Freshmen A: What is mythology’s purpose?

Yesterday we ended class understanding that humans tell/create stories in order to make sense of the world and pass on knowledge or information (or to just entertain ourselves). Jumping off of there, today we looked at a particular type of story: the creation myth.

In groups of three and four students read one or two creation myths (a creation myth is a story about how the world began) from around the world and from different time periods. (One group wrote their own creation myth.)

After reading the stories, students answered these questions to present to the class:

-Where/when is your story from?
-Tell us about the characters
-Briefly summarize the plot
-Does this story connect to other stories you know?

After each group presented I asked what each story had in common with each other. For the most part, all these myths included some kind of higher being (like a god of some kind), or said that the world was created from some kind of natural disaster. In fact, many aspects of these myths are similar.

We ended class on these questions: What is the purpose of mythology? Why have we told (very similar) myths  for thousands of years?

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