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Teacher's  Guide Teacher's Guide
The Queen of Sheba
Shangri-La
King Arthur
Jason & the Argonauts

Ethiopia woman explains the story of Sheba to Michael Wood

The Queen of Sheba

Michael Wood explores the history behind some of the most well-known myths in the world. He traces the history of the story of The Queen of Sheba and chronicles the different versions of the legend that exist in various cultures. This 3,000-year-old story is referenced directly in the Hebrew Bible and the Muslim Koran, and the people of Ethiopia credit their possession of the Ark of the Covenant to Sheba. Wood's long journey through the Red Sea Region documents the historical aspects of the story of the Queen of Sheba.


Tibetans on horseback

unmarried women in costume

The Search for Shangri-La

When James Hilton wrote Lost Horizon in 1933, the U.S. was struggling through the Great Depression and the threat of a second World War was looming. Hilton's creation of a world untouched by war, greed, and modernization provided a reprieve from the realities of modern life. The 1937 movie version by Frank Capra brought the novel to life for generations. Michael Wood discusses what he believes is the birthplace of Shangri-La. He examines the Tibetan myth of Shambala and the journey of Antonio Andrade, a Portuguese missionary sent to find it during the 16th Century by the Moghul emperor Akbar. In retracing Andrade's route, Wood embarks on an extraordinary journey through India, Nepal, and Tibet to reach a village near Lake Mansarovar and Mt. Kailash, some of the holiest places in the Buddhist and Hindu religions. Here he discovers what some might classify as Shangri-La, the abandoned city of Tsaperang and its two great temples that were once home to the King of Gugay.


A reenactment in the Arthurian tradition

Arthur: The Once and Future King

The story of King Arthur is one that scholars believe is a case where fiction has somehow been blended with reality to become part of the history of a given place. In this case, King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, the Holy Grail, and Camelot, are ingrained as part of the British culture and held in reverence the way many historical figures are. While there is no real evidence to suggest that King Arthur actually existed, the story has been around for centuries and has become the symbol of British history.


Stone staircase

photograph of relatives

Jason and the Golden Fleece

The story of Jason and the Golden Fleece is a classic Greek tale with all of the traditional elements of a Greek myth. The characterization and setting are particularly important to the plot of the story. The story of Jason is largely dependent of geography and has changed over time as knowledge of the physical world has increased. It explains the founding of any shoreline communities as well as including a main character that has the charisma and traits necessary to perform superhuman tasks. In addition, the story provides readers with the classic triangle of dark power, hero, and female helper. It provides a unique way to study characterization and setting, two key elements of a great story, and discuss how the basic premise and storyline in the myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece compares to some of our favorite modern classics such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Indiana Jones, among others.

 

 

About the Author

Lisa Prososki is an independent educational consultant who taught middle school and high school English, social studies, reading, and technology courses for 12 years. Prososki has worked extensively with PBS, authoring and editing many lesson plans for various PBS programs and TeacherSource. In addition to conducting workshops for teachers at various state and national meetings, Prososki also works with many corporate clients creating training programs and materials, facilitating leadership and operations workshops, and providing instructional support for new program rollouts. Prososki has authored one book and also serves as an editor for other writers of instructional materials

 

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