ALEX Learning Activity


What Makes a Myth a Myth

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

You may save this Learning Activity to your hard drive as an .html file by selecting “File”,then “Save As” from your browser’s pull down menu. The file name extension must be .html.
  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Samantha Bonner
System:Jefferson County
School:Jefferson County Board Of Education
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2225
What Makes a Myth a Myth
Digital Tool/Resource:
East vs. West: Myths that Mystify
Web Address – URL:

This activity is used to introduce students to mythology. After this activity, learners will be able to identify and categorize the patterns found in various myths. Students will be able to write arguments to compare and contrast the patterns found in two myths.

This activity was created as a result of the ALEX Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 9
1 ) Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RL.9-10.1]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.9.1- Answer who, what, when, where, and why questions to analyze stories, using textual evidence and inferences as support.

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 9
20 ) Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. [W.9-10.1]

a. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. [W.9-10.1a]

b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge level and concerns. [W.9-10.1b]

c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims. [W.9-10.1c]

d. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing. [W.9-10.1d]

e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. [W.9-10.1e]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.9.20- Compose an argument to support a claim by stating a claim, providing facts or reasons supporting the claim, and providing an appropriate conclusion related to the stated argument.

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 9
23 ) Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 20-22 above.) [W.9-10.4]

Learning Objectives:

Following this activity students will be able to:

  1. Read an assigned myth and cite textual evidence to support whether it meets the criteria of a myth.
  2. Locate relevant textual evidence to support the argument proposed by the student.
  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  
Before/Engage, During/Explore/Explain

This learning activity should be used during a lesson on the creation of mythology. To begin this activity, students will complete an anticipatory guide on mythology. Students will be given three minutes to complete this guide. Next, they will turn-and-talk with their neighbor to discuss their prior knowledge of myths. The teacher will allow a few moments for the students to share before beginning the short video. During this activity, students will view "East vs West: Myths that Mystify." This activity will require students to view the video to learn the different patterns used to determine whether a writing is meeting the criteria to be considered a myth. The next stage of this activity is to view a power point presentation--Patterns in Mythology. Students can take notes to use to help cite textual evidence that confirms whether a myth meets the necessary criteria to be considered a myth. Following the viewing of both the short video and PowerPoint presentation, students will listen to a series of myths read aloud in class (they will have hard copies of each to read along). The selected myths are:

  1. How the Crocodile Got Its Skin
  2. How the Tortoise Got It's Shell
  3. Arachne, The Weaver

Students will then select one poem to analyze and determine if their chosen myth meets the criteria of a myth by completing the graphic organizer.

Assessment Strategies:

The following assessment strategies can be used to evaluate student learning:

  • Exit Slip Question: Do you believe the myths you read? Which pattern(s) stands out to you the most in the myth? (Answers can be written on an index card).

Advanced Preparation:

Teachers should have accessible copies of myths for the students. These stories should be accessible via Google Classroom, chrome book or another digital device, or hard copies. 

Variation Tips (optional):

To expand this activity teachers can have the students research their own myth to evaluate. 

Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: Arachne, cite, creation, crocodile, myth, mythology, textual evidence, tortoise