W.H. Auden, an English poet, who later became an American citizen, wrote “The Shield of Achilles,” where a speaker in a poem describes a 20th Century nihilist vision depicted on the warrior’s shield. This modern world of hopelessness depicted in the poem will be compared to the besieged city of Aleppo, Syria. Students will view videos and listen to NPR stories on the tragedy occurring in Aleppo.
In the resource is a link to a video featuring Homer’s text of The Shield of Achilles from Book 18 of The Iliad replete with images and music. Also included is the TED Talk, “Progress is Not a Zero-Sum Game,” by Robert Wright. It looks on the progress that we have made as a global society. Students will examine Pablo Picasso’s “Massacre of Korea,” and compare the painting to the poem.
The lesson features an original prompt analyzing the poem. Students will craft a persuasive thesis sentence. Instructions and strategies are included on how to teach a rhetorical précis, and hold an inner and outer Socratic Circle.
These lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, World Literature or AP English Language or Literature class to prepare students for AP English Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities.
The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.
Tags: Close Reading, writing, Pre-AP, critical thinking, hopelessness, theme