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What Are the Best Tips for Teaching Mythology?

By Meghan Perry
Updated May 23, 2024
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There are many possibilities and tips for successfully teaching mythology and many creative learning strategies that can be utilized to enhance student learning, in addition to the basics. Combining the basics with creativity might be one of the best tips for teaching mythology, because it provides students with the background knowledge of mythology and allows them to explore it further in ways that might be more interesting to them. This will help them retain the knowledge more effectively.

Many types of mythology exist. There is cultural mythology, such as Greek mythology or Norse mythology, as well as types of myths, such as creation myths. The tips for teaching mythology can be applied or adapted to nearly all types of mythology. Before some of the creative ideas can be utilized, however, it is important that students have a general knowledge of whatever type of mythology is being taught. It is up to the instructor to define the mythology and the types of myths, as well as to provide information about the vocabulary, terminology and geography specific to whichever types of myths are being taught.

After students have the necessary background information, which might be provided through a lecture or an audiovisual presentation, for example, creative activities can be introduced to allow students to explore mythology further. One option for teaching mythology beyond the basics is to have students write a research paper. This paper could be on a specific god or goddess who is part of the mythology, or it could be about the heroes in mythology. There are a variety of options, but through an assignment such as this, students not only will have to research on their own, they also will practice their writing skills.

Another tip that could be useful for teaching mythology is having the students participate in a letter writing activity. In this activity, the students could either write a letter to a specific god or goddess or write a letter in the persona of a specific god or goddess. Another option would be to take on the persona of a god or goddess and keep a diary based on a specific myth.

Creating games is another option for teaching mythology. One option would be to have students form small groups and create a board game, and then different groups could try out the different games. Another option would be to create a mythology quiz game in which the entire class could participate. These types of games should get students actively involved in learning about mythology.

There also are artistic activities that can be used effectively for teaching mythology, such as designing mythology trading cards or making a mythology comic strip. A wide variety of options are available for teachers to utilize in a mythology course. These activities can get the students interested in the subject and enhance their learning.

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Discussion Comments
By croydon — On Jul 13, 2014

@Ana1234 - Recently I was teaching in a school with a very advanced technology program and they had the students filming modern versions of myths to put on the school website. It was actually pretty hilarious, because the spin they put on some of the stories was very modern and probably not quite true to the original.

But it was very good teaching, as they had to do all of the filming and editing and various other things themselves, as well as work in a group and compile research on their particular myth.

It also meant that the students got to watch each other's work and learn about the myths they didn't research themselves.

By Ana1234 — On Jul 13, 2014

@pastanaga - I had a teacher who insisted on acting out myths with us, probably because she was also a drama teacher. It was good though, because it helped us to see the underlying point of the story sometimes when we might have otherwise missed it.

I quite liked mythology in general though, so if anything I found the drama a little unnecessary. I would have been content just sitting there in class with a book on myths.

By pastanaga — On Jul 12, 2014

I've got to admit, my favorite part of learning mythology in class was when the teacher would select a movie with lots of references to whatever we'd been learning and would get us to watch it and pick out all the bits we knew.

So, for example, after learning Greek and Roman mythology, we watched the Disney movie Hercules and had a really good discussion over the choices they had made in changing characters or adding bits from other legends.

It got to be a bit of a competition, because we were all trying to find the different names or references that we recognized.

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