Common Core State Standard:
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 will introduce the genre of mythology to my students with the story The Rainbow Serpent by Dick Roughsey.
Prior to reading the story I will define mythology for my students. I will explain that myths are stories that are created in order to explain something that is not understood like a natural disaster, love, hate, or illnesses. I will emphasize that fact that myths are make believe and are simply made up stories for things that cannot be completely explained. I will then tell students that I am going to read them a myth and their job is to identify what the purpose of the myth is. In other words, what is the story trying to explain to us?
After reading the story aloud to the students I will ask them to turn and talk to one another about what they thought about the story’s characters, setting, and overall message. After about 3 minutes I will have the students share what they discussed with their neighbors. I will then ask students to explain how these elements help to portray the myth of the story. As a class, we will use the students’ responses to come up with what the story is trying to explain to us (e.g. how the shaping of the land, mountains, and rivers were created). I will then have students turn and talk again about how they know that this story is a myth. After about 3 minutes I will have them share their reasoning with the class. This will help students to think back on specific parts of the story that are not realistic. We will then discuss as a class the aspects of the story that are realistic so that students can see that not all of the information in myths is made up.
For the closure, I will have students pick a mythological story out of a basket that I previously put together. Students will then be required to go back to their seats to read the story and identify what the myth is trying to explain using key details from the text.