Mythology Research in the Library
Plans often go awry, and after a crazy year, during which students were unable to utilize the Grier Library space, the students and Mrs. Woolfrey are excited to be able to work together again. At the beginning of October, the 9th grade Honors English classes headed to the library for a collaborative research project.
For this project, the girls would be researching Greek Gods and Goddesses in order to prepare to read The Odyssey, working one-on-one with Mrs. Woolfrey, a master of helping them know where to channel their energy and curiosity.
Unlike many research projects, this assignment allows the girls to creatively approach their presentation, as they will persuade their classmates that their God or Goddess is the best candidate for president, or vice president, of Greece. As they research their candidate, they prepare a campaign poster, complete with a slogan, and a speech, allowing them to utilize their talents to create the project, while synthesizing their research as the foundation.
The groups brainstorm ideas, looking for inspiration for speeches and slogans, while simultaneously adapting to every new problem.
Before presenting, girls from different groups give ideas and help create props and costumes. Demi walks over to Katy, whose partner is, unexpectedly, joining from home, in order to help her straighten her robes. Anabelle and Katy communicate their plans and organize their approach via laptop from two different worlds. Anabelle quickly adapts and finds a Zoom background of the sky, her image is barely decipherable, like a visage, a ghost, a God? As their presentation begins, Anabelle addresses the class, “I’m sorry I cannot join you on Earth today, so I’m checking in from the heavens…” The entire class laughs as they all excitedly wait to see what this next duo will dish out.
This research project is different. The energy the girls put out is given back to them ten-fold as they receive laughs, support, and oohs and ahhhs from their peers.
Everyone here is safe to be herself. Everyone is a star, and everyone is a supporter from the stands. Everyone walks away with memories and increased knowledge of Greek Mythology. They are ready to venture out together on their own odyssey, as the narrator begins, “Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns/ driven time again off course” (Homer 77). As the students walk out of class together, they know they have each other’s backs and that the teachers and librarians do too, like the gods in the machine, ready to swoop in at any moment to offer a hint or a magical weapon. If anyone is scared, the others unite, and tell them, come join us! This is research. This is The Odyssey at Grier.