Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 1: Exploring the UnTextbook

As you can guess, it is especially hard for me to pick just one unit each week since ALL of the units mean something important to me. But as an experiment, here I think is the thread I would like to follow in a hypothetical semester:

Week 2: I gained a new appreciation for the world of fairy tales this summer, so I think I would choose Apuleius's Cupid and Psyche for my reading this week. It can claim to be the oldest fairy tale in writing, and even without its claims to antiquity, it is such a brilliant take on the "Beauty and the Beast" theme.

Week 3: As a follow-up, I would do the Jewish Fairy Tales unit. The idea of fairy-tale type stories about Bible characters is fascinating to me, and I also like the way this book uses materials from both the ancient world and the Middle Ages.

Week 4: This is easy: I would choose Persian Fairy Tales. During the summer, I had the impression while reading that this was the most delightful collection of fairy tales I have read anywhere, so I would enjoy reading it again!

Week 5: I would stick with the Middle East for this week also (even though I love all the India units too), and read Folklore of the Holy Land. This book is very much about the peoples who hold Jerusalem as a sacred city, and with the tragedies unfolding in the Middle East right now, that is a topic I would like to ponder.

Week 6: Here the choice is easy: Tibetan Folktales. This was the very first unit I created in making the Un-Textbook. I would love to go back now to that very first unit and see the ways in which it has turned out to be connected to all the other units.

Week 7: Here I would choose More Brer Rabbit. Until this summer, I had not know about the Brer Rabbit stories in verse, and I included some of the verse stories in this unit. I would really like a chance to read them again, and maybe even write my own Brer Rabbit story in verse.

Week 9: Oh man, the choices here are almost impossible since, of all the modules, the Native American material is what I am most interested in right now in terms of my own learning and exploration. I think I would choose the Sioux Stories unit because the stories come from books written by women.

Week 10: And for this unit, I would do the Tejas Stories. This was another unit that I found completely delightful during the summer, and I would like the chance to read the stories again. I had so much fun putting that unit together! Also, I really liked the original artwork for this book!
Week 11: For this unit, I would like to read the Welsh Tales by Thomas again. This is another one of the units that I added very early on, and I would like to go back and read it again!

Week 12: I would follow up with the other collection of Welsh Tales by Emerson. I had the impression that the literary versus folkloric difference between these units was really striking, but since I read them months apart this summer, I am not sure about that. Reading both of the Welsh units together and comparing them would be a lot of fun!

Week 13: My choice here would definitely be the Kalevala. I was so excited to find not just the text but also the audio of this epic to use for the class! Plus I would love to try writing a story in this poetic meter. I've never done that before!

Week 14: And for my last choice, I think I would do the Russian Folktales. That is another unit I prepared very early in the summer, and I would love to read through the stories again, looking for connections to the tales of other countries!



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