Mythology in the Middle School: A Thinking Skills Curriculum Unit

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Delores B. Gallo


At a time when information changes at an increasingly rapid pace, it is incumbent upon educators to abandon the notion of covering more and more material, and instead, to adopt an approach which focuses on thinking skills. Helping students to think critically and creatively is helping them to succeed not only in school, but also in life. These are the skills and dispositions that will enable them to confront new problems and challenges in positive ways. If timing is everything, then it seems that the time in a child's life when instructing for these skills becomes most crucial is during early adolescence. Therefore the burden to develop and implement curricula which facilitate this process falls squarely on the middle school teacher. The dilemma becomes how to select a substantial knowledge base and then weave direct thinking skills instruction through it in order to produce a palatable mix for middle school learners; It is a goal of my thesis to help in solving this dilemma. Presented here, alongside theory and rationale, is a curriculum unit using a Greek mythology base, designed to teach critical thinking skills and to foster creativity in middle school students. Mythology is a great knowledge base from which to work because it cuts across grades, ability levels and domains. It allows students to reason about serious issues from a safe place. It inspires them to create wonderful stories, art, poetry, and drama. Learning about theology can lead to a better understanding of many academic subjects. Learning to think, and learning about thinking, can lead to a better understanding of one's self.


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