My olders and I have touched on Don Quixote. However, as we are studying the Middle Ages and World Literature it's time to delve a little deeper into Miguel de Cervantes' famous and beloved tale of the ultimate confused hero. I know it wasn't actually written in the Middle Ages... but since he is delusional about being a knight, I thought it would fit (plus we actually have time right now!).
Before delving into Don Quixote I want to expose them to the original picaresque novel. The 3 major literary genres affecting Cervantes' creation were the chivalric romance, pastoral, and picaresque. Lazarillo de Tormes was the first picaresque novel. I couldn't find an English version at the library but I did find this great summary/outline of the book/genre (although it has some grammatical errors). It is a very biting social commentary as the main character goes from archecharacter to archecharacter [okay, I made up that word - it is actually archetypes for each social class]. Cervantes actually rejects the picaresque technique within Don Quixote but they won't catch that unless they know what it is that he's rejecting ;).
Free English translation (Please make sure to preview! It has some rough language sometimes. Think of it as the precursor to Huck Finn.):
Here are my loose lesson plans for Don Quixote:
My main resources are:
Twayne's Masterwork Studies: Don Quixote The Quest for Modern Fiction by C. Johnson
Cliff Notes on Cervantes' Don Quixote (I got a bunch of different titles for $.25 each at the library!)
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra [We are using a nice copy illustrated by Magda Bogin from the library. It is oversized and has nice illustrations. Unfortunately, it only has Part 1 so we are probably going to use the Kindle for Part 2 (I don't like the library copy we found for Part 2 mainly because of the creepy illustrations!)]
Read the following together before reading the text:
~ Historical Context [Twayne's p. 8-11]
~ The Importance of the Work [Twayne's p. 19-21]
~ Biographical Sketch [Cliff Notes p. 5-8]
~ Purpose [Cliff Notes p. 73]
~ Technique and Style [Cliff Notes p. 74; 1st and 2nd paragraphs only]
~ Skim over the Themes (will read more carefully after the text)[Cliff Notes p. 82-86]
Read Part I
Read the following together:
~ Introduction of the Protagonists [Twayne's p. 39-44]
~ A Book about Books [Twayne's p. 71-80 (up through 1st paragraph on p. 80)]
Read Part 2 (probably from Kindle or through interlibrary loan)
Read the following together:
~ Themes [Cliff Notes p. 82-86]
~ Read over Questions for Discussion (briefly) [Cliff Notes p.86-88]
Choose a topic from the Questions for Discussion or a theme for an essay. We chose #8: In your own words, discuss the nature of quixotism. They needed to include the following in their essay:
- Short synopsis of the story in the intro paragraph
- Description/definition of quixotism
- Examples from the book
- Real life examples of people demonstrating quixotism
Resources Around the Web:
We will image google Don Quijote/Don Quixote and do a variety of art work based on the book/art ideas.
Here are some links in no particular order...
This has short questions (with key), vocabulary, and activity ideas for each chapter. It is geared toward 5th but can be used with high schoolers to enrich their reading:
Very interesting approach of studying the musical Man of La Mancha. [Note 1.9] [Note to self: print this before watching the movie - I have 2 on hold at the library; with Orson Wells and with Peter O'Toole]
These last 2 came from this blog post:
Here is a great Spanish grammar interactive site where students can practice putting tildes. It doesn't really have much to do with Don Quijote except for the watermark background, but still great:
This site has recipes mentioned in the book that are still eaten today. It will give us a jumping start to look for recipes/instructions:
Man of La Mancha : I just previewed this movie with Peter O'Toole and Sophia Loren. We will be skipping the 2 scenes with the violence toward her character at the inn, just FYI in case you need to preview for your children.
Here is a great explanation of the 2 genetic mutations. Not even remotely related to Don Quixote, lol, but a succinct explanation of something I need to deal with in life and need to remember where to find :) :
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