22 Jun 2014

Myths and Legends...a reading/writing focus

For two weeks we are having a myths and legends literacy focus, as a flow-on from our inquiry about space, during which my release teacher worked with the children on activities based on a variety of space-related myths eg why the moon is in the sky and how we have the night and day etc.

My intention is that the pupils will read some other Maori myths, with the focus on comparing the elements of the myths, before then writing their own myths to explain a physical phenomenon that is space related eg why there are stars in the sky or why the moon is white etc.

Here is the cover sheet that all pupils will have in their books for reference and tracking (Google docs) and here is the comparison chart that they are to fill in as they read (and will refer to in the second week as they write their own myth or

Pupils will have compulsory set tasks that involve close reading, sequencing, word studies and comprehension tasks for each myth (from the resource 'School Journal Theme Units, Yr 4-8, Myths and Legends' by Meryl Hughson, published by Curriculum Concepts, 2000).  It uses some school journal stories from 1981 - 1995.

I have made up a list of free-choice response activities that I have generalised so they can be applied to any of the stories that the children read. There are rules as to which activities pupils can choose and how long they can spend on the tasks during class-time (as we know, with children an expectation has to be set and they have to be accountable to it or nothing will be achieved!)

This resource by Raymond Huber has a great definition of myths and tree diagrams to help pupils clarify the differences between myths, folk tales, fairy tales and legends, as well as activities for teaching children about the different elements of myths such as heroes and magical creatures. If I was spending a lot longer on the theme then these would be activities that I would use!

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