Archive for May, 2009

Shmoop will make you a better lover…

Love

of literature, history, poetry and life (or so the website claims)…

Shmoop is what I like to call CliffsNotes with panache!

Take a stroll through the literature section of the site and you’ll find countless study guides and resources to help you and your students discover and explore classics like Beowulf, the Pearl and Brave New World.

Click on Shmoops guide to The Great Gatsby and you will find an intro, summary, themes, quotes, plot analysis, study questions, characters, literary devices, trivia and more…

What I love about Shmoop, is its emphasis on the “Why should I care?” of literature. For example, why should a student of the 21st century take time out of his/her busy schedule of family, friends, Facebook, text messaging, sports, music, etc. to give Fitzgerald’s work the time of day? Shmoop writes:

The Great Gatsby is a delightful concoction of MTV Cribs, VH1’s The Fabulous Life Of…, and HBO’s Sopranos. Shake over ice, add a twist of jazz, a spritz of adultery, and the little pink umbrella that completes this long island iced tea and you’ve got yourself a 5 o’clock beverage that, given the 1920’s setting, you wouldn’t be allowed to drink.

The one thing all these shows and Gatsby have in common is the notion of the American Dream. The Dream has seen its ups and downs. But from immigration (certainly not a modern concern, right?) to the Depression (stock market crashing? We wouldn’t know anything about that), the American Dream has always meant the same thing: it’s all about the Benjamins, baby.

Yet Gatsby reminds us that the dollars aren’t always enough…

I’m skippin’ MTV today. Pass the F. Scott Fitzgerald please!

Anna

P.S. Don’t have a copy of The Great Gatsby on hand? Here is a free e-book. Thanks Shmoop!

P.P.S. Thanks zenera for creating the picture above!

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Summer Literacy and Technology Roundup

It’s about 100 degrees in Dubai, which means that summer is right around the corner! As you plan for June, July and August, take a look at these literacy and technology tips and resources from around the web!

For the young ones—As always Reading Rockets has a fabulous list of summer learning ideas and activities. For example:

For tweens—The best way to encourage young teens to read is to provide them with books that peak their interest. Take a look at AdLit’s themed booklist for books that hit the spot!

For young adults—Since Facebook and YouTube are most certainly going to factor into your teen’s summer plans, why not encourage him/her to write and direct a short film to post on his/her social networks? Short Film Central is a nice resource for budding directors and/or young adults that are interested in global film developments.

For adults—Summer is a great time to brush up on your technology skills and to build your digital education portfolio. Take a look at Curriki’s latest blog post for links to free professional development opportunities and resources.

From sunny Dubai,

Anna

Twitter: @Bon_Education

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