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Mythology Mini Lesson for Grade Three

2 min read

(Sisyphus feat. spinning beach ball of death)

CCSS: English and Language Arts Standards - Reading and Literature: Grade 3
Students will be able to...

Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

I would begin the mini lesson by first introducing mythology and what it means. I might give my students a paraphrased version of Jeff House's definition by stating that mythology is a collection of multicultural stories that include key values, beliefs, and symbols of that culture. To begin the mythology unit, I would start my class with Greek Mythology. First, I would give students background information about ancient Greece, the values of the ancient Greeks, and how the ancient Greeks were Polytheists (meaning they believed in several Gods). Together as a class, we would read together an ancient Greek Myth, such as Prometheus Gives Fire to Man. I would choose students to read a paragraph or so from the reading aloud. During and after the reading, I would stop to ask students questions pertaining to the key elements of Greek mythology. On the board, I would draw two columns, one labeled "Elements of Mythology" and the other, "Elements of Greek Mythology." Students will volunteer by raising a hand and explain a component for either column. Ultimately, we would compare the two columns. For example, a component listed in the Mythology column might be, "Contains a central message or value for that culture/religion," whereas a component in the Greek Mythology column might be "Fate of the protagonist as determined by the Gods is a central theme in Greek mythology." 

Then, I would instruct students to work on another Greek myth in group. Each group would receive a different Greek myth. They would be instructed to read the myths together, then, write the key elements of their myth. Finally, we would come together as a class and each group would present their myth and the key elements. This would meet the CCSS because students will be required to recount myths and determine the central message by explaing the key details that were provided in the text.