Tales of Changing Seasons
Students will create original myths explaining why the seasons change.
According to an ancient Greek myth, Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, the goddess of the harvest. Hades, the god of the underworld, fell in love with Persephone and carried her off to his kingdom to be his wife. Demeter searched everywhere for her daughter. Finally, Zeus, the king of the gods, told Demeter where Persephone was. It was decided that Persephone would live with Hades for half the year and with her mother for the other half. During the time that Persephone lived in the underworld, Demeter was so unhappy that all the plants withered and died. But when Persephone returned each year, Demeter rejoiced and plants could grow again. According to the myth, this is the reason for summer, fall, winter, and spring.
What You Need
- books about mythology
- Internet access (optional)
- Story Map 3 (PDF file)
What to Do
- Ask students why the seasons change. (Earth is tilted away from the Sun, and as it moves around the Sun different regions receive more or less heat and sunlight.)
- Tell students that before people had the science and technology to understand the relationship between the Sun and Earth, they created stories to explain why the seasons change.
- Ask students if they know the Greek story of Hades and Persephone. If some of them know it, help them tell the story to the rest of the class. Otherwise, relate the story yourself.
- Tell students that they are going to create their own myths about changing seasons. Their stories can be funny or serious. Students can set their stories in a mythological setting or in the present day.
- You can give your students the Story Map 3 graphic organizer to help plan their stories.
- When the stories are finished, have students take turns reading them to the class.
- If you like, you can have students illustrate their myths and place the illustrations around the room.
- Students can write myths explaining other natural phenomena.
Here you will find a brief version of the story of Persephone.
This website provides a more detailed version of the story of Demeter and Persephone.