MYTH*ING LINKS
An Annotated & Illustrated Collection of Worldwide Links to Mythologies,
Fairy Tales & Folklore, Sacred Arts & Sacred Traditions
by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.

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1 November 1999:
the Open Directory Project designated this page as a "Cool Site."

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PRIMARY & SECONDARY
TEACHERS' REFERENCE PAGE


Father Feeding his Child
(Russian Lacquer box courtesy of Tradestone International)

15 October 1999
Author's Note:

I decided to create this page when a Primary School teacher (K-3) e-mailed me three days ago for help in finding stories that would get her young students interested in literature and myth.  In the eleven months since Myth*ingLinks went online, I have received similar requests but, until now, never considered gathering the material I have onto one webpage.

This page will grow slowly because my primary focus remains in collecting links for my own graduate students (average age: 47).  But children, above all, need to be given access to stories that don't continue to transmit Western culture's often toxic agenda -- stories that, instead, show them creative pathways into realms of wonder, magic, and hope.  Beginning this page is my small attempt to help in this task.


Added 3 June 2011:

EDUCATIONAL VIDEO GAMES

http://www.powerupthegame.org/
[Added 4 June 2011:]  This free, new IBM game, "PowerUp," helps students learn about environmental issues.  "PowerUp" challenges players to save an imaginary planet and learn engineering and science principles by carrying out missions to supply solar, wind, and water power.  I haven't downloaded it yet (I'm having computer problems), but the opening page offers music, great screen shots, and enough data on the game itself that I immediately decided to make it a "must-see" on this Teacher's page.

UNDERPINNINGS TO TEACHING IN GENERAL


Young student in Kerala, India
(Found at: Sawnet -- "South Asian Women's Network" --
check this page for excellent South Asian children's books in English)

http://www.criticalthinking.org/
One of my graduate students, Victoria Barnes, brought this site to my attention.  It comes from the Center for Critical Thinking and is divided into a section for Primary & Secondary Education, and another for Colleges & Universities.  Heretofore, I have always annotated all links on my pages myself, but in this case, since my views can't compare with those of a teacher who already has deep personal experience with Richard Paul's work, I'm sharing her words (with her permission):
...The url for critical thinking of which I spoke in class Tuesday is http://www.criticalthinking.org

This will lead the reader into articles and lesson plans. Richard Paul has proposed a definition of critical thinking I find amusing but apt: 'thinking about thinking while thinking in order to make thinking better.'  His well-researched findings indicate that many educators grapple even to define this endeavor.  I highly recommend his book, Critical Thinking: How to Prepare Students for a Rapidly Changing World, as a beginning.

I use Paul's models to train myself and my staff, as well as the students we have here (ages 3-12) in matters cognitive....


Mama & Me
© Carl Owens
(Courtesy of Art of Color)

http://www.splcenter.org/teachingtolerance/tt-index.html
This is "Teaching Tolerance" from the Southern Poverty Law Center.  They have free videos for classroom use, various free kits for teachers, grants of up to $2000 for teachers, one-year fellowships, and much else.  The site is awkwardly designed (their opening logo and navigational tools take up the top 50% of each page, forcing you to scroll their text into the remainder), but their approach and teaching aids are excellent.
http://www.suntimes.com/output/eb-feature/ebert11.html
       [6/14/00: link has expired but I'm keeping the annotation]
Also on cross-cultural tolerance and critical thinking, this time having to do with lore, sacred traditions, and the strong feelings generated by them, I am including this eye-opening 11 October 1999 essay, "Artistic fray swirls in Brooklyn," by film critic, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times  It concerns the autumn 1999 Brooklyn Museum's art exhibit, which includes an African artist's depiction of the Virgin Mary surrounded by a few small patches of elephant dung.  When I first heard of the exhibit, my enthusiastic reaction was "I love it!!!  For 2000 years they've made Mary a pallid Virgin, drained all life out of her, even floated her body up to heaven when she died so that nothing of earth could touch her --- how absolutely perfect for an artist to put her in the context of rich, earthy dung from one of earth's most magnificent creatures!"  To me, the emphasis on this wonderful earthiness was so obvious that I was surprised not to see more done with it (not even on a Nightline broadcast that focused on the issue).  So I was delighted, finally, to see this piece by Ebert.  Here's an excerpt:
. . . .1. Chris Ofili, the artist, is a practicing Catholic.

2. The leavings of elephants are revered in some old tribal customs as a gift from the most respected jungle beast. To incorporate them into a painting adds worth to the paintings in the same way that one might use gold gilt in mixing a paint. Ofili was following a tradition that is centuries old. . . .

If I were teaching secondary school students about critical thinking and multi-cultural tolerance, I'd start with this brief essay.  (And then I'd move to deconstructing TV commercials.)

