Posts Tagged ‘norse mythology’

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a little bit of mythology

February 24, 2010

My current teaching practice is with a class of grade fours that are currently in their Norse Mythology block.

Other than recognizing the name of the God, Thor, Norse mythology has been completely foreign to me. There are 9 worlds with unusual names like Muspelheim, Alfheim, Jotunheim, Midgard and Svartheim. Those names are among the easier things to pronounce – the characters, the things they carry, etc. are all strange and new. The world tree, Yggdrasil, is a little more typical of the names in this mythology.

For next week I’m working on telling a story of the three norns: Urda who sees the past, Verdandi who sees the present and Skulda who sees the future. The norns are a mysterious bunch and they spin together the threads of past, present and future for each human beings life.

The class teacher has an image of the different worlds and other key elements on the chalkboard and the children seem quite interested in the three women who live among the roots of Yggdrasil. Not only will I be telling a story in front of a class for the first time but I’ll also be leading them in a shaded colour pencil drawing (another first for me) sometime next week. I still have a few days to prepare but today I played around a little and did a first sketch of the type of drawing I plan to lead them in. Skulda’s face is rarely seen so I want her to appear a little further back in the shadows of Yggdrasils roots. There is a drawing in each of the books I have but I thought looking back to the past, straight on for the present and forward for the future would be helpful. I’m not sure whether I’ll go with having them staggered from left to right as well or one directly above the other. All things for me to fine tune in the coming evenings I guess.

three norns

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mysterious disappearance

February 8, 2010

Back in January I found it exceedingly difficult to get on the computer. It’s hardly a bad thing but I thought some explaining was due since the same thing is likely to happen again later this month.

As part of my teacher training we’re doing practicums at various schools, with a different grade each time. So far, my two practicums have meant little time at home when I’m not taking care of myself or preparing for a lesson. Coming into the training I knew teachers spent a great deal of non-instructional hours on prep but I didn’t realize *quite* how many. It’s certainly significant.

My last practicum was with a class of grade eights who were working on geometry. Because the students came to the class over a number of years and the teacher was fairly new to them it took a while to figure out where they were at and try to meet them while still getting to the big ideas. It was quite a dance trying to keep things interesting yet having a wide enough spectrum of knowledge to bring what they needed each day. There was no way a class like what I remember from my grade school days would have worked for that group.

What I knew coming into this block was so abstract and taken as fact. It was quite a twist to actually do goemetric constructions and learn about the golden section and platonic solids. I so enjoyed the reading, the constructions, and where all those things lead. Kevin’s a bit of a math nut and so we had quite a number of great conversations on the subject and I was actually able to share new things too! I’m really happy with what I learned about geometry and teaching but my biggest surprise of all is that I enjoyed working with adolescents!

My next assignment is in grade four…. I have a lot to do to catch up on Norse mythology and storytelling!