Blog Archives

The Song of Achilles – Resources

Scratch Game

A game I created with Scratch to test some knowledge of characters in the novel. Click the image below to open the game.

A game to test knowledge of characters in 'The Song of Achilles' by Madeline Miller.

 

Author’s Website

MadelineMiller.com: The ‘find out more’ section includes character glossaries, a reader’s guide, a slideshow and commentary about the author’s trip to Troy, and essays.

 

Interviews and Articles

Q&A with Madeline Miller‘, MadelineMiller.com.

‘Live webchat with Madeline Miller’The Guardian, 30 August 2013.

‘The Song of Achilles’, UCL (Department of Greek and Latin), 24th November 2012.

‘The Saturday interview: Madeline Miller, Orange prize winner’The Guardian, 22 June 2012.

‘An Old Song with a New Melody: An Interview with Madeline Miller’, Ancient History et cetera, 21 June 2012.

‘Paperback Q&A: Madeline Miller on The Song of Achilles’, The Guardian, 1 May 2012.

‘Gregory Maguire interviews Madeline Miller!’, HarperCollins Library, 22 December 2011.

‘Interview with Madeline Miller’, roarings20s, 14 December 2011.

I would like to hear Achilles sing‘, Histo-Couch, 7 December 2011.

 

Videos

Book trailer.

 

Miller speaking about the novel.

 

Part one of Miller's reading and Q&A as part of the Summer Reading Presentation at Wentworth Institute of Technology on 9 October 2014.

 

Part two of Miller's reading and Q&A as part of the Summer Reading Presentation at Wentworth Institute of Technology on 9 October 2014.

 

Miller reading from and discussing the novel at The Center of Fiction on 23 October 2012.

 

Madeline Miller and Gregory Maguire talk about the novel.

 

Staged production produced by the Newton Theatre Company in March 2014. Part One: Before Troy.

 

Staged production produced by the Newton Theatre Company in September 2014. Part Two: Troy.

Resources, Tasks and Comparative Questions: Little Red Riding Hood

Below are six ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ resources, as well as tasks and comparative questions. Although primarily aimed at Junior Cycle students, some of the questions can also be adapted for Senior Cycle students.

 

Resources and Tasks

Perrault and The Brothers Grimm

Click the images below for separate PDFs or click here for the combined PDF.

Charles Perrault: 'Little Red Riding Hood' (PDF)

Perrault: ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ (PDF)

Brothers Grimm: 'Little Red Cap' (PDF)

Brothers Grimm: ‘Little Red Cap’ (PDF)

1. Based on ONE of the stories, write the post the wolf OR the girl might make on their personal blogs later that day.

2. Re-write the Brothers Grimm’s story from the grandmother’s perspective.

3. Imagine a sequel of Perrault’s tale has been found. Write the text of the uncovered story.

4. Write a modern re-telling of the story of Little Red.

5. You are a journalist investigating reports of ONE of the ‘Little Red’ stories.

(i) Write an article reporting on your investigation of the story. The article can be for a tabloid, broadsheet or online news outlet.

OR

(ii) Write the script of your news report. The script can be for a video or audio recording.

6. You have been asked to direct a short production of ONE of the texts, starting from when Little Red reaches her grandmother’s house. Describe how you would stage the scene. In your answer you may wish to consider some of the following: choreography, costume, dialogue, facial expressions, lighting, props, setting and set design, special effects, stage directions, sound, etc.

7. Little Red’s mother has asked you to help advertise her new book of recipes.

(i) Write the script of a book trailer.

OR

(ii) Design a poster. In your answer, describe and explain your choice of images, colour, etc.

8. The house of Little Red’s grandmother has been put on the market. You are the real estate agent assigned with the task of selling the property. Write the text of the advert you would write.

9. “Fairy tales such as ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ present naïve and improbable scenarios, and thus have little or no significance in today’s world.” Write an opinion piece for a popular print or online publication in response to this statement.

 

Into the Woods (music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine)

'Hello, Little Girl' from Into the Woods.

'I Know Things Now' from Into the Woods.

1. Describe the effect the rhythm and music create in ‘Hello, Little Girl’.

2. In ‘I Know Things Now’, Little Red Ridinghood states “Even flowers have their dangers” and “Nice is different than good.” What do you think these lines mean?

3. Write a short story inspired by ONE of the following:

(i) “There’s no possible way / To describe what you feel / When talking to your meal!”

(ii) “I should have heeded her advice… / But he seemed so nice.”

(iii) “Down a dark slimy path / Where lie secrets that I never want to know…”

(iv) “Do not put your faith / In a cape and a hood – / They will not protect you / The way that they should…”

(v) “Isn’t it nice to know a lot! / … and a little bit not…”

 

‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf’ (from Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl)

The text and a recording of Dahl reading the poem can be accessed here.

1. Do you think this would be an enjoyable poem to read aloud? Explain your answer with reference to the poem.

2. What age group do you think this poem is aimed at? Explain your answer with reference to the poem.

3. “… She’s going to taste like caviar.” Compose an alternative ending to the poem, continuing from this line.

4. Compose an acrostic using the words ‘fairy tales’ OR ‘fairy story’.

 

‘An Interview with Red Riding Hood, Now No Longer Little’ (by Agha Shahid Ali)

The text of the poem is available here.

1. Describe the character of the wolf presented in this poem.

2. Write the text of an interview with ONE of the characters from the story of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’.

3. You have just learned that Little Red Riding Hood’s father has begun to buy pieces of the forest and he intends to can cut it all down to find the wolves. Write the text of a speech defending OR opposing his actions.

