Context for this Lesson
Focus Questions: What is a myth? What is the purpose of myths?
Goals: To understand what a myth is; To understand the purpose for the creation of myths; To create a myth
Storytelling: Teacher tells the story of the Phoenix Story can be found online at or in many myth books. Ideally it should be told in a dynamic way from memory to be age appropriate for the class. One online resource for the story is http://monsters.monstrous.com/story_phoenix.htm
"This story is considered a myth, does anyone have any ideas on what a myth is?" (come to definition and write on board)
- Who were the characters in this myth?
- What was the story about?
- Why might people have created this myth?
Transition: Now that we have heard an example of a myth I want to see if we can come up with ideas for other myths we may know.
"I am going to give each tribe a poster and we are going to see what myths we can think of. I want everyone to get a marker and when I say action you are going to get up and write down as many myths as we can think of in 3 minutes. If someone already wrote what you were going to write you can put a check by it. If you can’t think of anything else to write come back to your seat so I will know you are done. We are only going to take about 3 minutes for this activity. Ready? ACTION.” When you the feel group is done have them go back to their seats. Acknowledge all myths they came up with and pose the group with the question of why they think people might create myths.
Transition: "Now that we know what a myth is and why people write them-I’d like to invite us as a group to think of a creature who might be in a myth. Raise your hands if you have an idea for creature who might be in a myth." (Flesh this out with group-what do they look like, are they all one type of animal/person, what do they do?)
Image work into writing
As a group have the students stand and create poses for their creature, take ideas on how this creature might fit into a group. “Now I’d like to invite you to close your eyes and imagine a character who might be in a myth. I want you to think about if they are a person or a god or a demi-god or an animal or creature. What do they look like-do they have claws or long hair or purple skin or wings? What might they do? When I count down from 5 I’d like you all to stand behind your chairs and create a frozen picture of your creature. 5-4-3-2-1.”
View images and then announce that the creatures the students have created will be the characters in their very own myth. Ask the students to sit, and give them 5 minutes to write a description of their character then have them share with the other students at their table(if time allows they can move on to beginning to create their own myths and/or creature pictures of their mythological creatures).
Transition: “We created some fascinating characters for our own myths and did a great job learning what a myth was. Before I go I’d love to know…”
-What is one thing you remember about myths from today’s class?
-Hold up your fingers to show me on a scale of 1-5 how we think we did in respecting our space, our work and ourselves today. 1 means we have a lot of things to work on and 5 means we did excellent and almost never needed a reminder to be respectful.
-Writing assignment for creation of myths, illustration of mythological creatures created
-Extension Lesson available (uploaded on this site as Myths Part 2)