1.Scavenger Hunt
3.Mythology Presentation

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Scavenger Hunt

Objectives: Materials:
Access to the Internet

If done right, mythology can be exciting for students to study. At this point, students will want to research mythological characters on their own. This lesson provides that opportunity. Explain that students will research these myths only to present them to the class. They will be graded on presentation quality, accuracy to myth studied, and display of some sort with the character in the center. Because middle school students really enjoy heroes and tales of love, I chose the following mythological figures (these studies will also provide background for them as they watch the film and study western literature:

  1. Jason of the Argonauts
  2. Hercules
  3. Perseus and Andromeda
  4. Theseus
  5. Apollo and Daphne
  6. Cupid and Psyche

In groups of no more than four, have students choose which myths they want to research. Remind them that the information they find needs to be presented well because the whole class will be evaluated on it.

Once students have chosen their myth of study, they will do the following assignment:

Mythology Project

Students will be placed in groups of three to do research on a Greek god or goddess of their choice. They will present their research to the class. The following web sites and literature material will aid in the exploration of your desired myth:



Mythology (Hamilton 1942)

Bullfinch's Mythology(Bullfinch 1979)


Mythology (Hamilton 1942)
Bullfinch's Mythology (Bullfinch 1979)


To present the information regarding the god or goddess, students may do one of the following projects:
a. Create a drawing of a god or goddess as he or she behaves in a popular myth. This includes writing a summary to include all of the research done on the subject.
b. Create a script and act out the myth researched dealing with the god or goddess. The scene should also compare the myth taken from the other culture to the Greek god or goddess researched.

All students will be asked to participate in the presentation while classmates take notes on the subjects. The information presented will be on the mythology test.
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Mythology Project

  • Students will work on projects assigned
  • Students will gather background information on other myths
  • Students will compare the new stories to the ones they have previously researched
  • Students will work together in groups and learn how to cooperate with one another
  • Students will evaluate various forms of literature through the use of listening.

  • Adventures for Readers textbook
  • "Phaethon, Son of Apollo" by Coolidge
  • "Demeter and Persephone" by White

Just one day of research does not give students enough time to finish collaborating on their projects. Hopefully, they have finished gathering all the information they needed in the computer lab the previous day. If not, students would always be allowed to use my computer in my room (not all teachers have that ability). For those students who are behind, it may be beneficial to check out the mythology books for students to use in the classroom (Bulfinch and Hamilton). This will allow students time to gather information needed.

While I wait for students to finish their projects, I will refer them to a few myths researched at the beginning of the unit. Two myths in particular will help illustrate the effects of change throughout literature. Students will have already gathered that a myth is defined as a story meant to explain natural phenomena that has been passed down from generation to generation. The passing down will be the focus of this lesson. We may explore the concept of change. I would use generalizations such as Change is inevitable, Change leads to Change, etc. Then I would have students explore the myths to see what other generalizations they can develop from the reading. Another important part of this unit is for students to see that literature changes over time based on author's interpretation just like movies change stories based on director's interpretation (something explored later).

The first myth students will need to remember is "Phaethon, Son of Apollo," found in the Prentice Hall book. Students will need a copy of the previous story, or at least their notes on it. I would then read the Adventures for Readers version of the same story, "Phaethon." After the latter version is read aloud, students may stay in their research groups to create a double bubble comparing the two myths. One difference, I will point out is that in the Prentice Hall version, Phaethon is the son of Apollo, whereas, in the Adventures for Readers version, Phaethon is the son of Helios, the Sun. These little differences can be used to prove the previous generalizations concerning change. This will also help students identify what happens when another author writes on the same story. I will have them do the same activity without my help by comparing "Demeter and Persephone," found in the Prentice Hall text, to "Origin of the Seasons," found in the Adventures for Readers text. Students will need to produce a double bubble mind map OR a venn diagram comparing the two stories.
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Mythology Presentation

