Friday, November 21, 2008

The Labors of Heracles....

Dear Mythology Kids,
I am so proud of those that presented this week; it was clear that you had done your research! I will look forward to the presentations regarding Odysseus on Tuesday.

In preparation for your quiz on Tuesday, I have included a "practice quiz" for you below. Please print a copy of it, record your answers, and then bring it to class on Tuesday. We will correct it prior to taking the official quiz. Yes, you will receive extra-credit for each question you answer correctly.

For those of you you missed class today, Friday, November 21st, we discussed the following monsters associated with Heracles. In order to be prepared for the quiz on Tuesday, I would contact a friend that is currently in Mythology, or learn more about the characters through research.
1. Cerynian Hind
2. Stymphalian Birds
3. Man-Eating Mares of Diomedes
4. Amazons (Girdle of Hippolyta)
5. Hesperides
6. Ladon
7. Nessus
8. Hebe

Practice Quiz covering "Monsters associated with Heracles"
1."Stop acting so juvenile." _____________/_______________
2. "My car was stuck in the snow." _______________
3. We hate the sound of baby rattles. _______________
4. French, German, Latin, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Turkish, Arabic...the list could reach 100. __________________
5. While at the beach, a crab bit my heel (labor). ______________
6. "Hey, boss, you taste like chicken." ______________
7. Apollo is our master . ______________
8. Golden horns and bronze hooves _____________
9. Apples are a precious gift that must always be guarded ______________
10. "What a beautiful fur coat you have."
"Thank-you, it's made of steal." _________________
11."I would have gladly given him my belt." __________________
12. "Love Potion" ____________
13. Foul Fowls ________________
14. Third and immortal wife _____________/_____________
15. My blood is toxic _____________
16. I am suffering from cancer (labor) _______________.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

If you missed class on Wednesday, Nov. 19th...

Your presentations began TODAY! Each group that was present submitted their handouts, and then we had presentations covering the following characters:

The Muses



Nemean Lion


Eurymanthian Boar

We will continue with the monsters and lesser gods associated with Heracles on Friday. If you missed class, then you will need to obtain the handout covering the above characters upon your return. In addition, you will need to submit your handouts to the class. DO YOUR BEST TO NOT MISS CLASS!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Power of RESEARCH!

If you missed class on Thursday, we spent the majority of our time in the library researching the particular characters that were assigned to you on Tuesday! If you were not in class, then you need to make sure you have the following for Monday.

1. The information you are going to use for your web site must be written down on one piece of paper. The students that were present on Thursday, were given an "outline" of how they are to record their information. I would prefer that you use this; however, under the circumstance, you will not have this handout. So, use a blank sheet of paper, divide it vertically, and record the information about one character in the left column and the other character in the right column.

2. You should also select the images you want to include on your web page to help us. Please select these pictures through "Google Images," and record the URLs for each image on "your" outline. You must include the URLs in your work cited, so you might as well record them here, too.

3. Remember that you need to have a total of FIVE SOURCES (two from the Internet, and then three from book sources). I am also requiring that you record ALL of your works cited information on your outline, as it needs to be posted on your web site, which we will create in class on MONDAY.

4. ALL of your information needs to be recorded in ONE LOCATION! I will check this off when I see you in class on Monday.

5. Let me know if you have any questions. You can reach me via e-mail at

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Welcome to the monsters and lesser gods of mythology!"

Are you caught between a Scylla and a Charybdis?
Do you know what I am asking in the above question? Scylla and Charybdis are two monsters found in Greek mythology. They are located next to each other, on either side of the Strait of Messina. In The Odyssey, Odysseus must travel between these two monsters. The problem he faces is deciding which one is the "lesser of two evils." If he travels towards Scylla, she will devour six of his men, one for each of her dog-like heads, while Charybdis, a whirlpool with teeth will swallow all of them. He is faced with a difficult decision, but he realizes that choosing Scylla over Charybdis is the better of the two options. So, when you are caught between a "Scylla and a Charybdis" it means that you are caught between two difficult decisions, neither of which has a positive outcome.

This image depicts two of Scylla's six heads. She eats six of Odysseus' men.
This image depicts Odysseus traveling between the two monsters.

