By: Jake Lepore and Zeeshan Haider
As of September of 2018, Wethersfield High School has a new english elective, Myths and Legends, that is available to all current and future upperclass students.
The class, taught by long-time WHS teacher Mrs. McKenna, has students plunge into the world of mythology and cultural tales so that they can see the importance of the stories and the influences that they have had on our world.
If you are worried about the class only focusing on Greek and Roman stories that everyone knows, don’t worry because this class covers multiple pantheons and cultures including Egyptian, Chinese, and Norse. As you journey through the different cultures, you will find many similarities between them and this includes the lessons that they teach.
Mrs. McKenna exclaimed, “I love that there are so many different myths and legends for every culture, yet many of these stories have similarities. You can find common elements in stories from different cultures and time periods: hero’s journey, sacrifice, themes, etc.”.
Myths and Legends is similar to other english electives in terms of the number of projects and papers that students will complete throughout the year. The semester course is broke up into four main parts,(myths, legends, fairy tales, and folk tales) and each part includes creative writing assignments and projects that display the students’ knowledge in each section of the class.
“It is about the same amount of reading and writing as the other senior English electives. We read many excerpts and passages from bigger texts, focusing on myths, legends, fairy tales, and folk tales. Students read a choice novel that is inspired by a classic fairy tale. We write several papers which involve creative and analytical writing.”
In terms of day to day work, Mrs. McKenna stated, “It varies by the unit. Many times, students choose a topic to investigate and report to the class. We read a variety of different sources, many of which are online. These provide us with a great variety of myths, legends, fairy tales, and folk tales. Most of the assessments involve writing: posts, essays, creative writing, and projects”.
What puts this class in a different category though is the freedom that students receive when it comes to writing. In other english classes, students are forced to write about a certain theme or book but in Myths and Legends, Mrs. McKenna allows students to pick what stories and ideas they want to write about, resulting in students working harder because they are writing about something that they are interested in.
We have both been involved in the class and we know from experience that this course is great to take before college because it resembles the freedom that you have beyond high school learning, and it focuses a lot on what students are interested in reading and writing about.
Myths and legends is a class that we believe everyone should take if they have the chance because it is different than the other senior english electives, as it doesn’t force students into reading one book or writing one specific way. This class is available for seniors during both semesters and students can either choose to be in level 1 or level 2.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.