Writing a myth

Home learning focus

Learn how to write a myth.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos

  • three activities

Learn

Myths – the key features

Myths are old tales filled with magical creatures, gods and mystery. They are not based on facts or reality.

Watch this short clip explaining what myths are.

Many myths were created by early civilisations to make sense of things happening in the natural world around them, because they didn’t yet understand modern day science.

  • In Greek mythology the Titan Atlas carried the sky on his shoulders.

  • Similarly, Norse myth suggested that a god, Thor, would create lightning strikes within his huge hammer.

The gods, creatures and heroes in myths are supernatural beings often in a battle of good vs evil. They were also given human qualities to help teach people to live better lives.

Watch this video about a famous myth called The Fountain of Youth.

Find out about The Fountain of Youth myth.

Writing a myth

When writing a successful myth, there are key features to remember:

  • Characters - Myths are based on different gods who have different supernatural powers, often heroes and villains in a battle good vs evil, villains could be different creatures such as a three-headed dog.

  • Setting - Think about where the story is set often a magical place, use lots of description to describe the setting to the reader.

  • Journeys - What journey is the character going to go on?

  • Object - What object are they after?

  • Problems - Often the main character comes across a problem( or two) whilst on their journey.

  • Resolution - How is the problem solved?

  • Learning - What does the character learn to help them live a better life in the future?

There are lot's of different devices you can use when writing your own myth such as :

  • Relative clauses

  • Similes and metaphors

  • Personification

  • Expanded noun phrases

Practise

You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Activity 1

Before you jump in and start writing your myth, it's important to plan what you are going to write.

You could draw a story map or mountain or think about these key questions:

  • Where is your myth going to take place? - Think of adjectives you could use to describe what the setting is like, you could even draw a picture.

  • Who are the characters in your story? - What do they look like? How old are they? Are they a hero or a villain? Do they have a superpower?

  • What is the plot going to be? - What journey do the characters go on? What object are they trying to get?

  • What problems will they encounter? - Who do they meet on their journey? What have they been asked to solve? What happens?

  • How do they solve the problem? - How does the myth end?

  • What does the character learn? - What teaching does the myth have?

You could create a checklist of all the things you want to include.

If you need some inspiration or ideas watch The Banshee myth from BBC Bitesize.

Activity 2

Get creative and write your very own myth!

Top tip!

Remember, myths include supernatural humans, monsters or gods and often try to explain things happening in the natural world, eg thunderstorms.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, they are part of the writing process!

Activity 3

Well done for writing your myth!

Now, proofread it to see if there are any mistakes or ways you can improve your story.

Refer back to your checklist, did you include everything? If not, you could edit your myth to make it even better.

For a reminder of how to proofread, watch this video and then share your story with a friend or family member.

Find out how to proofread your writing to avoid errors

Where next?

In this lesson you have learnt how to use write a myth.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize to find out more about myths and legends:

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