Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bring World Myths and Legends In Art Into Your Classes:)

Validation of the many cultures that ELLs represent is a must in any classroom and especially mainstream ones. This can be done with ease through mythology and art and the Minneapolis Institute of Art's website does an incredible job of addressing both.

"Myths are stories that explain why the world is the way it is. All cultures have them. Throughout history, artists have been inspired by myths and legends and have given them visual form. Sometimes these works of art are the only surviving record of what particular cultures believed and valued. But even where written records or oral traditions exist, art adds to our understanding of myths and legends." (Minneapolis Institute of Arts).

In a mainstream class, students have the opportunity to learn about each other through myths and art. For ELLs, this is a moment to have the spotlight on them as their culture is explored as a part of the unit on myths. One feature of the site is that the myths are recorded so the entire class can listen if the teacher uses speakers or they can listen at their individual computers with ear buds.

To build writing skills, teachers could have students contrast/compare myths after listening to them. ELLs would most benefit from this activity if it is done with a partner. Working with others and using a note-taking graphic organizer would provide the necessary support for the ELL to do well. ELLs then could retell the story with a partner and then do a short recap of their favorite part or their favorite character in it.

Another fun activity is having students, in cooperative groups, creating their own original myths. Students could act them out, create cartoon strips, or write the story (differentiation of instruction).

Teachers could also weave in some short videos on popular myths if there is time. It might be considered a reward for a job well done:)


Hope you like the site!



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