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U of M ENGL 5922 - Mythological Structure

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Nathan AndersonMythological Structure:The Hero, The Protagonist, and The JourneyPrefatory StatementQuizzesChapters 1 & 2Chapter 4Chapters 7-10Chapters 15-18Relevant MythsRomulus and Remus: The Founding of Rome (Roman)Thor's Journey to Utgard (Norse)The Myth of Isis and Osiris (Egyptian)In some accounts Isis breathed life back into Osiris' body and it was then that Horus was conceived. This was a more magical event than it seems, considering the one part of Osiris that Isis couldn't find.The young Horus then went out to battle his uncle Set and to avenge his father’s death. After a series of fights detailed in “The Contendings of Horus and Set” neither god was able to secure an overall victory. Ultimately Osiris was declared king of the underworld, Horus king of the living, and Set ruler of the deserts as the god of chaos and evil.Nathan AndersonEngl. 5922Unit Plan – MythologyMythological Structure: The Hero, The Protagonist, and The JourneyPrefatory StatementA unit on mythology covers so much more than just the literature itself. Along with a form of literature that differs a bit from the “classical” literature that is out there, mythology introduces students to different cultures, beliefs, views, and ways of looking atthe world around them. All too often students get the idea that literature is worlds away from them and that it has no relation to their lives. Through this unit the students will discover the make-up of mythology, the connection it has with a culture, and hopefully, through looking at another culture, the connections that tie us all together. There are a few things that should be looked at as goals for this unit. First off, this unit should broaden the student’s experience with the literature that is out there, and the cultures that relate to it. I’d like for the students to “take off the blinders” and look beyond our own culture. Secondly, I’d like to develop their creative writing skills. The only way to improve one’s writing is to physically sit down and write. Writing their own myth will both spur students’ creativity and advance their writing skills structurally. Finally, I am looking to get the students to not only retain the information that is presented to them but also to apply it in a useful and enjoyable manner. You can feed students as much information as you want, but if they don’t see a use for it and cannot apply it then the information means nothing and is not retained.Much of the work done throughout this unit will deal with constructing knowledge and sparking thought in order for the students to create their own myth. A number of class periods will be dedicated to reading and quizzing on The Odyssey. Afterreading The Odyssey the students will be given a few lessons on the make-up of myths, with examples relating back to the book. Information on mythological make-up cited in this unit can be found in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces. A paper dealing with how The Odyssey follows “classical” mythological structure will fit right in at this point. Following this, a number of shorter myths from various cultures (Roman, Egyptian, Norse, and Hindu) will be read over a period of days. A short test on the make-up of mythology--how myths are structured, how cultures relate to myths/the importance of them, and how well the student is able to apply the rules of mythology to a myth--will then be given. The final assessment will be a set of exercises culminating in the creation of a myth by a group of 4 students. This myth will be created after they have completed aWebQuest that lets them explore a culture, mythology, and mythological gods. This WebQuest taps both visual/spatial intelligence through a display of mythological gods and verbal/linguistic intelligence through writing in the creation of the myth. Though individual work takes place during this WebQuest, group work will dominate the exploration of mythology and the creation of the myth.I chose to use The Odyssey for the main reading because it is one of the quintessential myths present in “classic” literature. It possesses excellent examples of thedifferent aspects of mythology. The interest of the students will be acquired and retained because it is an enjoyable read with a storyline that moves along quite nicely. ComparingThe Odyssey with mythology from other cultures will give the students good comparisons/contrasts of mythology from culture to culture and also will demonstrate thestructures that are followed throughout mythology. All too often we focus solely on Greek mythology and fail to look at the mythology that is present from other countries and cultures. The WebQuest will tap the student’s interest in computers/the Internet and use that energy to obtain knowledge. Rather than the traditional format of teacher-led learning, the students are taking the initiative to acquire the information and will utilize it and apply it to create a myth of their own. Class SpecificationThis unit is geared for an 11th grade classroom. The students should be somewhat familiar with mythology by this point and able to look at and understand the various aspects of it. The content and application of it is not overly challenging, so it could be adapted for a younger age group, but there are topics and activities present that may be more appropriate for older students such as discussions regarding Odysseus’ captivity andactions while on Calypso’s island or the intensity and duration of the WebQuest and mythwriting. Being that a lot of the information needed to write the myth is present in the WebQuest, access to the Internet is paramount for this unit. Significant Assumptions- Students will come into this lesson with at least some knowledge of mythology, The Odyssey, Homer, Greek gods, etc.- Students are able to apply both classroom and inferred knowledge towards a final product.- Knowing the structure of mythology will better allow the students to understand and compose it.- Students are somewhat proficient at looking beyond their own culture, and discovering another.- Daily reading assignments will be completed by their due date (usually a day or two in the future).- Working in groups will allow the students to collaborate and pool their learning for an outstanding final product.Desired Outcomes/Standards/Objectives to be MetThe Minnesota Graduation Standard for Learning Area Three: Arts and Literature, Literary and Arts


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