The Epic Mythology Project 1

Recently, a colleague told me that she always struggled with teaching Mythology.  When I asked why, she said, “Well, it is just a lot of reading and it interrupts the actual Latin.”
Well, I’ve seen people make family trees or even teach Mythology in Latin, but here is something that came out of my work with my students on presentation and composition this year.
First, they get together in their group of 1-4 people.  They always have the option of working alone, though most choose not to use it.  Then, they pick their myth.  I give them a list to choose from, or they may pick their own if they want.  The amount of people in their group must reflect the complexity of their project, I tell them.  With the myths I give them on the list, I try to rank them.  e.g. Echo and Narcissus might be a 1, while The Many Loves of Zeus and the Labors of Hercules are both rated 4. They must have their myth approved by me.
From there, they take off on researching.  I give them a few resources, like MythWeb and Mapping Mythology, to start.  They have a week to research and pull ALL of their facts together.  Then, they write up their myth, In Their Own Words, in English.  They need to TELL the story, as a story, with dialogue, etc…. No writing up a summary and getting off easy!
From there, it’s time to present their myth to the class in English.  They must have a visual of some type.  They get to teach the story to the class, in as much time as you want to give them.
And now comes the fun part:  The group gets to translate the myth into Latin.  At the beginning of the project, we generated, together, a list of grammar we had worked on this year.  They had to use at least one of everything in their Latin myth.
Finally, the groups presented their myth in Latin.  They had to have a visual, which could be anything from a skit to a powerpoint to a prezi to a video.  It can’t be the same visual as they used in the English presentation and all text and dialogue must be in Latin.
This proved to be a particularly fun project.  The students loved becoming an expert on a myth and really enjoyed teaching the class about it.  They got an opportunity to compose a story in Latin, which they had a great time making a fun presentation out of.  This is one I am definitely going to try again!!

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