So we know that Myths and Legends are the traditional stories which hold special significance to a group or culture. They are passed down through the generations by word of mouth.
Oral storytelling is the way stories were told and preserved at a time before mass printing was available and when many people could not fluently read or write. Folk tales, myths and legends are all popular stories which were originally shared in spoken form.
Many myths and legends have been written down, but still retain a particular voice, often addressing the reader personally.
Examples of story-telling language:
- Once, long ago...
- Once upon a time...
- There once lived...
- Now, you may have heard...
- Can you imagine... (addressing the reader personally)
I would like you to think of all you have learned about the Aztecs, and to either write a myth to explain their understanding of the world or to write a legend to tell their story. You might want to include some of the following key events:
- How they came to settle in Tenochitlan
- The building of the great city
- The significance of the Templo Mayor
- The rise of the Aztec empire through the conquest of other native tribes
- The arrival of the Spanish
The key to writing a traditional tale is to maintain that storytelling voice throughout. Just imagine you are telling the story to a group of young children who you want to keep engaged. How will you hold their attention? Don't forget to include powerful adjectives to describe Tenochitlan, precise verb choices, complex sentences, varied sentence openers,
similes, metaphors, personification.
Can you improve these sentences?
- The Aztecs arrived at a lake.
This simple sentence could be a wonderful complex sentence:
- After many months of roaming across arid deserts, the wanderers came upon a vast lake which stood in the shadow of a mighty volcano.
Now you try to improve these sentences. You may wish to include the improved sentences in your writing!
- The Aztecs saw an eagle eating a snake on a cactus.
- They spent many years building their city.
- At the centre was the Templo Mayor.
- They fought many tribes and their empire grew over time.
- One day, some strange men arrived.
Did you try to include story-telling language or speak directly to the reader?
Why not try to include some ambitious punctuation in your writing? Maybe a colon to introduce a 'reveal' or a semi-colon to separate two main clauses that are closely linked.
Here is a reminder about semi-colons:
Here is a longer timed comprehension for you to try - if you wish to complete it as a timed exercise then try to complete in 45 mins.
(Note to parents: I have included an answer sheet in the attachments. There is a table on the sheet that explains which area of comprehension that each question relates to. This will help you to see which area your child needs to work on. You can help your child by using similar questions when reading with them.
Please do not concern yourself with your child's scores, this is purely to keep their skills sharp!
You do not have to do this exercise in an allocated time, You may wish to break it up and do each piece of text within the paper at different times.
If your child is someone who finds comprehension more difficult, you may choose to read the text with your child and go through the answers.
Adding verb prefixes de- and re-