(materials: links and books on mythology)
a. Discuss and define myths. What are myths? Who created them and why?
b. Compare myths with legends, fairy tales, folk tales and fables. How are they the same and how are they different? Make a comparison chart. Be sure to review Aesop’s Fables for comparison.
c. Discuss the Pantheon, charting the “family tree” of various gods and goddesses (using resource books and links). Divide the class into groups of 2 or 3 students. Give each group a god or goddess to study and find out what special powers and areas of influence are associated with that individual. This information can be put on a permanent chart to remain up in the room (students can maintain a smaller one in their binders or a special Traveling Classroom folder).
d. Teacher can read or paraphrase pages 31-32 of Bullfinch or pages 21-25, 63 of Hamilton.
e. Find several different versions of the story of Prometheus – discuss cause and effect. Divide the class into groups, giving each group a different version (either one copy per group or multiple copies).
1. The students will read the myth, paying special attention to causes and effects in the story.
2. Each group will complete a cause-and-effect flow chart (i.e., because A, then B; because of B, then C).
3. Place the flow charts on the board and have the groups explain why they chose these events.
4. Compare findings. See if you can find “Prometheus” stories in other cultures (e.g., the Native American story about Raven).
d. Writing: Choose a natural occurrence a write a myth explaining how something came to be (be sure it follows the cause-and-effect development pattern).
e. Throughout the unit continue to read myths, chart or storyboard the elements other these stories, and discuss them in class.
NOTE: For some excellent classroom activities, see Fabulous Fun with the Greek Myths by Wendy Cruikshank, reprinted by Scholastic.