  • Students will present research information to the class in an orderly and precise manner.
  • Students will be evaluated on presentation of material.
  • Students will take notes on presentations of myths
  • Students will be exposed to myths researched
Oral Presentation grading sheet
After allowing students some time to finish their research and organize the information to present to the class, students will present information to the class while their classmates take notes. The presentation should be graded as follows:

Mythology Oral Presentation Assessment

Names       ________________________________ Period: ________

Of          ________________________________ 

Students: ________________________________ Mythological figure: ____________

Category Excellent Great Good Average Poor
Content 8 6 4 2 1
Project 7 5 3 2 1
Eye Contact 5 4 3 2 1
Participation 5 4 3 2 1
____ _____ _____ ______ _____
Total: _______


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Teacher Readings
Adventures for Readers: Book One. "Classical Mythology." Orlando: Harcourt Brace
Jovanovich, Publishers, 1989.

Briggs, Joe Bob. "Discussion on Clash of the Titans." TNT: Monstervision. April 12,

Elements of Literature: First Course. "The Myths of Greece and Rome." Austin:
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1993.

Gunter, Mary Alice. "The Concept Development Model." Instruction: A Models
Approach. Ed. Mary Alice Gunter, Thomas H. Estes, Jan Schwab.

2nd ed. Needham Heights: Allyn & Bacon, 1995.

Prentice Hall Literature: Bronze. "Greek and Roman Myths." Englewood Cliffs:
Prentice Hall, 1989.

Student Readings
Bulfinch, Thomas. Bulfinch's Mythology. New York: Viking Press, 1979.

-------. "The Age of Fable,"

Coolidge, Olivia E. "Phaethon, Son of Apollo." Prentice Hall Literature: Bronze.
Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1989.

Graves, Robert. "King Midas's Ears." Elements of Literature: First Course.
Austin: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1993.

------. "Paris and Queen Helen." Elements of Literature: First Course.
Austin: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1993.

Green, Roger Lancelyn. "Narcissus." Elements of Literature: First Course.
Austin: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1993.

Hamilton, Edith. Mythology. Boston: Little, Brown, 1942.
------. "Baucis and Philemon." Prentice Hall Literature: Bronze. Englewood Cliffs:
Prentice Hall, 1989.

Ingalls, Jeremy. "Prometheus, The Fire-Bringer." Prentice Hall Literature: Bronze.
Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1989.

MacPherson, Jay. "Narcissus." Prentice Hall Literature: Bronze.
Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1989.

Peabody, Josephine Preston. "Icarus and Daedalus." Prentice Hall Literature: Bronze.
Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1989.

Warner, Rex. "Arachne." Adventures in Literature: Book One. Orlando: Harcourt Brace
Jovanovich, Publishers, 1989.

White, Anne Terry. "Demeter and Persephone." Prentice Hall Literature: Bronze.
Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1989.

Info on Greek Mythology
Dibon-Smith, Richard. " Mythical and Geographical Names,"

Parada, Carlos. (September 18, 1997)

Morford, Mark. "Classical Mythology Online - Chapter Topics,"

Hunt, J.M. "Greek Mythology,"

Cupid and Psyche
Darrin. "Who is Cupid?"

Perseus and Andromeda
Oakley, Chris. "The Legend of Perseus,"

Zuwerink, Adam and Tayter, Mike. "Andromeda,"

"Greek Mythology Hero, Theseus,"

Albright, Tommy. "Theseus's Birth."

"Greek Mythology Hero Heracles,"

Skidmore, Joel. "Greek Mythology: The Labors of Hercules," Mythweb, 1997.

Skidmore, Joel. "Greek Mythology: Jason, the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece," Mythweb, 1997.

Hartnett, John. "Jason and the Argonauts,"

"YOUR DICTIONARY - Jason and the Argonauts,"

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updated July 20, 1999

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These pages were developed through GirlTECH, a teacher training program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center. Pages copyright July 1999 by Sarah Fattore-Castro.
Thanks to the RGK Foundation and EOT-PACI for its generous support of GirlTECH.