Lesson plan

Myths and Man

Popular fiction throughout the ages colors the way people speak. In this short lesson, students will read a myth and non-fiction paragraph in order to identify and define words that come from mythology.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to identify and define words from mythology that are used in fictional works.

(5 minutes)
  • Introduce the lesson by talking to the students about fairy tales.
  • Since this not a new genre or topic for them, use 'activation' questions to get them responding and excited. Some examples of activation questions are: Can anyone name a myth? Can you tell me what a myth is? Do we say anything in normal conversation that might come from a myth?
  • Odds are that last question will stump most, if not all, of the students. Use it as the lead in. For example: "It's okay if you can't think of anything right away, because that is what we're going to learn about today!"
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to get out their pencils.
  • Pass out Myth Madness packet.
  • Use the word 'herculean' in a sentence and write the sentence on the board, underlining 'herculean.'
  • Ask the students to write down the sentence, underline or highlight the word herculean, and then underneath, write a sentence telling what they think the word means.
  • Allow a few students to share their definitions.
  • Define the word and ask how they knew (if they did) that it meant being strong or having large amounts of strength.
  • Tell them that the word comes from old myths and stories about Hercules, a strong demi-god in Greek mythology.
(5 minutes)
  • Go over the instructions of the Myth Madness packet.
(30 minutes)
  • Have students work on the Myth Madness packet independently.
  • Students will finish the five page packet and turn it in for grading.
  • Enrichment: Advanced students may write another modern story and include the words from their packet in their new tale. They may create a script for the fairy tale or for a new story that uses mythological language, to be acted out for their classmates later on.
  • Support: Struggling students may work in small, mixed groups to obtain peer tutoring. They may also read the stories aloud to each other. If needed, allow them to work on the Greek Myth word search as a replacement for some of the pages in the packet.
(5 minutes)
  • Review students' responses in the packets to assess their understanding of the lesson content.
(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that those stories are not the only ones that have impacted our languages. Fictional stories are so important that they have woven their way into our everyday life.
  • Ask reflection questions such as: Can you think of other stories that sparked the use of certain words or phrases?
  • Tell students, "After you leave class today, I want you to pay close attention to everyone around you and really listen to what they are saying. Do they use a word or phrase that might come from fairy tales?"

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