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Myths, Legends, and Tales

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1 Myths, Legends, and Tales
A myth is a story that was created to explain the mysteries of the universe. A legend is a story handed down from the past that is believed to be based on real people and events. A tall tale is a humorous story about events and characters that are exaggerated.

2 Model 1: Myth “How Day and Night Came”
What mysteries of the natural world does the myth explain? The myth explains why chipmunks have stripes on their backs. 2. Describe the plan the chipmunk devises to divide day and night. The chipmunk’s plan is modeled after the rings on the raccoon’s tail.

3 Sal Fink What qualities make Sal Fink “larger than life”?
Her talents and skills are known far and wide. She is able to ride on the back of an alligator and duel with a thunderbolt. 2. What else has Sal done that seems unbelievable or exaggerated? Sal has outraced a steamboat using a much smaller boat with no engine.

4 Part 2: What Can Stories Teach Us?
Cultural Values are the ideas and beliefs that are honored by a particular culture. 1. Consider how the gods respond to Philemon’s actions. What can you infer about the kinds of behaviors that were rewarded in ancient Greek culture? The Greeks rewarded kindness and generosity toward everyone, even strangers. The probably frowned upon selfishness.

5 Baucis and Philemon 2. Reread the boxed text. What does it tell you about how the Greeks felt about their gods? “To have spoken with the immortals face to face is a things few men can boast of…” Philemon feels both humbled and proud to know that he is one of the few people who have had the opportunity to speak with the gods face to face. This shows that Greeks honored and valued the gods.

6 Part 3: Analyze the Literature
Ancient Greek myths are more than 3,000 years old, so why are we still drawn to them? With their mighty heroes, flawed gods and goddesses and supernatural events, Greek myths still have the power to entertain.

7 The Story of Ceres and Proserpina pg. 647
Classical myths are ancient stories that were used to explain the world of gods and goddesses who ruled over it. Passed down by word of mouth for generations, these myths: Explain how something in the world, such as the seas or mountains, came to be. Feature gods, goddesses, and other beings with extraordinary powers.

8 Reading Skill: Recognize Cause and Effect
The events of a story are often linked by cause-and-effect relationships. That is, one event acts as a cause, directly bringing about another event, or effect. The effect might, in turn, be the cause of another effect, creating a chain of events. However, these beings often have the same emotions and weaknesses as humans.

9 After reading… How long does Ceres search for Proserpina before Hecate visits her? Ceres searches for nine days. Hecate visits her on the tenth day.

10 After reading… 2. How does the myth explain the changing of the seasons? When Proserpina lives in the underworld with Pluto, her mother is so upset that she does not allow the crops to grow, and the seasons change to fall and winter. When Proserpina lives on Earth, Ceres is happy, and the seasons turn to spring and summer.

11 After reading… 3. In what ways does this myth demonstrate the gods’ influence over people on Earth? Explain. The people depend on Ceres for their crops, and they bring gifts and offerings to Jupiter. The changing seasons show that the quarrels of the gods can affect life on Earth.

12 After reading… 4. Why might a story about the power of love and loss be used to help explain the change of seasons? Love is such a strong emotion that it is easy for people to relate to the joy and heartache of love to changes in the natural world. People also tend to associate fall and winter with sorrow and loss, and spring and summer with happiness.

13 After reading… 5. What power do the following gods have?
Jupiter-other gods do his bidding, and Ceres seems powerless against him Ceres-goddess of grain Pluto-keeps Proserpina in the underworld for half of every year

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