I'm going to divide you into NINE groups.
Each group is going to receive a modern translation of one of three tales from The Canterbury Tales.
Like the Greek myths you are going to have to read the piece of text as a group (take turns reading paragraphs). Your groups is going to be responsible for creating a summary of the tale to share with the class.
Your summary must identify the hero and the monster in your specific tale.
You are going to have
minutes to read your tale.
Answer the following in your workbook:
How is INTERNAL CONFLICT presented in the tale your group looked at? What role does internal conflict play in creating a monster?
What role does spirituality and magic play in creating a hero or a monster in The Canterbury Tales?
What is internal conflict?
How does internal conflict influence the creation of heroes and monsters in this style of literature?
Characters through the Ages
What is a stock character?
My Fair Lady
The Nightmare Before Christmas
(1993) have in common?
All three tell the story of a creator who becomes obsessed with his creation. Despite being written in different time periods, all three of these stories have similar characters.
What is a stock character?
A stock character is a fictional character based on a common literary or social stereotype. Stock characters rely heavily on cultural types or names for their personality, manner of speech, and other characteristics.
Stock characters are a key component of genre fiction, providing relationships and interactions that people familiar with the genre will recognize immediately.
Please get back into your groups from last lesson. Each group is going to receive an envelope.
You are going to have 10 minutes to match the stock character to the definition of the character. You must work as a group to complete this activity.
The group that finishes first and is sitting quietly will receive merits. Remember, you are competing against each other so adjust your volume accordingly.
So what is the purpose of using a stock character in a hero/monster story? Why are stock characters important?
Stock characters are characters that are recognizable to readers. We use what is familiar in the books we read to relate to the characters, the plot and the stereotypes.
We have monsters that exist in society based on the associations we make. Our experiences give us heroes and monsters we can relate to.
The Canterbury Tales was the first example of themes and characters that represented the common experience. It was an example of how stock characters allowed us create heroes and monsters in society.
How do we write to inform and persuade? Think back to your speeches from the start of the year.
As new-found experts in what makes a monster you are now going to be composing an information leaflet that tells readers how NOT to become a monster.
Should monsters not be of interest to you, you could compose an information leaflet telling readers the STEPS to being a HERO.
Your leaflet must include:
(1) background information on the hero/monster,
(2) at least ten guiding points,
(3) a list of benefits and
(4) an image.
Due Wednesday 2 April
What is an allegory? How do we create monsters?
Watch the trailer for Dr. Seuss'
What is The Lorax's true message? What is the important lesson in this film?
Dr. Seuss was a great children's book author; however, he was also an amazing ALLEGORICAL writer. Look at these titles and alternate titles and see if you can come up with a definition for ALLEGORY.
With the person next to you I want you to try and come up with a definition of an allegory based on the examples I have given you.
a story, poem, or picture which can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral one.
history of a superhero
1903 - The Scarlet Pimpernel is published. He is the first example of a 'masked avenger' who fights crime.
1933 - Superman is created by two Canadian/American high school students. Superman is the first real comic book superhero with special powers introduced into literature.
The Golden Age - WARTIME!! It was an exciting time in the superhero realm. Writers had a host of villains to set against our favourite superheroes.
DC vs. MARVEL - the Justice League and the AVENGERS are developed as a team of superheroes and heroines that worked together to keep the world save. Male and female heroes had equal powers and worked in harmony.
The Silver Age - characters died!! Writers humanized characters by allowing the bad guys to win sometimes. Both Spiderman and Batman experienced huge losses during this time.
In your workbooks, INDIVIDUALLY, I would like you to list in complete sentences three reasons why we might need this guy:
Answer the Learning Question in your workbooks.
We are going to have SEVEN minutes of completely silent writing for you to answer this question. I want you to focus on getting your ideas on paper, not on correct SPaG or editing your work.
Write as much as you possibly can. Aim to fill one page of your workbook.
a hero story
What is the formula for a hero story?
I need four volunteers.
