To better understand how myths explain natural events we read the story of Artemis and Orion found in D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths (Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc., 1962) on pages 44-49.
Students spend the bulk of class time reading the second in a series of myths chosen by their small group. Each group chose four from a group of eight to read over a two-week period. Although I am happy to have given students a choice in what to read, it does pose a problem when it comes to meeting the needs of struggling readers. To manage this, I review each group’s choices and in some instances have them rearrange the order of the myths they want to read so that I can meet with certain students at the same time. Another way to address this concern is to group students together that need support. Although in many cases, I find that grouping students with others that they get along well with and who are strong readers and good role models is extremely beneficial.
You may need to remind students that it is important that during the time set aside for reading the room is very quiet. The good news is it doesn't take long before everyone settles in and get wrapped up in the plot.
To be sure students comprehend what they are reading, each one answers a set of comprehension questions and fills out a chart identifying the common characteristics of myths. Just like the reading, this work is completed independently. Tomorrow students have the opportunity to meet with their group and review this work. An example of student work appears here. A copy of the answer key for the comprehension is available here.