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Bringing Myths To Life

A curriculum module from Summer Institute for Educators participant, Lynn Bertucci

Topic : Bringing Myths to Life

Subject: Language Arts

Duration of Lesson: 

Grade Level:  5th

Rationale: Students will learn some African myths about creation and gods and mortals, and will add these to their repertoire of myths from other countries.



  • Define /explain what a myth is
  • Give an example ofa myth (ex: "How Native Americans Got Buffalo"-read in 3rd grade and perhaps myths popular in their native countries)
  • Learn about the power some myths have: (ex: from Helen Mugambi's session- belief inspired by myth about Kintu, and held in parts of Africa today, that women should not eat eggs or chicken because it could cause death of their children)
  • Work cooperatively in a small group to read myth, analyze characters/actions,demonstrate comprehension of material, and summarize
  • Learn new vocabulary
  • Learn about cultures in some African countries
  • Work with small group to tell myth to whole class via dramatic presentation
  • Locate Africa on world map and fmd countries where class-told myths originated
  • Work with cooperative group to apply what they've learned in order to create a new(original) myth that they will then present to class.
  • Become acquainted with some styles of African music
  • As an extension activity (art/social science), students will, in their groups, do body painting using symbols representing items in African myths.


African Studies Center