TEACHING MYTHOLOGY, FOLKLORE,
& THE ARTS

Chyna Rose
Painting © by Merryl Jaye
(Found at: Ebony Prints -- now defunct -- but still found, fortunately,
at Art of Color)
http://frankrogers.home.mindspring.com/fairy.html
         [Link updated 14 June 2000 & again 9 February 2002]
[Annotation updated 9 February 2002]:  Oriented towards teachers as well as children, this is "Frank Rogers' page on old and new "Folklore & Fairytales" (see below under "Children's Books" for more on him).  It is an intelligent, witty, and enthusiastic collection of annotated links to sites on fairy tales and mythic lore.  He has some great finds here: some sites include reading lists, lesson plans, and classroom activities; others include bushels of magical stories to share with children; he also has great links to Harry Potter.
http://www.artsmia.org/mythology/introduction.html#top
This site from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts introduces the realm of mythology in a manner that is designed for use in school curricula (K-12).  Before I began this page, I'd already checked their collection of four creation myths for inclusion elsewhere (see my Creation Myths page) and was impressed.  But they have much more than those four stories.  The site lets you select by IMAGE (I dislike their uncritical interpretation of Medusa as "evil," but the other images I checked seemed fine); by CULTURE (Egyptian, African, Green & Roman, Western European, Native American, Oceanic, Chinese, Japanese); and by "MYTHOLOGICAL COMPARISON" (cross-cultural myths of creation, explanations, gods, heroes, and animals).

The pages are divided into an opening image (featuring elements of the myth), "Key Ideas" found in the myth, the "Story," the "Background" (including data on the people, their arts, artistic techniques, and symbols), and insightful "Discussion & 'Think' Questions."  There are also pages with a glossary, suggested readings, and resources to download.

http://www.cis.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1997/2/97.02.09.x.html
From the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute comes "Cultural Unity Through Folktales" by Stella Samuel.  It's geared towards teaching 7th and 8th graders and is divided into Tall Tales, Trickster Tales, Creation Stories, and Cinderella Stories.  There are also excellent bibliographies.
http://members.aol.com/Donnpages/2LessonPlans.html
This page from Lin & Don Donn (see below under "Teaching Other Subjects: General) will take you to background and lesson plans for a wide array of subdivisions grouped under Language Arts/Literature; World Languages & ESL; Library Lessons; and Art, Music, Drama, Dance.  The opening portion covers "Folktales, Tall Tales, Fairy Tales, Myths & Legends."
http://www.artsednet.getty.edu/
From the Getty Museum comes ArtsEdNet, a handsomely designed, relevant, and wonderful resource for integrating arts back into education.  Under "Highlights," for example, are the following[9 February 2002: this "Highlights" category no longer contains what it once did but the items may still be found on the site map athttp://www.getty.edu/artsednet/Search/map.html]:
Space Art Through the Ages,
Chicana and Chicano Space,
Women Artists: Curriculum and Web Resources (Note: this section provides a large number of links to art sites featuring women artists.)
The Table of Contents lists six categories: Lesson Plans & Curriculum Ideas; Image Galleries & Exhibitions; ArtsEdNet Talk; Web Links; Reading Room & Publications; and Search & Index.  Under "Image Galleries..." I found the page called "Cognition & Creation: An Educationally Interpretive Exhibition of Student Art" especially interesting.  Here's an excerpt:
....Elliot Eisner, professor of education and art at Stanford University, devised the concept for the exhibition.  He says, "We are interested in helping viewers understand that art activities in school are not designed simply to produce pretty pictures, but to stimulate, develop, and refine a wide range of very sophisticated modes of thought."

By concentrating on the many ways in which arts education
enhances intelligence, the educationally interpretive exhibition
becomes an advocacy tool for the value of arts education....

Here's a direct link to this page:
http://www.getty.edu/artsednet/Exhibitions/Eisner/index.html
 [Link updated 9 February 2002]

Ivan Dreams of Space
(Lacquer box courtesy of Russian Sunbirds)

Author's note:

I'm very moved by this boy's face -- his seriousness combined with the quality of wonder and then those beautifully expressive hands.  I appreciate too the bittersweet contrast between the boy's fairytale firebird, who flies, and the modern spacecraft, which also flies -- as if it's our contemporary "firebird."  The eerie tension between the magic of one realm and the potential of the new is portrayed so perfectly.  Holding this tension is, perhaps, what education is all about.  This means not over-emphasizing the one (spaceship) at the expense of the other (firebird).  If we lose the music and wonder of the firebird, we lose it all.

Celestial Child
© Michael Brown
(Found at: Ebony Prints -- now defunct)
http://www.windows.umich.edu/mythology/mythology.html
This excellent site on mythology comes from the University of Michigan.  It looks at cross-cultural myths of the Sun; Earth; Moon; Solar System; Sky, Constellations, and Stars; Classical Mythology; Family Trees (Greek, Norse, & Roman deities); World Mythology; and an interactive game called "Mythology Hangman" (beyond me! -- but youngsters will probably enjoy it).   Each page offers three levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.  There is also a page specifically For Teachers and another with links to a wide range of relevant Educational Links in the humanitites, sciences, and math.

