A myth is a story based on tradition or legend, which has a deep symbolic meaning. A myth 'conveys a truth' to those who tell it and hear it, rather than necessarily recording a true event. Although some myths can be accounts of actual events, they have become transformed by symbolic meaning or shifted in time or place. Myths are often used to explain universal and local beginnings and involve supernatural beings. The great power of the meaning of these stories, to the culture in which they developed, is a major reason why they survive as long as they do - sometimes for thousands of years.

Elements of a myth

Myths are semi-true - they include elements of truth
Passed from person to person
Written, drawn or verbally told - sometimes immortalised forever as a statue (Greek)
Can be based on historic facts (e.g. there was a great earthquake that the
aboriginal people tried to explain with their Rainbow serpent myth)
Have heroic characters
Take place in fantastic (fantasy) settings
Can be about the spiritual beliefs of a culture

These are some ideas you can do with your kids:
  • Brainstorm with the class the names of some good and evil characters such as Pegasus, Achiles, Zeus
  • Explore the library and read about myths
  • Choose one myth and examine characters, setting, plot
  • Use of adverbs to describe the characters actions. 
  • Write the story in the 1st person. 
  • Write in the style of a fairy tale. 
  • Create your own myth
  • Look for some information here
  • Use information gathered from the site and brainstorm characteristics of myth
  • Explore this website about Greek Myths to find out about the characters, settings and plots and other elements of a myth

Download Athena free pack to work with your kids

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