7th grade Myths and/or Legends novels?

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by 2ndyr secondary, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. 2ndyr secondary

    2ndyr secondary Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2008

    I am having a tough time creating my reading list for 7th grade. The theme of 7th grade at my school is Myths and Legends. Last year we read stories from the book Myths and Legends, The Odyessey, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Beowulf. Most of my students were not interested which made the reading even more difficult. I think I need more emphasis on the Legends side of the theme. Does anyone have any suggestions for novels appropriate to the theme that 7th graders might enjoy?
     
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  3. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Aug 8, 2008

    All of the stories you mentioned are high school level pieces in my district. Maybe that's why the kids had a hard time with it.

    What about doing a unit on Native American myths and legends or more advanced Tall Tales?
     
  4. Alisha

    Alisha Cohort

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    Aug 8, 2008

    I agree with the Native American myths; maybe you could compare various creation myths.
    I bet middle schoolers would be interested in ancient myths from Greece or Egypt. :) There are a lot of myths in those cultures, especially regarding how things came to be, you could let them make their own myth about how something in the world was created too.
    Also, when you're reading maybe it would be helpful to do a reader's theater or act it out?
     
  5. 2ndyr secondary

    2ndyr secondary Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2008

    Great ideas! Thanks. Do you know of any age appropriate novels that would go with these themes?
     
  6. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Aug 8, 2008

    Waterhorse: Legend of the Deep is a good myth movie. When we were in middle school we read Greek myths...well they were a little above our reading level so we read them and listened to them on tape. I wish I could think of something else. In the back of my mind I have an idea but its not quite coming out!
     
  7. Beth561

    Beth561 Comrade

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    Aug 8, 2008

    Navaho Indian Myths by Aileen O'Bryan
    Sacrifice by Eric Shanower
    The Great God Pan by Donna Jo Napoli
    And you might want to consider the story
    Whale Song: A Novel by Cheryl Kaye.
     
  8. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Aug 9, 2008

    We read Sword in the Stone in 7th grade and I loved it. There is a movie too.
     
  9. kstar03

    kstar03 Companion

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    Aug 9, 2008

    King Arthur legend is a great one....

    Some age appropriate authors are Jane Yoland
    Anne McCaffrey Black Horses for the King,
    Susan Cooper The Dark is Rising series
    Rosemary Sutcliff YA level ( 10-15 yrs) retellings of the legend

    You could incorporate the Journey of the Hero (Campbell) in your unit as well by using the Arthurian legend

    *Sorry, I just took a seminar class last year in the Modern Arthurian legend so I'm a huge fan, especially of using it in the classroom. Feel free to PM me if you want more information
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2008
  10. SashaBear

    SashaBear Companion

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    Aug 16, 2008

    Not sure what the reading level is but

    Tuck Everlasting
    whats the one where the girl talks to dolphins -- disney movie with marissa from the OC
     
  11. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Aug 16, 2008

    There's also The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Most of my seventh graders (boys and girls) read it for outside reading last year and LOVED it! Here's the blurb from Amazon.

    From School Library Journal
    Starred Review. Grade 5-9–An adventure-quest with a hip edge. At first glance, Perseus Jackson seems like a loser (readers meet him at a boarding school for troubled youth), but he's really the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman. As he discovers his heritage, he also loses that mother and falls into mortal danger. The gods (still very active in the 21st-century world) are about to go to war over a lost thunderbolt, so Percy and sidekicks Grover (a young satyr) and Annabeth (daughter of Athena) set out to retrieve it. Many close calls and monster-attacks later, they enter Hades's realm (via L.A.). A virtuoso description of the Underworld is matched by a later account of Olympus (hovering 600 floors above Manhattan). There's lots of zippy review of Greek myth and legend, and characters like Medusa, Procrustes, Charon, and the Eumenides get updates. Some of the Labors of Heracles or Odysseus's adventures are recycled, but nothing seems stale, and the breakneck pace keeps the action from being too predictable. Percy is an ADHD, wise-cracking, first-person narrator. Naturally, his real quest is for his own identity. Along the way, such topics as family, trust, war, the environment, dreams, and perceptions are raised. There is subtle social critique for sophisticated readers who can see it. Although the novel ends with a satisfying conclusion (and at least one surprise), it is clear that the story isn't over. The 12-year-old has matured and is ready for another quest, and the villain is at large. Readers will be eager to follow the young protagonist's next move.–Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
     
  12. Dynamite Boys

    Dynamite Boys Companion

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    Aug 16, 2008

    The Lightening Thief is great!!!!!!! My own children both loved it - one eighth grade and one sixth grade! I think it's a series and that is just book number one! It's really fun though!:)
     
  13. IowaLA

    IowaLA Rookie

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    Maniac Magee is also a great book about what makes a myth and what makes a legend. I use this book at the beginning of the year and this is one of the themes we discuss. The beginning theme is actually "What makes a Hero" so we start with reading Casey At The Bat, and then move on to Maniac Magee.
     
  14. Writer's Block

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    Sep 16, 2008

    Jumping in on this one. I teach 7th grade, and we do a unit on myths and legends. We read Rip Van Winkle, but I tie in Social Studies by taking a day and talking about the American Revolution, the Catskill mountains, etc.

    There is also a Mexican legend that is awesome. It's called "Popocatepetl and Ixtlaccihuatl" (pronounced: Po-po-ka-ti-petal and Ista-c-wattle). I love it and my students usually do too.

    Also in that unit, we do King Arthur, and last year, we read The LIghtning Thief for the first time. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it!
     
  15. Writer's Block

    Writer's Block Companion

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    Sep 16, 2008

    There is also another assignment we do with legends and fairy tales. In our text book, we have a Chinese Cinderella story and a Native American Cinderella story. The kids then have to find another Cinderella story from somewhere around the world. If you google "Cinderella from around the world" you get thousands of stories. Then they have a neat little project they do by making book jackets with compare/contrast things in there too.
     
  16. daiwa24

    daiwa24 Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2008

    I know you're looking for novels, but don't under-estimate the power of picture books for middle schoolers. That was a component of my master's research project and middle school kids not only love them, but they can get a lot of information out of them -- they enjoy the illustrations and still like being read to as well.

    Right now, we're starting our Native American legends project -- we discuss the literary and cultural elements that go into the legends, as well as the group's history. The students have to read a variety of legends as well as research a culture region group -- they then create their own legend that incorporates all of the parts (I even add one of the six pillars of character too!).

    Good luck with your search!
     
  17. villageteacher

    villageteacher Rookie

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    Sep 17, 2008

    Believe it or not, my 7th graders loved King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green. It's written in old English, but they really got into the action, romance, mystery, suspense . . . I do have to say, I did read from the book a lot to them, but they also took turns reading out loud. For the most part, we read as a whole class and I would have them do dialectical journals as we read. Our school is small and we don't have a big budget, so there were not enough books for the students to have their own copy.
     

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