Spring SAVY 2018, Day 4- Truth vs. Perception (5th/6th)
Today, we looked at how fictional stories combine elements of truth and fiction to tell us about ourselves, what is important to us, and how we perceive the world. First, we finished our conversation on mythologies by discussing the end of “The Hero’s Journey” with the reward and resolution of the journey by finishing the episode of “Myths and Monsters.” We connected similar myths from around the world to show how the hero’s journey, though universal, is adapted to fit culturally specific morals or lessons. The students then finished writing their own myths with three key elements: a hero or heroine, a quest or goal, and a lesson learned.
Next, we worked through the classic Shirley Jackson short story “The Lottery,” and as we read, we identified setting, mood, characters, point of view, etc. by reading a portion of the text. Then, we delved further into point of view by reading the second half from the graphic novel version, discussing the way the illustrator uses point of view in the illustrations to enhance specific elements. This conversation centered around the course theme that some truths, such as those handed down by tradition, are learned and sometimes unexamined. We defined and related such ideas as mob mentality and groupthink, and discussed the role of dissenting opinions in homogenous groups.
We ended class on the topic of fairy tales. We first looked at several different versions of Rumpelstiltskin from throughout history and discussed the adaptation of the story to fit cultural norms, which is similar to mythology. Every student then read the Grimm’s fairy tales version of a common tale, such as Rapunzel, and highlighted discrepancies between the original Grimm’s version and the modern version we all generally know. We ended our conversation on the topic of audience, and how a writer will adapt a story to appeal to those he is writing to, often mutating the story in the process to fit expectations and perceptions of certain cultural norms.