Gilgamesh and Enkidu
This week we began our reading of Gilgamesh The Hero, a retelling of The Epic of Gilgamesh for children. It is beautifully written, and I highly recommend reading it as a family if you can find a copy. The oldest recorded story, it makes a perfect beginning point for our class as we begin our exploration of place and story. To introduce it, we started by mapping ancient Mesopotamia, where the story takes place. You can find the maps we used here: Maps, both blank, and completed. If your child did not yet finish their map work, they can use the online map to help them.
After reading the first three sections of Gilgamesh, we took some time to think about the way the two main characters are described. Gilgamesh and Enkidu are described in very vivid terms, both in terms of their physical appearance and their personalities. One is a king, his restlessness making him a burden to his people. The other is created by a goddess out of clay to be his friend. One wears a gold belt and lapis lazuli collar. The other has a clay brain and matted hair.
For this week's homework, the students are invited to write a description of their own ideal friend. If a perfect friend was created just for them, what kind of person would they be? Please encourage them to use descriptive language to bring this friend to life.
This upcoming week, we will be learning about the geography of Africa, and the island of Madagascar. We will read from Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales, and continue with Gilgamesh.