lessons_001Writers, Books and Plays

We have posted several audio stories about famous authors and here are a few highlights. If you are teaching The Bell Jar, use this audio story on The Life of Sylvia Plath, who died too young but left behind a lasting legacy. Listen to this story with the grandson of Ernest Hemingway, who found dozens of alternate endings to one of his novels, and discuss  how Hemingway’s writing style  and choices effectively depicted the brutalities of war. Listen to this debate, Who wrote Shakespeare’s Plays? surrounding the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays. Listen to the many accomplishments of Langston Hughes and the reasons why people love the writing of Toni Morrison.

If you are reading Hedda Gabbler, by Henrik Ibsen listen to this story about how the play was reimagined using robots.  Listen to playwright, Lorraine Hansberry, explain why she felt compelled to write “A Raisin in the Sun.”  Hear about an old ring found in England in the 1700s, dating back to the Roman period,  that might have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.” Catch 22 is a novel that is still appreciated today, decades after its publication. Listen to hear how the author’s own experiences influenced his novel, and how critics have responded to “Catch 22” over time.

The novel “Kids in Kabul: Living Bravely Through A Never-Ending War” focuses on Afghan children, the challenges they face living in a war-torn country, and how they see their future. Listen to this interview with the author to learn about the obstacles to education for girls in Afghanistan.


Ice age and Early Humans

Ancient animals had to adapt to the cold, and researchers may have discovered what made woolly mammoths so well-adapted. Listen to learn about a 2.8 million year-old fossil that scientists uncovered in Ethiopia. They believe that the fossil may be the missing link in the history of human evolution. Early humans, we believed, participated in religious rituals only after they invented agriculture, but research in this story suggests otherwise. In Mexico, a stone block was discovered that is believed to come from the time of the Olmecs, and ancient graffiti in the ruins of tombs in Israel was recently discovered by archaeologists.


Ancient History

Explore the Kingdom of Nubia’s rich history and learn about it’s Pharaohs.  If you are exploring 5th Century religion, you can use this story about Beowulf, Paganism and Christianity for a cross-curricular lesson. Listen to this story about Ancient Mesopotamia, when Babylonians applied principles of geometry to their understanding of astronomy and the world around them. Learn about the first Emperor of China who made thousands of terracotta warriors to protect his tomb. If you are studying Cyrus the Great and the Persian Empire, listen to this story about the significance of the Cyrus Cylinder. Listen to this story about the Roman Emperor Constantine I and how the Byzantine Empire survived without interruption for over eight centuries.


Happy Listening!