What is the final fate of the just and the unjust? Engage Middle and High School students with a classic myth from one of Plato’s dialogues. Journey with the dead soldier Er to a Platonic afterlife where a cosmic revolution involves transmigration of souls, the Fates, and the reincarnations of Odysseus, Agamemnon, and others.
This resource is optimized for distance learning. The product includes a durable Google Apps link. Access and modify this resource for student-use on Google Classroom and other classroom management sites.
Use this Digital Download for a Three-day English Language Arts Lesson
Using my tested-in-the-classroom resources, your kids will want to discuss the pros and cons of curiosity, the representation of women in World Literature, and more. So I have loaded this resource with discussion questions that will get your students talking, and writing! N.B. — The text of the myth is not included in this digital download, but I provide multiple links to the story online.
Common Core Standards: This resource aligns well with the reading literature standard: “Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux-Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).”
Essential Question: What is a Platonic myth?
Academic Vocabulary: Eschatology, Myth, Soul, Metempsychosis
This Resource Includes the Following Features:
- 1 Teacher’s Three-day Lesson Pacing Calendar
- With a teacher-tested-stamp of approval, follow my suggestions on how to teach Plato’s Myth of Er in a three-day block. Start with a brainstorm-style Do Now, read the text, engage in the text through art and video, check for understanding with reading questions, discuss the myth with a carousel activity, and cap off the lesson with a Google Forms assessment.
- 1 Do Now
- Activate prior knowledge with a brainstorm activity. Explore tropes related to the afterlife and myth.
- 1 Full-Text Copy of the Myth of Er (translated by J.A. Stewart)
- Includes a Ptolemaic model of the universe inspired by Platonism
- 1 Art + Literature Connection (with Text-to-Text connections)
- Connect Plato’s myth to other works of literature and art that are inspired by Plato — including Gustave Doré and Dante Alighieri.
- 12 Reading Comprehension Questions
- Check for understanding with reading questions designed to get students to use textual evidence to back up their thinking about the reading.
- 6 Discussion & Critical Thinking Questions
- Use these questions for whole-class discussion but I also like to spice things up and get my students moving by having a carousel-style discussion.
- 2 Half-Sheet Exit Tickets
- Exit tickets are a way to get data about your students’ understanding of the lesson right before the class is finished. Collect these exit tickets and quickly see what ideas your students picked up about Er’s journey to the underworld. I also provide two different tickets to offer academic choice for students.
- 1 Further Reading List
- Don’t disregard this further reading list if you think it is merely a bibliography. Share the list with your students or have them do projects based on the research that is available. Assign different sources to students and organize presentations where learning can go deeper into this illustrative eschatological myth.
- Answer Keys for all student-facing documents
- Teachers always ask for answer keys for my products so I made sure I gave you plenty of guidance on what to expect from students in their written and oral responses.
I created this resource with middle and high students in mind. It is designed for an English Language Arts or Humanities class —
- Unit on Plato or Plato’s Republic
- On A Class Journey to the Underworld (with Orpheus and Eurydice and Odysseus’s journey to the Underworld)
- For any myth-related unit!
- On characteristics of eschatological myths.