Grade Appropriate units:
This complete unit plan can be taught in 5 weeks, or lesson components
can be taught individually within 1-5 days as described below.
The focus for students in this age group is to study the myth
genre and make connections between their culture, myths, and history.
Project Introduction (1 Day)
Introduce the word myth to the class and read aloud one of the
examples from the Myths Around
the World in order to emphasize the oral heritage of the genre
as well as give character and excitement to the reading. Ask students
to offer definitions of the term "myth." Then encourage
students to brainstorm myths that they know. Have volunteers write
examples on the chalkboard. Discuss the myth read aloud, and encourage
students to write the characteristic elements of myths such as
supernatural characters, extraordinary powers or tools, natural
phenomena, etc. on the board.
Explain that students will be reading myths that originated all
over the world. Depending on your curriculum, you may want to
pick a myth based in the country you are currently studying, or
you can have students pick separate myths from different areas
and then return with their findings to share with the class. As
homework, direct students to read their chosen or assigned myth
in Myths Around the World
or hand out printed copies of the myth to be read.
Myths Around the World
Once the myth has been read, group students according to the myth
they have read or the reading level to discuss the reading. Ask
the to make a list that mirrors the characteristics of the myth
elements on the board. Students should write which characteristic
their myth had and detail that characteristic as much as possible.
Individually or in groups, students should then find out information
on the country or region from which the myth originated. The last
paragraph in each myth from "Myths Around the World"
can start students off in finding out more about the country and
culture. In general students should try to answer the following
Is there a theme to the myths from this
country? If so, what are they?
Why did this country or region create
this myth? Is there anything about the geography or the history
to promote myth making?
What is the religion of the country or
region? How does religion promote myth making?
Are there more myths from this region?
Find them and summarize them.
How does the myth reflect specific cultural
aspects to this country or region?
Have the students return to a class group and present their findings
to the rest of the class. If the entire class has worked on the
same myth in the same country, have students create a list on
the board of important information about the myth and the culture
from which it comes. If students have worked on different myths
from separate countries, have students present their myth and
their findings to the rest of the class.
Transition your focus from reading myths into writing original
myths. Explain to students that they will be writing an original
myth as if they were from the country or region they studied.
Remind them that they should follow the same trends they saw in
the myths they read, and they should keep in mind what would be
important to the people of that culture.
With Jane Yolen (34 Days)
Divide students into same-level reading groups to read the four
Myth writing steps online. If you have limited computer access,
print out a copy of the steps for individual students to read.
Tell students that they will be following Jane Yolen's steps in
preparation for writing their own myths. Encourage note taking
as they go through the steps and write down any ideas they have
for their own myths.
Before students start writing their own myths, students may want
to regroup with their original small groups in order to share
their notes and their ideas.
If class time is unavailable, have students write their myths
as homework, then exchange papers with a peer for revision. Partners
can write their comments on the draft itself. While students revise
their drafts, have them check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation
Step 4: Publish
Online: Once they've completed their revision, have students
follow directions to publish their myth online.
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