If you missed class on Tuesday, Nov. 11th..... We did the following:

1. Submitted our Nature Myth Revisions along with our First Drafts.

2. Read through the information regarding our Lesser gods and Monsters research assignment. Each student was given the option of working with a partner or on an individual basis. We then drew the characters that we will be researching. If you missed class, I drew for you. All the students in b2 (but one), and b4 were present. So the following list pertains primarily to b1`students. The b2 student that was absent can find herself located below the list of b1 students!
Briaunna/ Mollee= The Lotus Eaters and Laestragonians (Odysseus)Marlyse/Jeremy=Polyphemus and Tiresias (Odysseus)
Jonathan B./Helen K.=Stymphalian Birds/Cerynian Hind (Heracles)
Nichole/Christi=Scylla and Charybdis (Odysseus)
Emily/Annie= Hydra/Eurymanthian Boar (Heracles)

Each student was given the assignment to research their particular characters via the Internet prior to class on Thursday. Each student should have a HARD COPY of their Internet sources when they come to class. In addition, each source should be underlined and/or highlighted with information about their research topic and how the characters relate to the specific hero indicated in parenthesis.

Eventually each partnership will create their own web page detailing the information they discovered about their characters; however, prior to creating the site, you must do some research! We will be researching in class on Thursday, but I expect you to do some research at home before returning to class. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to e-mail me (

I have included some images of several of the monsters you will have the opportunity to learn more about through this assignment!

This is a Siren...beware of her deadly song, as it is irresistible, and only death awaits you!

This is a Stymphalian Bird. Their beaks and feathers were made of bronze.

This is the Hydra. It has nine heads, and when a head is "removed" two will grow back in its place.
These are the Graea or Grey Witches. They shared one eye and one tooth between them.
The Amazons are women that you did not want to challenge in battle. They possessed no fear, and their martial skills were compared to that of the Spartans.

Just a brief introduction...more to come! Happy researching.....May the power of Athena be with you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"The Underworld"....according to Dante

Dear Mythology Students,
If you missed class today, you were introduced to a new assignment entitled "Creating your own Underworld." Oh, and yes, we completed and corrected the quiz regarding Hades. Please be prepared to take the quiz covering Hades upon your return.
For your underworld assignment, I have asking you to consider your value system, and then devise punishments, just as Dante has done in his Inferno, that are symbolic of the crime. I have included some images below of Dante's Inferno.
This image is of the gluttonous, those that choose to overeat while others around them starved. .

This image depicts those that committed suicide. Dante felt that because they had not valued their human form while living, they would therefore be turned to trees.

The following example was submitted several years ago by a previous student. He placed those that COMPLAIN at the top of his Inferno. I have included this example for you to follow. Notice that you must indicate the sin, why you consider it to be a sin, a suitable punishment, and then why the punishment is symbolic of the crime. Just as the Greeks devised suitable punishments for their criminals, all of your punishments need to be symbolic as well. Your punishments are not to be sadistic, and you can not punish the sin with the sin. You will have seven paragraphs, each one pertaining to a different sin. Your eight paragraph should be and explanation of your Elysium.

Wesley's Well of Woes
Circle 1:
Complainers/Pessimists: The individuals at the top of my “well of woes” are those that never seem to be happy. They moan and complain about tasks that are part of life, and simply must be completed. They also enjoy starting arguments, purely to witness a flight. Due to this, they remind me of the Greek god Ares. They are cowards, just as Ares, who have no concept of self-respect. They not only disrespect themselves, but those that are around them. I have included them in my “well,” because I feel they “infect” their “sin” upon other people without considering anyone but themselves. I also find that they waste so much time complaining, rather than using their time in a constructive manner.
PUNISHMENT: These sinners will be required to make lemonade for eternity. This will not only be a boring task, but a painful one as well, because they will have paper cuts over their finger tips. This punishment fits the crime. These sinners were unable to find anything positive about their existence; consequently, they will be required to take lemons, which are sour and bitter, as they chose to be while alive, into lemonade, which is sweet and refreshing. The paper cuts are symbolic of the many times they moaned or were negative about living, now while they make lemonade, they will be reminded of their sour and painful attitudes.

FOR FRIDAY you should have the following:

1. A rough draft of your "Inferno." This should include your sins and their appropriate punishments. It may be handwritten.

2. A magazine that you can cut a part.

Please send me an e-mail if you have questions or concerns!

Monday, November 3, 2008

If you missed class on Monday, November 3rd....

