Wait for it...a Mongol heroine!

posted Nov 5, 2016, 11:17 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Nov 5, 2016, 11:20 PM ]
This week we started our second unit of the year. This unit will give students a mix of history and literary learning as we read a historical fiction narrative set in midst of Kublai Khan's Mongol Empire (Yuan Dynasty) with I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade. This novel gives a young Mongolian girl named Oyuna who literally rides off to live her dream. Her story is riveting, and while exciting, it is a contrast to The Lightning Thief in that it is set in a real historical time with less of the supernatural at play. In this unit we will learn about the Mongols, the great empire built by the Khans, and look with a new perspective at the Hero's Journey, a female one. We will ask exciting questions like Is there a heroine's journey? Are female characters that follow the Hero's Journey more male in characteristics? Do heroes and heroines have to follow different paths? Face different challenges? I can't wait to get into this unit.

Our first assignments will be background learning about the Mongols and the Mongol Empire. The first assignment will be a quiz on Mongol history using Crash Course World History's excellent episode on the Mongols. Next, students will use maps of the Mongol Empire to learn about its vastness and diversity in this map assignment. Finally students will collaborate to make this slideshow to learn about items, practices, and beliefs important to Mongol culture. My hope is that students gain a good understanding of the Mongols before getting too far into the book.

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