Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Be wary indeed

I taught my kids about "Beware the Ides of March." Even my preschool. Especially my preschool in fact. Let me tell you that there have been few moments as satisfying in my silly little teaching career as having a dozen five- and six-year-olds shouting, "Beware the Ides of March!" We made a whole list of things to beware of. Beware of lions, beware of tigers (and I did then say 'and bears, oh my!' but didn't want to push too much on them in one day), beware of dinosaurs, beware of ghosts, beware of snakes...and then I made them practice the phrase "Beware the ides..." I told them if they say "beware the ides of March" to someone they will be seen as VERY good English speakers. That motivates some of them. They like to be called "good students. "

I talked about it with my older 'special classes' as well. With them, I got into the actual details of Julius Caesar. They know who Shakespeare is and all; most of them know Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet, a few King Lear. So I explained to them about the Ides. "But teacher why did his friend kill him?" Indeed! I talked about "Et tu Brute?" too 'cause even though it's Latin, it's part of the whole deal.

So, yeah. Just hanging out in Korea, bein' ware...

1 comment:

jnap said...


I agree. If you say "Et tu Brute" to any educated English speaker, they will know the reference... We lose so much by not knowing the history and idiom.....

Would your students know the signifcance of:

"The road not taken"

"The quality of mercy is not strained"

"To be or not to be?"

"Half a league, half a league, half a league onward"

"A rose is a rose is a rose'

There are so many quotes that are so basic to our language and lives.