Classroom Strategies

Ok, so I totally had a moment of inspiration, that for whatever reason really worked. Today, when I was teaching the end of Oedipus Rex, I wanted one of my students to read a few lines from one of the Chorus’ speeches. It came to me in the moment that we should all read it aloud together, since, after all, it’s a Chorus. Taking the risk that the students would think it’s dumb (admit it, you’re thinking that it sounds dumb right now), I had the whole class read an entire stanza aloud together. It was chilling. My students were blown away. They maintained stunned silence for a moment, and then proceeded with wide eyes to look around the room. “That was so creepy,” one of them said. Several others agreed. I personally got goosebumps from how eerie it was to hear about the wasted land of Thebes, and the desolation of Oedipus, from a Chorus composed of twenty or so college students. Try it: it might work, or it might flop. Either way, score one for Sophocles, after more than two thousand years. [Kelly Scott Franklin,]