In this Expedition, students undertook a deep study of mythology, its purposes, and elements. Students read Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief. As they begin the novel in Case Study 1, students also read a complex informational text explaining the archetypal storyline of the hero’s journey, which has been repeated in stories throughout the centuries. Through close reading of literary and informational texts, students learned multiple strategies for acquiring and using academic vocabulary. In Case Study 2, students worked with LCSC historian Eric Martin to conduct an independent study of an ancient civilization anywhere in the world. Students created digital posters sharing the characteristics of that civilization. They built informational reading skills through the close reading of texts about the elements of myths. Much of this centered around Joseph Campbell’s work with archetypal characters found in myths around the world. In addition to the masculine hero’s journey, we examined the feminine heroine’s journey and community journey archetypes. As a whole class, students read complex Greek myths and worked in small groups to build expertise related to one of those myths. In Case Study 3, students shifted their focus to narrative writing. A writer’s retreat with author Rachel Clark at the University of Idaho set the stage for students to create their final product which was an original narrative story. Finally, students worked with artist and UI professor Lauren McLeary to learn about abstract art and create masks that embodied the setting or main character of their story. 

Fieldwork- Third Annual Palouse Prairie Middle School Writers Retreat at U of I
Experts- Historian Eric Martin, Author Rachel Clark, Artist Lauren McLeary