Summer SAVY Session 4, Day 1, From Myth to Modern Legend (Schwartz)
Day 1: Our class on Greek mythology is off to a rollicking start! This morning, students introduced themselves and each other. We talked about the norms and goals of our class and some of the ways that Greek myths show up in modern culture. I enjoyed getting to know a little bit about the students as they shared about themselves with each other and with the class.
Next, we began to read some of the stories of the Greek gods and goddesses from D’Aurlaires’ Book of Greek Myths. Students responded positively to the opportunity to read and listen. We paused periodically for note-taking or interactive activities, such as creating a family tree of the gods and goddesses or watching clips from modern films in which ancient Greek characters appear.
The goals of our class have as much to do with students learning to see themselves as great storytellers as it does with them learning about myths. To this end, after lunch, we read Alice Jones’s poem “Persephone,” which presents three different perspectives on Persephone’s journey to the underworld. Students wrote incredible poems and/or paragraphs from Persephone’s point of view giving their own interpretations of her dilemma.
We concluded our day by brainstorming the board games that will constitute one of the two culminating projects of our class. For inspiration, as we worked, we began Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, which we will continue to read and watch excerpts from over the course of the week. When students leave this week, they will have at least the beginnings of a playable board game where the player wends their way through the treacherous and exciting world of Greek mythology. Students will also create an original story that retells or iterates upon a classic myth.
I cannot wait to delve deeper into these myths with our students and help them develop their own original creations!