Saturday, April 15, 2006

I'm Spartacus II

Go know!, as my old friend David Stein would say, that today on the History Channel there would be a viewing of the 2004 version of Spartacus and that it would have a reel vs. real commentary. How did I know-a kid named Angelo (in the 6th grade class from the last post) told me a few weeks ago. What odds would it be that he would take note of that info if he wasn't made aware of the Spartacus story to begin with? I'm no genius, but this is what happens when we expose kids to interesting resources. The 6th graders are into Kirk and of course the violence helps, but here it is pretty tame 1960 violence. I had to backtrack on my plan of gvt dialectic and talk about the Roman Senate and the more subtle forms of autocracy prevalent then. However, in talking about how the Roman republic was not a true republic many of the kids picked up on the comparison to pre Civil War limited voting rights in the USA. I almost attempted to make the bridge to the similarity of symbolism that Osama has to Bush to what Spartacus represented to Crassius. In watching the movie it became so evident to me, but I hesitated to be political with a class that I didn't have "ownership" of. Crassius could have let Spartacus escape from Rome, but he needed to defeat him and demonize him in order to have a chance at being emperor. Anyway, here's literacy connection I made with Spartacus to the components of a short story.I showed the kids how certain scenes in the movie were short stories in themselves.

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