Freshmen Embark on New Adventures

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Freshmen Embark on New Adventures

By Wendy Baxter
9th grade English teacher

Slider-FreshmenEmbarkonNewAdventuresFreshman students are beginning a new unit that focuses on international mythology.  “It’s very interesting, and there are exciting stories about gods, goddesses, and monsters,” said Brian Martinez, a 9th grade student.  Homer’s The Odyssey is the anchor text, but students’ learning will also be supplemented with several creation stories from around the world, such as the Iroquois Creation Myth and the African Bushman Creation Myth.  Before reading The Odyssey, a summary of the Trojan War will be provided to build background knowledge and increase understanding of the epic poem.  Students will also define what qualities make a person heroic and learn about oral tradition, epic poetry, and literary elements found in stories about the hero’s journey.

Over winter break, students will begin inquiring about mythological creatures, gods, goddesses, and monsters.  Aaliyah Lopez said, “All of the stories behind the gods and goddesses are so exciting.”  They will research how various myths connect with today’s world and find modern day examples that stemmed from stories that people told thousands of years ago, such as the Nike company which connects back to the Nike goddess of victory myth.  As an extension activity, students can choose to either write their own myth or create a visual representation of a mythological creature, god, goddess, or monster.  Students will craft images and names for characters in their stories and share them with each other when they return from winter break.  Pedro Samano said, “I want to learn about the history of gods and goddesses from other countries like Japan,” so he will be investigating this inquiry-based topic over break.  As a culminating summative assessment, students will choose a topic from a menu of activities and demonstrate their skills and knowledge growth throughout the unit.