It should be noted that the Table of Contents for this overall site reveals that the myth pages are only a miniscule element in what is covered.  When I discovered everything else offered here, I found it mind-boggling.  Take a look and see what I mean!


TEACHING OTHER SUBJECTS:
MULTIPLE SUBJECT LISTINGS


Children of Eden
© Carl Owens
(Found at: Ebony Prints -- now defunct)

University of Michigan: Educators' Table of Contents

(See the above University of Michigan entry for this huge site.)
http://ericir.syr.edu/
This is AskEric, a major educational resource housed at Syracuse University in New York State.  The huge site is:
 .... the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), a
 federally-funded national information system that provides,
 through its 16 subject-specific clearinghouses, associated
 adjunct clearinghouses, and support components, a variety of
 services and products on a broad range of education-related
 issues.
One of AskEric's most popular features is Q&A Services: educators can e-mail a question here and within 48 hours receive a personal e-mail answering the question and listing relevant AskEric's resources as well as other internet resources.

The site has many categories, too many for me to summarize or even explore in any depth.  However, I did go to the Virtual Library's Lesson Plans section (they have over 1000 lesson plans from teachers across the USA -- and they actively solicit more), clicked on "Interdisciplinary," and here's what was listed under "A":

A Collage of Ideas From a Newspaper Unit Grade 6
A Day Full of Popcorn Grades K-3
A Delicate Art - Egg Decorating Grades 4-6
Air Pollution Grades 4-6
Alaskan Unit on Moose Grades 3-6
Almanac (from Happy Birthday to U.S.) Grades 4-10
American Indian Leather Painting Grades 5-6
Apple Dolls Grades K-6
Apples Grades 1-2
Assorted Creative Thinking Activities Grades 4-12
It almost makes me wish I were a child again.  My memories of K-12 in the 1940's and 1950's hold nothing so rich as all those activities -- and those are only from the letter "A."  (Note: the site has a search engine.)
http://www.execpc.com/~dboals/boals.html
This is Dennis Boals' fine "History/Social Studies Website for K-12 Teachers."  The site is easy to navigate and has a wide range of subjects, including critical thinking and especially strong sections on archaeology and museums (with many clickable images of ancient art).
http://members.aol.com/Donnpages/LessonPlans.html
From Lin and Don Donn come a comprehensive array of lesson plans, maps, art, and stories on every conceivable K-12 subject: humanities, sciences, vocational training, critical thinking, and much more.  I stumbled across this site while looking for data on cross-cultural holidays (see below), followed a link, and was astounded by the Donn's thoroughness.  I've excerpted direct links to 3 lesson plan categories (below), but there are over 30 more and each of them is subdivided and further divided again so that there must be hundreds of possibilities here.  (Don't be dismayed -- they have a search engine for finding things.)
http://www.studyweb.com/index2.htm
[12/6/99: link updated to this no-frames version so that you can bookmark things -- see my complaints below]
[NOTE: 9 February 2002: unfortunately, this is now a subscription-only site--they do at least offer a 30-day trial membership, in case you're interested.  The annotation below comes from 1999]:
This is "Study Web: The Learning Portal," another huge, bustling site with lesson plans, extensive links, and much more for teachers of all age groups.  Just above its search engine, it says:
Search our collection of over 115,000 Research Quality URLs....
Overwhelmed by that statistic, I threw aside any coherent plan and just began clicking blindly.  I had to dig a bit but found some wonderful cross-cultural lore and stories that children would love (under Literature).  The site has tons more in all categories and the compilers enthusiastically ask teachers for additional favorites.  Two serious flaws: (1) when you click on a link, I learned the hard way that you don't get a new URL; thus, nothing can be bookmarked and you'll have to return to this Study Web and hope you remember how you found a specific page [for me, it was a great story on a hummingbird under "Native American"] 12/6/99 Note: the new no-frames URL [above] will now solve this problem; (2) when you return to the previous page, you wind up at the top and may have to scroll a long distance to get to where you left off -- I found this very irritating [Note: not all browsers will have this problem].

TEACHING OTHER SUBJECTS:
ENVIRONMENT

Child Collecting Flowers
© Tim Ashkar
(Found at: Ebony Prints -- now defunct)
http://members.aol.com/donnandlee/Green.html
This page from the Donns (see above) is on categories listed under "Keeping Our Planet Green": Earth Day; Rainforests; Classroom Gardening; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Trees/Forests; "Green" Clip Art; Our Environment; Plants; and Endangered & More.