Wait to hear the task before you volunteer.
You are going to be creating a hero story using the four volunteers as characters.
We need a crisis as well as four distinct and original superhero names.
Take out the Quick Write from last lesson.
Swap books with the person next to you and I would like you to read his/her work and edit it.
Watch for SPaG especially.
You have five minutes to go through your partner's writing.
Swap back and correct your errors. This is how you edit and proofread your writing.
What makes a hero/monster story different from a regular short story? What do we need to add to the story mountain to help it reflect a typical superhero story?
Who is the Monster?
What role does perspective play in creating a monster?
So far we've spent a lot of time looking at what makes a
In your workbook I would like you come up with a mind map looking at what you think make a
What is PERSPECTIVE?
a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view.
When we look at how perspective relates to monsters and heroes, we can see it plays a huge role.
Our ideas of monsters are vastly different from each other. We create our own monsters based on what we interpret as fitting the categories.
What some people interpret as a monster is the opposite of what others see. Perspective makes us look at things through a different lens.
We are going to read
The Iron Man
by Ted Hughes. Everyone in this class will be reading a page.
Each person will receive a number on the bottom of their sheet. Remember, you are the only one with a copy so you must speak up and read clearly.
Copy and answer the following question in your workbook:
WHO is the monster in this story? How do you know?
We are going to quickly go through the rest of
The Iron Man.
How do I use literary features in my writing? How do I plan/create a monster/hero story?
In pairs I want you to complete the following sheet of literary features.
Match the term to the correct feature.
Make sure you have the correct answers using this answer key.
Why is it important to include literary features in your short story? Give me THREE reasons in your workbook.
You are going to be writing your own hero/monster short story.
Your short story should be a minimum of
long (normal sized handwriting) and will be assessed on
WAFs 4, 6 and 8.
Construct paragraphs and link paragraphs together effectively.
Write using a range of correct punctuation.
Use correct spelling.
You will now brainstorm your short story. You must make sure your short story includes all aspects of the story mountain.
By the end of lesson you must have the outline sheet for your story started.
Complete the outline to your story using the story mountain sheet.
Due: next lesson
How do I use punctuation to write dialogue and speech in my short story?
Saying this, however, writers may not use such clauses at all, and occasionally dialogue may read simply as lines like a script, with no additional information.
These may also be called ‘verbs of speech’, and they help a reader understand the tone in which a line may be spoken.
When using dialogue in a story, a writer may use reporting clauses such as ________ said "...
This problem can be solved by the use of appropriate grammar and punctuation techniques, which have their own rules to assist the reader’s understanding.
The problem with using dialogue within a story is that it can be confusing, and hard for a reader to determine which character is speaking each line.
Punctuation marks must appear before the final quotation marks.
“No!” screamed Jess. “I’m cold,” said Jack.
Every time a new person speaks, you must start a new paragraph and indent it from the main body of the text.
e.g. Danny banged on the door and Mr Rooney opened it.
“What’s up?” he asked. –
“I’ve come to pick up Jack.” -
Double quotation (or speech) marks must be used before and after someone speaks, and the first word must always start with a capital letter.
These rules are:
The speech can also be split in two, and in this case must have commas until the very end of the sentence.
“Please,” he said, “Don’t go.”
If the speech comes at the end of the sentence, there must be a comma before the first quotation mark, and a full stop at the end.
He said, “Don’t go.”
If the speech is at the beginning of a sentence, use a comma before the final quotation mark.
“Don’t go,” he said.
Now then Billy tell me about this hawk Where did you get it from said Mr Farthing with concern Found it Where
In the wood What had happened to it
It was hurt Billy answered It must have tumbled from a nest
im going into town who are you going with sam were going out on saturday so I need a new dress that’s not fair why havent i been invited to the party youre not my friend any more
You are now going to be peer assessing each other's work. Swap rough drafts and get a different color ink to write in.
This should be done in silence.
Remember that you are going to be assessed on
. Focus on identifying issues like these in your partner's writing.