Mr Finlayson

Education and Technology

Torn Notes and the Sword of Damocles

Posted by alexfinlayson on June 10, 2009

During the course of the game you come across a very important note ripped into two pieces and scattered between the different Ages. I orchestrated things so we would find one half early in the unit and the other closer to the end.

Note

When we found the first half of the note in the game I gave the students a copy of it for their journals and revealed that the completed note had been ‘hidden in plain view’ somewhere in our classroom for 5 weeks (the start of the unit) they were gobsmacked that I would be so coniving and of course I had to reign them in from tearing the room apart.

Instead of a mad treasure-hunt and upturning everything I gave the class a simple clue – The Sword of Damocles – if they found that story and read it, then placed me into the position of the main character, they would be able to discover where I had hidden the note…

Dionysius ordered everything to be prepared for Damocles to experience what life as Dionysius was like. Damocles was enjoying himself immensely… until he noticed a sharp sword hovering over his head, that was suspended from the ceiling by a horse hair. This, the tyrant explained to Damocles, was what life as ruler was really like.

For those who read the story they soon realised that if I was to be placed into the main role then my chair would be the throne mentioned as the seat of authority – it was then a small step to realise that the note was suspended above my head (taped to the rafters) just as the sword was hung by a horses hair. Those students who gave me the correct answer received the second half of the note for their journals and were sworn to secrecy – great fun – and what a great way to get them reading Greek legends.

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