Reading for enjoyment is becoming increasingly difficult to foster in today's digital era. There is something about mythology that has a way of connecting to students who would otherwise not read independently. Currently, students have little exposure to mythology beyond The Odyssey in ninth grade.
I work at a high school in Missouri of roughly 1400 students.
Our district is a unique rural/suburban hybrid that services students of many socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. In 2011, 42% of our students qualified for free and reduced lunch, a rise of nearly 5% from the previous year. Many come from families that are simply struggling to get by. Trips to the library or the local bookstore, quite frankly, are the last thing on the mind of many parents.
I am requesting classroom sets of two anthologies of mythology that would encompass all of the key stories from Greek, Roman, and Arthurian legends for a new Mythology course. This course will center on introducing mythology to students as not only a part of the past, but also its legacy in modern literature and popular culture. Students will survey stories from world mythologies across cultures and time periods (primarily Greek and Roman), analyze the values and beliefs those stories convey, and identify common characteristics found in the genre. Periodic exams, projects, and/or presentations will be given to evaluate student learning and connections of the content to everyday life and culture.
Like many suburban/rural students, many of mine are somewhat sheltered and do not have much of a worldview beyond our little corner of the world.
I have taught thousands of students who are hungry for knowledge and open to expanding their perspectives of the world. We do the best to expose students to texts that can compel the critical thinking that will be expected of them in the real world, but are severely limited financially in terms of adding any new resources.
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