Part of the reason I haven't been making much progress on my project lists is that I have been absorbed in reading for the mythology course I am teaching this fall. I have two sections of the class (it will be all juniors and seniors), and I'm really excited about it! While I consider myself decently versed in Greek myths, I'm not as comfortable with myths from other regions and cultures. Since finding out I had the class, I've been trying to dabble a bit in everything. I do have a course outline, courtesy of another teacher, so I should be okay if I stumble onto something I am unsure of!
In any case, I've been purchasing books left and right that I think might help me gain a little more knowledge. I'd like to share them all with you to see if you have any further suggestions and, well, to maybe get you to add one or two to your TBR pile. :) Hey, what are friends for, right?
This is actually the only "textbook" we have for the class, but it is a pretty standard overview of mythology, particularly the Greeks. I think Hamilton's book is pretty well-known and revered, so I'm excited to use it with the kids. There is a lot of great stuff in here, and most of it is pretty approachable, so it should be a great fit with the class (which should be a big mix of students and skill levels).
I have some easier activities planned for the first two weeks of school which revolve around the book and easing the kids back into a "school" frame of mind, so this will be a great place for us to start!
American Indian Myths and Legends edited by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz
I really wanted to supplement the materials I was given, so I thought that pulling in some stories from the Americas would be a great way to do so. This book kept popping up in my searches online, so I caved and ordered it. It is pretty extensive and covers multiple tribes. Some of the stories are pretty similar to one another, but I found some great stories that I'm going to pull in to my units (a great flood story and one about the trickster Coyote).
I will say that a couple of the stories shocked me in regards to their sexuality and content. Needless to say, those stories won't be read in class, and this is a book I won't lend out to students.
When I asked on twitter a few weeks ago for book recommendations, Sarah suggested this as a title to check out. I found a copy and ordered it, thinking this would be a great way to get myths from a variety of places.
Needless to say, I really like this volume. The myths are diverse in origin and I think they are written in a way that my high schoolers will enjoy them. There have been a few I haven't been a fan of, but I have marked quite a few to share with my students. There is great background information here!
This was another title that kept popping up when I was searching for books. While there are some Norse myths that are already in the material I was given, I figured why not have more to look at! :)
I really enjoyed the introduction of this book. Of all the sources I've looked at, I think this one had the easiest terminology to understand (yep, will definitely be using it). I also really enjoy the stories. Loki is a favorite of mine, so whenever he pops up, you know it'll be a fun story. :) I will say, however, that you need a bit more background to understanding who the gods/goddesses are before you begin reading. If you had no prior knowledge of any Norse gods/goddesses, you might be a bit confused at first.
I stumbled on this book yesterday when I was strolling through Barnes and Noble. I'll admit it was the green that grabbed me at first. :) After flipping through it in the store, I knew I had to get it. Unlike the other books I've mentioned, this is more of a reference book. There is some great information about myths and themes between cultures that I really liked. It also has a very broad and diverse range of myths and information. I see this more as a book I will use than something I will share with my students.
I'm also a big fan of the images in this book, as well as the biographical sketches of different people.
This last title is another that jumped out at me in the bookstore yesterday. What I really liked about this one is the condensed version of the information and the fabulous layout of the pages (summaries and images intermingled). This will be an invaluable reference book for me since it is easy to find information about all of the myths, as well as bright images to share with my classes. I can see myself turning to this one when a kid asks me a random question I don't know the answer to! :) I also think the summarized stories will be a great resource for those kids who need the story to be reinforced a bit more!
There you have it! The mythology books I am using to guide my way in this class. As always, I would love to hear recommendations for more sources and stories that I could use. Right now the class is set up rather thematically-creation, heroes, the underworld, floods, etc-but I am open to suggestions. I am also thinking of having the students look at modern mythology in connection with super and comic book heroes. Any help anyone could give would be much appreciated!