Have your students ever asked you about the meanings of mythical allusions such as these?
- Resisting chocolate is my Achilles heel.
- Cupid strikes again.
- Money brings us happiness but sometimes it is a Pandora’s Box.
- All his shops are extremely profitable. He has the Midas touch.
- Is his plan a Trojan horse that will end the good life?
How about these biblical allusions?
- David is being a Good Samarian.
- We celebrated the Prodical Son‘s return.
- You have the Patience of Job.
Do you students wonder about these literary allusions?
- I’m no Pollyanna, but I do think some good will come out of this.
- Our city needs Batman.
- Don’t be such a Scrooge; buy me a milkshake.
Some students may even wonder about these historical allusions.
- She is Mother Teresa when she comes to the orphanage.
- Her lie slowly unraveled like Watergate.
- Because of the pay cut, our family is living through the Great Depression.
- We owed Uncle Sam $2000.
The Common Core State Standards states fourth graders need to be able to “Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).”
This free lesson provides several activities to help students become aware of some of the mythical, biblical, literary, and historical allusions found in the world around them.
Hook – Mythical Allusions in Logos
This activity requires students to match three cards. The first contains a company’s logo. The second contains the name of the company and its product. The final card provides a description of the origin of the company’s name. This matching activity leads to a discussion that explains how many phrases we use in day-to-day conversations come from mythology.
Does your school limit printable copies? Don’t worry! Both printable and digital versions are available.
In the lesson activity, students will use context clues to determine the meanings of the mythological, biblical, literary, and historical allusions. Students will also use allusions in sentences.
Be sure to download the printable version as it has the answer keys.
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