Alcoholism - Who can get it and how?
Like any other drug addiction, the persons body is so dependant on alcohol that the person can't go through the day without feeling discomfort because their body is not recieving what it 'needs'. Because that is an attitude taken by many young adults, alcoholism has become a very big problem among teenagers, and this problem usually follows them into later life. Studies show that alcoholism can become a reality with consistent drinkers in as little time as 8 to 10 weeks. Young children can become alcoholics in much less time than that.
Alcohol can change a person's behavior, making them less energetic, less responsible, and more prone to alcohol related accidents. One of the biggest signs of alcoholism is when the person denys the fact that he or she has a problem. Significant wieght loss, and yellowed eyes are other signs of an alcoholic.
Why are we teaching this?
As social studies curriculum coordinator for the elementary school at Escuela Campo Alegre, I spend a lot of my professional time revisiting the question "Why are we teaching this?".
In the case of the history of Ancient Greece, I feel the answer is self evident. The civilisation extant in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean in the two thousand years immediately preceding the birth of Christ produced some of the most influential thinkers and storytellers in the whole of human history. Western political thought is founded upon Aristotle, and our subsequent political, technological and artistic history has been informed by figures of the stature of Alexander, Pythagoras, Archimedes, Plato, Socrates, Hypatia and scores of others who, if not wholly Greek by birth and upbringing, would certainly not have made such a mark upon the history of the world had not the Greeks and their civilisation existed. It is well, therefore, for the modern student to have some grounding in what this civilisation achieved - and how it continues to influence and inform our own. In my opinion, fourth grade is by no means too early to begin to acquire this grounding.
In choosing the Trojan War as my theme, I am of course, focussing on a minute part of Greek civilisation. However, my choice is governed by consideration of my intended audience. Greek myths enthrall modern audiences - including children. The general theme of this story is readily understood, and the major dilemmas can be sympathised with even by those of us who have not experienced kidnap, imprisonment, war or the wrath of a vengeful deity!
The whole idea of the webquest, of course, is to encourage the students to read. I recommend several websites for gaining sufficient information of the Trojan War to answer the twenty questions that consitute the students' task. All of these may be viewed on the fourth grade web board at Escuela Campo Alegre and the students should be encouraged to view these (or others the teacher knows of) before attempting the task. The emotions experienced by the various characters who populate the versions of the Trojan War on the web board, are also readily accepted by children of fourth grade age as explanations for their actions - even if the children have not experienced such extremes of emotion themselves. I consider the Trojan War in this respect to be perfectly suitable discussion material for a PSE lesson.