Mythology Research & Presentation
9th Grade Language Arts
Step 1: Task Definition
- What is your purpose?
- Research and learn about an assigned topic or character in Greek mythology.
- Keep proper and complete works cited information.
- Teach the class about your topic in a seven-minute presentation using
- Write a short thesis-based research paper that is free of plagiarism and
contains a proper works cited page.
- What has to be done?
- Library Research: Orientation, Intro to the Big Six, Find Resources
- Computer Lab: Internet Research, Works Cited, and PowerPoint Presentation
- Keep Notes and Accurate Source Information (This does not mean printing
every web site you look at!)
- Generate an Essential Question
about your topic.
- By when?
- Library Orientation: October 8/9
- Library Research: October 12/13
- Computer Lab: October 16/19 & 22/23
- Classroom Presentations/PowerPoints: October 26/27
- Essential Questions:_________________________
- Research Papers
- First Draft: ______________________________
- Final Draft: ______________________________
Media Center Orientation -- Mrs. Jorgensen
Step 2: Information Seeking Strategies
- Which resources will be the most useful?
- Reference Books: Encyclopedia, Atlas, Almanac, Dictionary
- Non-Fiction: Books focused on various topics in mythology
Step 3: Location and Access
- Where do you find those resources?
- Library Catalogue
- Internet Search Engines
Step 4: Use of Information
- The Report (due October 26/27)
- Title slide with a graphic
- Five (5) content slides with no more than 20 words on each (topic
headings, not long passages of text)
- A properly formatted works cited slide (including web sites from
which you used pictures)
- Your presentation will include an oral “lesson” about the
myth or character: Present your information from memory; do not just read
- Your presentation will include an explanation of how this myth or character
applies to modern life, business, literature, or circumstances in the
news. (Where do we see this character or story in our own world today?)
- Your presentation should be four to seven minutes long. (No more than
- This is your chance to tell the story; you just have to report
what you learn. (The research paper will require more.)
- Remember: You are the expert. You should know how to pronounce the names
of places and characters. You should be able to tell the story from memory,
using the PowerPoint to enhance what you say, not to do the presentation
- Remember: Not everyone in the class has read your story. You have to
present it clearly, with the needed background information, so that everyone
will be able to understand the basics. This is why SUMMARIZING is very
Step 5: Synthesis
- The Research Paper (due
early in the second term)
- Your research will begin with an Essential Question. (See below for
- Your research paper will have a clear thesis
statement. (This means that it will not just be a report
about your topic.)
- You will develop your thesis by synthesizing the information you find
during your research. (The thesis itself is not something you find during
research; it is the conclusion you draw after putting all the research
- Your theis statement is the answer to your essential question.
- Your research paper will be at least 750 words long.
- Your research paper will contain proper parenthetical
documentation and a properly
cited page, neither of which will count in the total word count.
- This "Reverse Outline"
illustrates the organizational pattern you should follow.
- Your research paper will be organized in the same general format as
a standard academic
essay, but it may contain more than five paragraphs
- Introduction: Capture attention, mention main areas of focus, clearly
- Body: Clear topic sentences in each paragraph, plenty of specific
support (drawn from research) for topic sentences, transition/clincher
- Conclusion: Restate thesis and main points, close with a powerful
Step 6: Evaluation
- How will you know how you did?
- A final grade based on a specific Scoring
Rubric (Check rubric BEFORE completing final draft!)
- Praise and admiration of classmates
- Smiley Face on your final draft from a proud teacher
Your essential question is the one that your research paper will
answer and explain. Essential questions cannot be answered with just
a yes or no, nor can they be answered merely by reporting
facts you find in your sources. After considering your assigned myth
and comparing it to others (from your classmates' presentations), you
will be able to draw some conclusions about it. Your essential question
will arise from these conclusions. If your topic is a hero, consider
reading the stories of other heroes and comparing them. If your topic
is a story or quest, look for other similar myths and compare them.
(Find common plots and themes.) If your topic isn't a character with
human qualities--e.g., oracles, rivers, monsters--think about what role
it played for the ancient Greeks and determine what plays that role
for us today; compare the cultures. Big Time Hint:
Pay attention to your classmates' presentations! If you hear one that
would make a good comparison or contrast to your own topic, you might
fashion your essential question/thesis statement for your own research
paper from it.
Here are some essential questions that will lead to good thesis
How is the story of _____________ similar to other myths or familiar
How does the story of ________________ illustrate some of the common
themes in Greek mythology?
How does the myth of _______________ illustrate the ancient Greek ideal
of _____________ (a hero, war, pride, etc.)?
How do we see the personality/influence of ___________ in modern culture/literature/entertainment?
How does the story of ____________ illustrate similarities and/or differences
between classical mythology and modern religion?
How does the story of ____________ illustrate the similarities and/or
differences of people in ancient Greece and in modern America?
statement is a complete sentence that answers your essential question.
You then spend the rest of the paper providing organized and specific
evidence to prove your thesis statement. The evidence comes from the
facts you learned while researching your topic, and you organize it
in the standard
academic essay format. Here is an example of an essential question
and one thesis statement that might result from it:
Essential Question: How does the myth of Orpheus
illustrate themes common to other heroic myths?
Thesis Statement: The myth
of Orpheus illustrates this theme common to other heroic myths: Love
can make a man "soft" and cause him to bring destruction on
himself. (The writer of this paper would then organize it into sections
that explain the similarities between the myth of Oprpheus and other
heroes who suffered in a similar way because they fell in love. Each
body paragraph in the essay might compare Orpheus to a different hero,
so by the end of the story the reader not only knows the story of Orpheus,
but can also clearly see how his story illustrates a theme that appears
in the other myths as well.)
In order to learn about the mythology you will teach, you may need
to research in books like Edith Hamilton’s Mythology,
as well as those in libraries. You will also find a lot of information
about mythology on the Internet, but be sure you use information from
reputable sites. Also, remember that many mythological characters didn't
wear much clothing, so if you are looking for pictures to include in
your presentations, be tasteful. Here are a few sites that might help
get you started:
Women in Greek Myths
Greek and Roman Mythology
Public Library: Mythology