Why are myths valuable?

What do they tell us about life?

As you read – or listen to – a myth, make a list of words and phrases that are essential to understanding the story.

• names of people and places
• their character traits
• the central problem
• what is still true about life, even today

When you have finished the story,…

  • Get together with a partner and decide on the twenty most important words for summarizing the myth.
  • Then get together with two more people and decide again: what are the ten most important words for summarizing the myth?
  • Choose a speaker who will share those ten words with the entire class.
  • While you listen to each group share its words, decide if you want to keep your own list or make some changes.

Finally, write your own 30-40 word summary of the myth:

1. Include the main characters.
2. Include the main problem and its resolution.
3. Include the ‘life lesson’ that is true even for people today.
4. Underline your 10 most important words from the story.

Rylant, Cynthia. The Beautiful Stories of Life: Six Greek Myths, Retold. Boston: Harcourt, 2009.
Includes the following myths: Pandora, Persephone, Orpheus, Pygmalion, Narcissus, Psyche. Beautifully written for reading aloud.

“In the story of Pandora, Prometheus‘s actions create consequences. Zeus is set out for vengeance on mankind. Epimetheus‘s weakness is love and with that Zeus creates a woman named Pandora, who is perfect except for one quality, patience. Pandora arrives to Epimetheus with a box that was not to be opened, but she does letting out suffering. She traps hope, so now darkness is where we find hope.” Sophie

Prometheus stole fire from Zeus. But actions create consequences, so Zeus created a woman named Pandora, for Epimetheus, Prometheus’ brother. Pandora was perfect except one quality: patience. She opened the…box releasing demons, leaving…behind, Hope. Now darkness is where we find hope.”  Raelyn

“The first woman was sent to earth by a vengeful Zeus, to punish Prometheus for stealing fire from the gods. Pandora was sent to Epimetheus, the brother of Prometheus, along with a forbidden box which ,when she opened [it],  released suffering into the world as winged demons, but she captured hope and saved it.” Michael


Print Friendly, PDF & Email