Review by: Sharon Kazmierski, The Clearing House, Classical Outlook, Summer 2007 Vol. 84, No. 4 - October 23, 2007
Classical Outlook, Summer 2007
Volume 84, Number 4
CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGYAND MORE
Most Latin teachers are constantly on the lookout to find
ancillary materials to help them incorporate more mythological and
cultural material into their classrooms, but many find it a challenge
to teach these important contextual aspects as thoroughly as they
would like. Most Latin teachers have multiple preps and sometimes
even multi-level classes. It is not uncommon for a Latin teacher to
teach additional subjects as well. Finding the time to create really
good mythology and cultural units can be a serious problem.
Bolchazy-Carducci has just published a new workbook which
will take an enormous burden off the shoulders of busy teachers.
(It is really about time!) There is just no other resource out there
that is as comprehensive and useful for junior and senior high
students of Latin and the Classics.
Classical Mythology and More: A Reader Workbook, written
by Marianthe Colakis and Mary Joan Masello, is an incredible
ancillary resource for middle and high school Latin students.
(TMRC B477) The authors have based their highly readable
retellings on authentic primary sources, including Homer, Hesiod,
Vergil, Ovid, and other Classical authors. The 19 chapters cover
the Creation myths, the Muses, Olympian deities, adventures, love
stories, hero tales, the houses of Atreus, Oedipus, Metamorphoses,
the Trojans, Odysseus, Aeneas, and the Roman kings. Each
chapter includes objective review exercises, "musings" intended
to stimulate higher level thinking, word derivation studies, and
interesting facts linking mythology to real life.
Students will appreciate the side-bar summaries, and I think
they will also like the vintage black and white illustrations. Books
do not have to be illustrated in color to have visual interest. Latin
teachers who collect vintage school texts will certainly recognize
both the side-bar concept and the line art taken from late 19th
and early 20th century Latin and mythology books. The format
and artwork seem very appropriate for the subject matter.
To facilitate student learning, the appendices include a large
number of genealogical charts, chapter-by-chapter glossaries, and
a pronunciation guide. There is also a bibliography. A teacher's
guide is available separately from the publisher.
Teachers can choose to follow the book in sequence or select
chapters suitable for their students core Latin textbook. Some
teachers may choose to have students work through the material
independently, while others will probably want to have their classes
work in small groups to complete the exercises and activities. The
authors were mindful of teachers preparing students for national
examinations, competitions, and certamina in writing this book.
Parents who are basing their children's course of study on the
Classical Homeschooling model and cultural literacy will no
doubt find Classical Mythology and More invaluable.
I have a very minor criticism about their inclusion of websites
related to the content, only because internet addresses change
so often. The authors themselves admit their misgivings. Many
textbook publishers now have companion websites for their
materials, and I think that this book is a definite candidate for
one, although I realize that it takes time and effort to keep such a
website properly updated.
One word of warning: you might want to hide this book from
the English and Language Arts department! They will probably
want to use it too!
The Clearing House, Classical Outlook