Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Myths and Fables

This week at Quest the year 5&6's had a visiting speaker from Massey University. Anastasia Bakogianni lectures in classics and specialises in Greek Mythology. She gave a very interesting talk looking at the main components of a Greek myth (a hero (traditionally male), a quest, a mythical beast (often female!), sometimes a love interest, help from a God etc). She looked at how Greeks often had warriors in their stories, as that was part of their lives back then. She showed examples of Greek myths and how many ideas have been used / changed for more modern stories, such as Percy Jackson stories. She also mentioned a tv series from the 80's called Hercules, which was filmed in NZ, and Xena warrior princess. Thanks to Jenny Lawn ho also works at Massey University for organising this.

The younger Quest classes have been looking at Aesop's fables. Aesop also lived in ancient Greece, and was reportedly a slave. His oral stories earned him fame. They are short stories, often with talking animals as characters, and always with a moral. We looked at some of the traditional fables and then looked at how other authors have copied some of the ideas and changed them a bit yo create their own stories. 'Frederick' by Leo Lionni is a good example. It follows the ideas from Aesop's 'Ant and Grasshopper'fable, with a difference.  Frederick is a mouse whose family is busy gathering food ready for winter. Frederick however spends his days sitting in the sun and staring at flowers, and dreaming and thinking. He is different. When winter comes they all have enough food to eat because of the hard work by the other mice. And Frederick begins to recall the sunshine and the flowers by telling stories and poems and helps the mice imagine a warmer time. So he was useful after all!. We looked at how different people have different stengths and it's important to have lots of different people in the world as it makes it a more interesting place. We looked at what they think their strengths are. So many varied strengths - great to see them all proud of what they do well.
Choices included  making a Kahoot Quizabout Ancient Greece, writing their own fable, researching about what grasshoppers do in the winter, reaing more fables etc. 

Next week we will be looking at writing our own myths / fables and thinking about presenting them - stop motion video, play, slideshow etc.

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