Comparative World Mythology$90
About this course
Recommended Ages: 10-16
Start Date: October 1. Class runs for 6 weeks. Students have 2 extra weeks to complete the class after the last lesson plan is posted. No live classes- do the lesson plans on YOUR schedule.
Space Available: This class is not currently available for enrollment. Please join our mailing list to be notified when it opens again.
World Mythology will be a six-week look into the stories and parables that make up belief systems of cultures across the globe from ancient history to today. This class will be a comparison of these systems and will build an understanding of the archetypes that make up mythology. As we explore different stories, we will begin to discover some of the major similarities in stories from across oceans. We will begin by taking a look at the archetypes that span cultures with a special focus on the Hero’s Journey. After covering the basics of mythology and how to study it comparatively, we will begin delving into stories from across the world and drawing comparisons between them based on the archetype of the week. By the end of the course, the student will have the ability to identify different types of mythology and mythological figures. They will also be able to adequately compare myths and apply the archetypes to new stories that they come across. Finally, they will be opened up to a wide variety of mythology from Asia and Africa to the Americas and Europe.
This is an academically advanced class, and not recommended for most children under 10 (but we trust that you know your child’s abilities better than we do!). Younger students 10-12 should usually be placed in Level 1. Students age 13 and up, or younger students who are academically gifted, should be placed in Level 2. Level 2 students will have more rigorous homework.
LESSON PLANS: This is a 6 week class. Students have 2 weeks after the last class is posted to complete all work. Weekly lesson plans are posted on Tuesdays by 5pm Pacific Time. There is no “live” component to this class, which allows students to work at their own pace. This is a great option for busy students who need to work on their own schedule, and students who live all over the world and can’t easily coordinate time zones.
Lesson plans are a combination of power point, graphics, video, and audio. Each slide is fully narrated for students who prefer to hear material read to them. There is no textbook for this course.
DISCUSSION:There are weekly discussions about the lesson plan with the instructor. We also offer an “open talk” forum where students can have fun getting to know their classmates!
ASSIGNMENTS: Material is the same for both levels, it’s the depth of the assignments that is the main difference. Most weeks, students get to choose from a list of exciting and fun hands on projects to let them really dig deep into topics in the lesson plan that interest them the most! The goal is to allow students to explore the topic while allowing their creativity to flow. We encourage out of the box thinking! Generally projects can be submitted in any format of the student’s choosing…written, presentation, poster, stop motion animation, minecraft, song, skit…we’ve seen it all!! Check out our facebook page for examples of student projects. All students receive instructor feedback on submitted work.
QUIZZES: Online quizzes are available each week as a tool for students to see how well they understand the material. Format is generally multiple choice, matching, true/false, and fill in the blank.
GRADES: All students will have access to our online learning system where they can view their lesson plan and assignments, take optional quizzes, access our discussion boards, submit assignments, and view instructor feedback on those assignments. You have the option of having your student’s assignments graded or not. In a given semester, you choose whether you want all or none of that student’s classes to receive grades (for example, if they are taking 3 classes, all 3 classes must be either graded or not graded). You can change the option the following semester. Graded students will be required to take the weekly quiz and will receive a number grade for their assignments in addition to feedback. They will also receive a final report card that you can print and keep for your records. Please note: All quizzes and some homework assignments that require an online “quiz” like entry will receive a grade.
TIME: In general, expect 1-1.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time).
Week 1: The Hero’s Journey
The first week of World Mythology starts with an overview of Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. Also known as the “monomyth,” the hero’s journey is a framework that can be applied to many myths, both ancient and modern. After learning about the steps in the hero’s journey, we will be applying it to a few modern day favorites. The week concludes with a look into a couple epic poems that the hero’s journey applies to.
Week 2: Creation Myths
Creation is a topic that most major mythologies cover. Creation acts as the beginning of most mythology, and it will also act as a starting point for our look into comparative mythology. There are common themes in many of the stories but also some interesting differences. Finally, we will take a look into a few of the creation stories from around the globe and compare and contrast them.
Week 3: Fathers, Judges, and Creators
This will be a look into a few of the major deities that play roles as fathers or judges, deities like Zeus and Odin. As with each week, we will start by looking into some of the common themes that come up when looking at these types of stories. The bulk of the week will be made up of looking at a few of the different stories that fall into this type of myth.
Week 4: Sons and Daughters
This week’s subject matter ties into week 3’s. However, we will be taking a look at the father deities as they are viewed from the perspectives of their children, like Athena and Jesus. We will look at some of the common themes that tie these stories together, then we will apply those themes to a few of the stories about sons and daughters of some of the most supreme deities in mythology.
Week 5: Gods of Death
Week 5’s focus is on the various gods and goddesses of death that appear throughout most mythology, like Kali and Osiris. Again, we will be taking a look into the common themes that unite these types of myths across the planet. Then we will apply those themes to a few of the stories to compare commonalities and find a few interesting differences.
Week 6: Tricksters
Trickster gods, like Loki or Old Coyote, are found throughout the world’s mythology. They often act as catalysts for change or cunning influences on the other deities around them. For our final week, we will look into many of the stories that tie together these interesting characters in mythology.
Our course begins with the first step for generating great user experiences: understanding what people do, think, say, and feel. In this module, you’ll learn how to keep an open mind while learning.