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The Biography of the Golden Avatar

What we have done so far in the class:
Introduction to the subject and the various texts for the year. Introduction to Biographies. What are biographies, why are they important, what kind of information to we get from biographies, where do we get these information from? 
Benefits of reading. Vocabulary: biography, autobiography

Introduction to who Lord Caitanya is. Students predicted what kind of information they will encounter through reading the set text. Students also came up with one question that they would like to have answered while reading the text. Class read until page 20.

Revision of what we have read so far. Reading until page 31. Students answered questions. Vocabulary: Caitanya, hypocrisy, quarrel, conditioned, association, redeeming, auspicious, defect

Revision of what we read so far. Students start thinking about a person that they will write their biography on. Reading. 

Vocabulary quick-check. Instead of simply reading through the book, today was dedicated to deeply exploring concepts brought up in the reading. Class discussion on the following questions: How does Kali-yuga being the age of quarrel ad hypocrisy relate to you and your life? How can we deal with hypocrisy? If Lord Caitanya said that we only need to chant in this Age in order to attain Him, then why is it so hard for us do it? How would we explain to someone who does not understand our culture the way Lord Caitanya appeared? How do we know that Lord Caitanya is really Krishna (God)? 

Revision on what we have heard so far in the "Gauranga" book. Continued reading and discussion on topics like why we follow ekadashi. 

Exploring the meaning of CONTEXT, AUDIENCE AND PURPOSE. Definition, and analyses of what the context is under which Lord Caitanya appeared, who the audience is that he aims to address, and what the INTERNAL and EXTERNAL purpose of His appearance is.

Looking at the first section of biography writing, i.e. Personal Background (name, date of birth, place of origin, marriage/family, parents/siblings, hobbies, educational background, profession, favorite books, music, food, games, etc.) 
Students then walked around the room and tried to interview as many of their peers as possible in order to have three questions answered from the PB section. 

Revision of what we have done so far. Revision of what is context, purpose and audience. finished reading the first section of the "Gauranga" book. 

Introduction to Rasa theory. Students drew a picture of a tree and its reflection and discussed how the 5 rasas in the spiritual world pervertedly reflect in the material world, and looked at the difference between maya and yogamaya and their purpose. Next students were divided into groups and conducted a interactive quiz on the first section of the Gauranga book. 

Revision of the first section of writing biographies: Personal Background. Students read the short biography of Martin Luther King and interpret the aspects of PB found within the text. Students are informed to bring their first section of biography into the classroom on Friday. 

10 minute reading from the "Gauranga" book and discussion. Analysing and understanding the scaffold provided for them to write their first biography section. Students were notified again that the due date is Friday, the 27th. 

15 min reading from the book. New vocabulary. I saw that the students did not get far with their assignment. they had not gathered their information from the subjects that they were going to interview. So, I gave them an extension. They have to have the first section of the biography completed by Monday. Students did the activity of matching different pastimes from the book with the key concepts/ideas/spiritual teachings that these propound, but we will discuss and analyse these tomorrow. 

15 min reading. Discussion on how there are spiritual teachings in every pastime of Lord Caitanya. Students made links between the pastimes and the particular teachings these pastimes demonstrate. Students were reminded of their assignment and any last questions were answered. Students chose a particular pastime we have read so far, wrote a summary of it, and wrote what they have particularly learned from it. 

This was a short lesson as time was take for practicing the Santi Pancakam prayers. The remainder of the lesson was spent on reading. Students had the time to type their assignments into word doc, and send them to me. Students also got a list of new vocabulary to learn. 

Revision of our previous reading: Lord Caitanya and his interaction with the inhabitants of Navadvipa. Discussion on how these events relate to the lives of the students in this day and age. Further reading and discussion on how and why Lord Caitanya is the hidden incarnation of Krishna. 

Students finished copying down the 7 reasons why Lord Caitanya is the hidden incarnation. Discussion on each point. Revision of what was read so far. Further reading and discussion on various cultural points was made, for example, the traditional marriage of Lord Caitanya and marraige arrangement vs. our present-day way of marrying and finding partners. 

Started with a discussion with all teachers on expectations with daily behaviors. Reading and discussion. Revision of why Lord Caitanya is the hidden incarnation. It was planned for students to go through the teacher feedback of their first biography draft, but since the internet was not working, we proceeded looking at the second two set of questions that students need to work on in their biography. 

Students get printed forms of their feedback since internet did not work. They read through the feedback in order to understand what they have doe good and what needs improvement. The importance and purpose of feedback discussed. Their homework is to go through the feedback one again at home and make the needed improvements. Reading from the set text and discussion on the importance of initiation. Students read through the personal background information on Lord Caitanya and his life, and receive a printed questions that they will use for their second and third section of their biography. We read through the questions and made sure they all understood what is asked of them. 

Reading the set text and discussion on Lord Caitanya's ecstatic symptoms. Students went through Steve Job's biography which answered 5 questions that students need to work on in their second and third section of biography writing. This sheet is also their scaffolded guide for writing their biography. Further explanation and discussion on this will be continued in the next class. 

This class was dedicated to reminding students about the assignment that's due next week. Teacher and students go through the scaffolded assignment sheet and discuss any questions there may be. Students are instructed in the format of the assignment, paragraphs and reminded to edit their first biography entry. 

Students submitted their assignment. Next we had 15-20 min reading time. The end of the class was dedicated to going through the exam question. Students got 20 questions on the life of Lord Caitanya that they need to learn; out of these 20 questions there will be only 5 - 10 questions in the exam. The goal is that the students learn all the needed information about Lord Caitanya and then come prepared for the exam. 

Exam on Lord Caitanya!

Students receive their exam results back. introduction to Socratic circles.
Syama Sakhi devi dasi,
Mar 22, 2015, 1:19 AM
Syama Sakhi devi dasi,
Mar 22, 2015, 1:17 AM
Syama Sakhi devi dasi,
Mar 22, 2015, 1:18 AM
Syama Sakhi devi dasi,
Mar 22, 2015, 1:18 AM
Syama Sakhi devi dasi,
Mar 22, 2015, 1:18 AM
Syama Sakhi devi dasi,
Mar 22, 2015, 1:18 AM
Syama Sakhi devi dasi,
Mar 22, 2015, 1:18 AM
Syama Sakhi devi dasi,
Mar 22, 2015, 1:18 AM