I think this picture of Charon and a "guest" is so appropriate. The shade holds several coins in her hands while Charon obtains one from her mouth; she was clearly aware of the need for preparation.

Imagine the nature of your dreams if they were sent to you by "this" Morpheus!

Dear Mythology Students,

If you missed class today, we completed the following:

1. We watched a video regarding Hades.
2. We completed a quiz regarding the myth entitled "Orpheus and Eurydice"
3. We reviewed some of the errors within your Nature Myths.
4. Nature Myths were returns to their "owners."

1. Your "Nature Myth Revisions" are due on Tuesday, November 11th.
2. Your quiz covering Hades will take place on Wednesday.
3. DO NOT MISS CLASS ON WEDNESDAY, as you will be receiving the explanation for your "Underworld" assignment.

1. Please review the four significant sinners (Tantalus, Sisyphus, Danaids, Ixion) that we discussed last Thursday! You will see images of each sinner(s) and then asked to identify them by name, crime, punishment, and the symbolism behind their punishment. Review the previous post for assistance with this.

2. You will be given quotes from pieces of literature that allude to individuals and locations within Hades. Review your red handout regarding the following:

a. The Fates
b. Themis
c. Minos, Rhadamanthese, and Aeucus
d. Somnus and Morpheus
e. Elysium
f. Asphodel Fields
g. Tartarus
h. Charon
i. Cerberus
Can you identify the following characters associated with Hades?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

If you missed class on Thursday, October 30th....

If I were to ask you to envision Hades, especially now that we have discussed its varying aspects, how would you describe it? This picture is an artist's concept of the entrance to Hades. He clearly DO NOT know Hades as well as he should. Remember that only a part of Hades was Saturnine, and that of course was Tartarus.

Dear Mythology Students,
If you missed class on Thursday, October 30th, we discussed the Greek underworld of Hades. Each student received a red handout, which we completed together. Several overheads were shared with you in relationship to the areas we discussed. I have attempted to include some of the images for you here.

1. Please read the myth of "Orpheus and Eurydice" located on pg. 107 in your textbook. This myth illustrates how just Hades was concerning those that entered his domain.
2. Please read the myth of the "Danaids" located on pg. 295 in your textbook. This myth pertains to one group of sinners within Hades.
3. Please read "Tantalus" pg. 348-the top paragraph on 349
4. You will have a QUIZ covering the myth of "Orpheus and Eurydice" on Monday, Nov. 3rd.
5. You will have a QUIZ covering HADES on Wednesday, Nov. 5th
The following pictures should give you greater insights into some of the aspects we discussed on Thursday. Please make sure you obtain the information from someone else in class upon your return.
This is the character known as Sisyphus. He was destroyed by Zeus due to his inappropriate sexual behavior. His punishment is to push a boulder up a large mountain in Hades, with the one purpose of pushing it over the top. He is never successful in doing so, as the boulder always comes crashing down on him. This punishment is highly symbolic of the crime, as the rock represents Sisyphus' sexual desires. He hopes to overcome them, but he he is unsuccessful in doing so.

These women are known as the Danaids. There are fifty of them, and on their wedding night, all but one, murdered her husband by stabbing him in his heart. Their punishment in Hades is to obtain water from the River Styx with the hope of filling Hades' garden pond; however, their jars have holes in the bottom. They were never able to complete the mundane task of filling the pond. This is symbolic of the fact that they took the trivial and mundane away from their husbands; consequently, they are forever cursed with it.
This is the character known as Ixion. He attempted to rape Hera. Zeus had him strapped to a wheel of burning fire. This is symbolic of the fact that a rapist will continue to rape unless caught...hence the wheel. The fire on either side is symbolic of the pain the victim feels. Ixion was constantly burned, but never burned away. OUCH!

Tantalus is another sinner in Hades. He murdered his son, and then fed his flesh the gods in the form of a stew. The Olympians were so appalled by Tantalus' behavior that they cemented him within Styx, being cursed with perpetual hunger and thirst. Each time he attempted to drink from Styx the water would move away from him. There are fruit trees hanging above his head, and yet each time he attempted to grab some of the fruit it would move away from him. He is perpetually hungry and thirty.

Can you recognize that each punishment is symbolic of its crime!

Your FINAL exam!

Dear Mythology Kids, It's nice to "see" you again. Let me offer some "study guidance" for your final exam. Please ...