September 2016

     September themes that evolve around making  our world a better place to live in is a concept that can easily be adapted to the curriculum's focus for an entire learning year, no matter what the setting or theme may be. 

     September will highlight myth as a most comfortable approach to the  encouragement and discouragement of best and worse human qualities and vices; it is easier to spot ineffective patterns in communication when focused on a remote society. To overcome the barriers of an imperfect society, double standards and unspoken rules about ideal roles must be confronted and solved, for they leave puzzling  gaps with respect to acceptance and oppression in gender, for example.

     In mythology, the admirable traits of a main character are usually projected onto the listening audience because it knows that within the tale's events there exists a key  message. Likewise, ogres, beasts, and monsters force an audience to look at the predicament rationally by using judgment based on past experience. Past experience  is the most reliable teacher one can fall back on, and mythology is one more form of art  that may be used to identify and prevent unproductive consequences.

     However, lesson planning based solely on the ancient arts can make for a biased, ironical, and unrealistic concept of how life really was in the ancient community. Where oral legend, literature, and visual art often depicted aggressive female royalty as wayward, the ambitious nature of a male was always blatantly encouraged, accepted, and expected.  Today, that has slowly evolved for example, with the so-called pre-nuptial contract.

     Other myths and tales that teach effective and destructive behavioral patterns include King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Swan Maiden, Boewulf, The Golden Bird, The Golden Bough, The Trojan Horse, Romulus and Remus, and many others. The task of detail attention and sequence reversal in mythology is one traditional activity that reinforces the most admirable attributes and deeds of the hero. Our page, New Ways To See Myth, offers several easy ways to launch a unit based on Classical and Medieval literature to reinforce efficient problem-solving, among other objectives. Some excellent teaching resources are listed on that page.

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