4. Write an acrostic using the word ‘interview’.

 

‘The Wolf’s Postscript to ‘Little Red Riding Hood” (by Agha Shahid Ali)

The text of the poem is available here.

1. Describe the character of the wolf presented in this poem.

2. What do you think is the main message of the poem? Explain your answer with reference to the poem.

3. Imagine you are the wolf of this poem. Write an open letter about your negative portrayal in the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Your letter may reference more than one adaptation of the story.

4. A collection of writings similar to ‘The Wolf’s Postscript’ has been published, featuring the so-called “villain’s” perspective of fairy tales. Select ONE fairy tale and write a submission by the villain of that tale. The submission can be in the form of your own choosing.

5. Write an acrostic using the word ‘postscript’.

 

 

Comparative Questions

Perrault and The Brothers Grimm

1. To what extent are the two texts similar/different? In your answer you may wish to consider the characters, themes, outcomes, etc.

2. Which of the two texts do you prefer? Explain your answer with reference to BOTH texts.

3. Which text, in your opinion, more effectively presents ‘the moral of the story’? Explain your answer with reference to BOTH texts.

 

Into the Woods, Perrault and The Brothers Grimm

1. Do you think ‘Hello, Little Girl’ is a faithful adaptation of Little Red’s encounter with the wolf in the Brothers Grimm’s text? Give reasons for your answer with reference to BOTH texts.

2. “‘I Know Things Now’ and Perrault’s and Grimm’s ‘Little Red’ present lessons to be learned.” Which text, in your opinion, does this more effectively? Explain your answer with reference to all THREE texts.

 

Into the Woods and ‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf’

1. Compare the character of Little Red in BOTH texts.

2. Compare the portrayal of the wolf in BOTH ‘Hello, Little Girl’ and ‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf’.

 

‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf’ and ‘The Wolf’s Postscript to ‘Little Red Riding Hood”

1. Compare the depiction of the wolf in BOTH poems.

2. Which of the two texts do you prefer? Explain your answer with reference to BOTH poems.

 

‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf’ and ‘An Interview with Red Riding Hood, Now No Longer Little’

1. “We reluctantly feel sympathy for the wolves in both poems.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? Support your answer with reference to BOTH poems.

2. “These poems reveal that Little Red Riding Hood undergoes a significant change after her encounter with the wolf.” Do you agree with this statement? Support your answer with reference to BOTH poems.

 

‘An Interview with Red Riding Hood, Now No Longer Little’ and ‘The Wolf’s Postscript to ‘Little Red Riding Hood”

1. “Agha Shahid Ali evokes feelings of sadness from his tragic reconstructions of the story of ‘Little Red Riding Hood'”. With reference to BOTH poems, describe the feelings are you left with after reading these poems.

2. “In offering a new perspectives on the tale of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, Agha Shahid Ali asks us to reconsider how we traditionally view the characters and morals presented in fairy tales.” Examine this statement with reference to BOTH poems.

Sample Learning Story: Book Trailers

In May I completed European Schoolnet Academy’s very interesting Future Classroom Scenarios course.

During this course we were asked to create a Learning Story. I had heard of the term ‘Learning Story’ before, but up to then I only had a very vague notion of what it actually involved.

Earlier I rediscovered the Learning Story (Book Trailers) I submitted for peer feedback, so I decided to share it as an example of what one may look like.

Not a real school!

Click image for PDF. School used isn’t real!

Further Information

Terms

Here are basic introductions to some the terms from the course.

Learning Scenarios provide a vision of innovation in teaching and learning in order to help teachers start to rethink their classroom practice. They act as the foundation to the creation of iTEC Learning Activities and Learning Stories.

Learning Activities are based on the Learning Scenarios and describe in concrete terms what can be delivered in a classroom. They may involve forming teams, collecting data outside the school, and creating a multi-media presentation.

Learning Stories are produced as a result of Learning Activities being packaged together to provide a more comprehensive learning experience in an educationally focused narrative. This is a collaborative process involving input from teachers, policy makers, pedagogical experts, and reps from industry. In a final step theses Learning Stories are used by a wider group of teachers in large-scale pilots to produce classroom activities that include the principal of innovation, derived from the scenario, and the elements of educational interaction provided by the Learning Activities. These teachers themselves then provide the learning objectives, context and delivery.

Learning Activities

This video briefly describes examples of how the eight Learning Activities can be used in a Learning Story:

  • Dream: Asks students to come up with or dream up an initial idea for the design of some product, e.g. in a Physics lesson the topic of friction: dream up a design or a script for the production of a video about friction.
  • Explore: Students asked to carry out research into the topic of friction, and the look at examples of other science videos so they can develop ideas of their own.
  • Map: Create a mind-map to organise their ideas for the content and structure of the video, and create story-boards for the video dialogue and scenes. (Collaboration with other teachers on this can support students.)
  • Reflect: Can be used several times throughout the project, as it allows students to think about the progress they have made and create an audio-visual record.
  • Ask & Collaborate: Suggested that students seek outside help, e.g. video specialists, script writers or other media specialists; or older students sharing knowledge and evaluating work done so far.
  • Make: Production of the video the students have designed, e.g. recording and editing a video using their own phones.
  • Show: Publishing and presentation of their work, e.g. upload video so it can be viewed by other students and parents who can also add comments and feedback.

This blog post shared by some iTec partners offers comprehensive explanations of the eight Learning Activities.

Templates and Examples

Learning Stories and Activities are available to view and download from iTec’s website.

Templates, checklists and guidelines for Scenarios and Stories are available on the Creative Classrooms Lab website.