As long as there have been people, there have been stories. From the stories told in paintings on ancient caves to the bedtime stories told to young children, stories make up our history and guide our future. They are powerful and are a part of every culture. They can teach morals, they can teach history. They can entertain us. They can make us think about things in ways we’ve never thought of them before. They can make us laugh. They can make us cry. Telling stories is a large part of what makes people connected to each other.
Storytelling has many key values for both the individual telling the story and the people listening to the story being told. Among the values that storytelling instils in its participants, is that it hones our literary and imaginative skills. We improve our ability to listen, speak, imagine and create stories. Storytelling broadens our awareness of our own as well as other cultures, allows us to understand ourselves better, and gives us a sense of belonging to a group.
Storytelling is also powerful in helping students recognise patterns in language, stimulating their powers of creativity, providing them with problem-solving and decision-making examples, and assisting students in developing skills in dialogue and co-operative interpersonal behaviour. There are many different types of stories, which are told for many different purposes. Mythology is one aspect of this wonderful world of storytelling.
Mythology is the world's oldest form of storytelling and myths are best described as stories or sets of stories holding significant symbolic meaning for a particular culture. Myths give us stories about civilisations and their struggles to survive and tell us about their victories against greed and evil. They often feature gods and goddesses, demigods, supernatural heroes/heroines and humans. They convey spiritual experiences and established belief systems, cultural traditions and behavioural models and are filled with symbolic meaning.
In this Classroom-Based Assessment, students develop their own storytelling abilities by applying the techniques of storytelling to create their own myth, prepare storytelling guides, adapt an existing myth or perform a myth for an audience. When creating a myth, or adapting an existing myth to a new context, students will learn how to bring an idea from concept to realisation. The myth can be presented in a modern context, or in the context of the ancient world, but must adhere to the conventions and techniques of writing a myth as explored in the classroom.
Through this Classroom-Based Assessment, students will explore:
- the benefits and purposes of using myth as a form of storytelling
- the key features of a well-told myth
- how to develop a myth and prepare it for an audience
- how to develop and refine their storytelling ability through the medium of myth.
Students can present their myth in a variety of ways, approaches, or in any way that reflects the essence of what it is they are trying to tell; the message or moral they are trying to get across. The following options could be explored by students:
- act out a story or myth
- write a version of a myth
- write their own myth
- adapt an existing myth or legend
- create a cartoon or a graphic novel of a legend or a myth
- present a myth in a visual style.
This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but serves to suggest an approach or a style that the student may wish to work in. The options above can overlap; there is no restriction on the choice that the students can make. The story can be presented in written, digital, visual or audio form, or any other format that is deemed suitable by the student and appropriate for capturing the essence of their ideas.
Underlying this Classroom-Based Assessment is a focus on the exploration of the purpose and understanding of myth as a form and medium of storytelling.
This Classroom-Based Assessment will be completed by all students towards the end of second year.