Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sounding like Shmoop?

For some unknown reason, this primarily elementary school person has been spending time learning about resources for middle and high school. Most of the sessions I attended at NCTIES were related to middle or high school, and I have spent the first three days of this week at either a middle or a high school. I wonder if someone is trying to tell me something ...

In the workshop I did today, I asked teachers for resources they thought would be useful to other teachers so I could include them in a teacher resource my school system provides. After one session, a teacher asked me if I had ever heard of Shmoop. I had to tell her that was one I had not heard of (and in my mind I was wondering about the site based on the name). That teacher said that site was shown to them last year, and when she starts a lesson series on The Odyssey, she visits Shmoop. She showed me that Shmoop has learning guides and teacher resources. According to the website, it is a collections of "lively learning guides by experts and educators."

For The Odyssey, I found information on the characters, quotes, themes, assignments/activities, setting, analysis, music/video/photos, as well as a summary and even more. They are even sections on certain types of quotes (ex. lies and deceit quotes). When I kept looking, I found a section of the challenges, pitfalls, and opportunities of teaching The Odyssey and with a guide to the Homer writing style in The Odyssey. Wow!

Here are the Popular Learning Guides listed on the site:
Here are the New Learning Guides listed on the site:

There are areas in Shmoop devoted to Literature, Poetry, Shakespeare, Best Sellers, US History, Civics, Economics, Biography, Music, Pre-Algebra, as well as exam prep and College 101. I was impressed by the high levels of information and background building materials to support critical thinking and analysis skills.

image from the shmoop site


Shmoop said...


Hi from Shmoop. Thanks for helping us spread the word. We think you would look great wearing a Shmoop t-shirt at your next conference, in-service, or ballroom dancing class. If you'd like a shirt, drop us an email at support at shmoop dot com and we will hook you up.

Don Lourcey said...

Thank you for this and how timely. I am working on my National Board Renewal and since I am not in the classroom anymore, I have borrowed a class in Catawba County. They have been studying The Odyssey; my lesson with these students has been web search tools like Wonder Wheel, how to evaluate appropiateness of resources, and constructing a Livebinder of Resources for a specific audience: in this case, either Teachers teaching the epic or 9th graders studying the epic. Schmoop will be a great tool to share with these students especially those who are constructing a Livebinder of Odyssey Resources for teachers. I just love my PLN. Thanks so much.