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Angie Strobel, July 11 in
Teaching the Great Books (Josh Gibbs)
I am interested in an example of the Deep Reading assignment described by Mr. Gibbs in Lesson 3. He mentions giving the students an example before requiring them to do the assignment; I need an example for myself! : )
I, too, would love an example of a completed assignment. Perhaps more, I would like an example of a rubric one might use.
I was perplexed by Gibb's remark along the lines of "you know you created a good test when students can't imagine how you would grade it." I sense there is something right about that, though I'm not sure what. However, I'm not sure how neatly it fits with one of the principles from the Assessment course: we must be clear with students about how they will be assessed (so they know what is required of them, so they won't be anxious, etc.). I think that principle was from the Burlew talk(s).
I too, would like to see an example. I went ahead and gave it a shot, though, even though I don't know if these are the kind of questions he has in mind. It was quite tough! I picked "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him."
Here are my questions:
1. Who is the speaker?
2. What is the occasion of this speech?
3. Is he lying?
4. What does "lend me your ears" mean?
5. Why is this first line so famous?
6. Does the audience believe him?
7. Why does he call them "friends, Romans, and countrymen"?
8. Why does he choose this order: Friends, Romans, Countrymen?
9. How is "to bury" antithetical/contrasting to "to praise"?
10. How many syllables are in "friends"?
11. How many syllables in "Romans"?
12. How many syllables in "countrymen"?
13. How many syllables are in "lend me your ears"?
14. Where are the stresses in the first line?
15. Why does Marc Antony begin the speech stating that he is not here to praise Caesar?
16. Does he end up praising Caesar?
17. What types of sentences are these? (declarative/imperative/exclamatory)
I must say, though this is incredibly difficult to come up with quite that many questions for the text, I do like it as an exercise to help readers interact with a text on a deeper level than one usually does. It's a level of depth that most people only end up doing with Scripture (if that), but I feel like the skills developed in reading other texts do enrich one's ability to read and gain insight into Scripture as well.
Questions 10 - 14 sound odd "How many syllables are in ...", but it's because of the pattern that I noticed for the first time: the syllables in each word successively are 1, 2, and 3; then "lend me your ears" has 4. I wonder if this, as well as the stress pattern, are part of the reason this is one of the most famous quotes from this play. I notice, too, that he addresses the people from closest to widest association to himself: friends (closest), Romans (wider), countrymen (widest).
A sample deep reading assignment written by Josh is now posted in the Lesson 3 resources.
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