Saturday, December 17, 2011

Who Would Win?

In the spirit of the Who Would Win? books that have my first graders entranced as of late, I decided to apply this question to a mythological battle between the unfortunate snake-coiffed Medusa and the one-eyed man-child Polyphemus (a.k.a. Odysseus' impetuous Cyclops).

The children wrote their responses to include a brief supporting statement as to why one or the other would prove victorious.

As I put this question to them I thought, "First grade rocks!"  Discussions can go deeper, students actually say things like "I want to add-on to what she just said" and we can tackle the Greek myths!

The outcome in our Who Would Win battle?

Drum roll...

According to my students Medusa would take Polyphemus down with one look! Although one clever girl based her answer on the fact that if Odysseus had already blinded the Cyclops (see The Odyssey) then Medusa's "turning to stone" thing wouldn't work and he could simply step on her.

Take a look at some of their responses below.

Medusa would win because she will turn him to stone.

I think the Cyclops will win because when Medusa is slithering the Cyclops will maybe get poked and go a little crazy and step on her. 

Medusa will win because Medusa will look at the Cyclops and turn him into stone.  Then the Cyclops will break.

If the Cyclops was blinded then Medusa can not turn the Cyclops to stone because he is blind and he could step on Medusa.


Barbara said...

This is great because it teaches your kids to reason -- a skill that should serve them well in life! I'm sure in the first grade I had never heard of Medusa or the Cyclops! We read books about Dick and Jane and Spot with no need for logic.

Gary said...

Barbara - The new Common Core State Standards require children to write opinion/persuasive pieces in which students "state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion and provide a sense of closure". We ask them to use the word "because" as well. I was happy to see that they applied this to their little homework assignment posted here. We still need work on "sense of closure" but for an independent task I think they did a nice job (it is only the fourth month of first grade). And of course there is handwriting to think about. Kids are really stepping up these days!


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