I checked one lesson plan at random in the Trees/Forests section and thought it would make for an exciting class -- although I'd personally never use one of the suggested books, Shel Silverstein's over-inflated and masochistic The Giving Tree, which I consider absolutely toxic for children, especially young girls, but also sensitive boys.  (In case you don't know this one, the tree "lovingly" sacrifices its life for The Boy's endless demands, but The Boy never matures and is still called The Boy even when he returns as an old man to sit on the tree's dead stump.  In my opinion, and I'm writing here as a crone who's seen too many girls grow up to be women battered by such Boys, it was fine for the tree to give him bushels of apples, even some branches, but when The Boy asked for the tree's trunk so that he could hollow it out, make a boat, and escape to what he claimed were greener pastures, a little common sense would have gone a long way and saved the tree's beauty for generations of other wiser children, songbirds, and bugs.  Being unselfish is fine but not if the recipient of your sacrifice is incapable of change and remains puerile and immature while you consciously let yourself be turned into a dead stump!).

http://www.treesftf.org/kids.htm
[Added 12/6/99]: From "Trees for the Future" in Silver Spring, Maryland comes this Tree Pals Page, fostering a tree-planting and letter exchange program between children in many countries:
...Trees for the Future is helping children in schools across America who are concerned about rising levels of "greenhouse gases" and the possibility of global warming. We are providing seeds and training that allows students in schools in several developing countries to plant trees that can save threatened local lands and remove large quantities of carbon dioxide, the major "greenhouse gas" from the global atmosphere. This program planted more than 650,000 trees in its first year. It permits students, here and in the cooperating schools, to exchange ideas and experiences, leading to a better understanding of how to save the environment that all the world shares. A typical school project costs $150.00 and results in planting more than 2,000 trees....
http://www.heard.org/education/rain/rbowintr.html
[Added 12/29/99]: "After the Rain: Rainbows" comes from the Heard Museum in Phoeniz, Arizona.  This is a marvelous, multi-facted site of rainbow lore, science, and art based on the traditions of the Navajo and other Native Americans of the American Southwest.  The site's lesson plans (for a total of 6 units) are designed for both teachers and students from kindergarten through grade 3.  What I especially love about this site is that it teaches science in the context of rich cultural material -- or as the authors express it, one of their five major goals is to "promote cross-cultural understanding through a focus on rain, a universal requirement for life on earth...." (Note: this site is double-listed on my Floods, Rainbows...& Other Weather Wonders page.)

TEACHING OTHER SUBJECTS:
CROSS-CULTURAL HOLIDAYS

Eskimo Parents and Child
(Lacquer box courtesy of Russian Sunbirds)
http://members.aol.com/Donnpages/Holidays.html
This is the Holidays Lesson Plans page, the first of the Donns' pages that I found (see above) -- it's on holidays from around the world and offers general information, activities, and lesson plans for introducing the richness of humanity's celebrations to students.


From Inside China Today

Asian Lunar New Year
[Added 1/25/2000; annotation updated 9 February 2002]:  This is my Myth*ingLinks page of annotated links to the current year's Asian Lunar New Year.  Most of the links are geared to Asian families and include folklore and classroom activities for children.

CHILDREN'S BOOKS

Children in a Magical Craft
Artist: Pyastolov
School: Fedoskino
(Courtesy of Tradestone International)
http://frankrogers.home.mindspring.com/
      [Link updated 14 June 2000]
[Annotation updated 9 February 2002]:  This annotated treasury of book-related sites is "Frank Rogers' Guide to Children's Literature on the Web."  Rogers (see above for another link and below for two more) has an A.B. in Literature and a Master of Library Media degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.  He is currently working on an Ed.S in Children's Literature from the Department of Language Education at the University of Georgia in Athens.  He has a trained eye and chooses his links well; most go to sites created by various universities and libraries.  He also includes a good section on "Mailing Lists and Internet Discussion Groups" for peer contacts.
http://www.powerup.com.au/~leckenby/bulgaria.htm
This is "Bulgaria & the Romany People: Children's & Reference Books." What I especially like here are all the stories about gypsies (a subject that fascinated me as a child -- I would have loved these wonderful collections of tales!); they come from Eastern European countries, including Bulgaria (also see my page on Bulgaria); each book gives the appropriate age-group as well as data on library bindings, etc.  Orders through Amazon.com can be placed online.  The reference books are also excellent -- many of them geared for children but some are also for adults.

In Daddy's Arms
© Merryl Jaye
(Found at: Ebony Prints -- now defunct)
  http://frankrogers.home.mindspring.com/multi.html
          [Link updated 14 June 2000 & again 9 February 2002]
[Annotation updated 9 February 2002]:  Again from Frank Rogers comes a terrific page on multi-cultural books for children.  He writes:
Feeling a Bit Bland?  A trifle Eurocentric?  Awfully Blond?  Does "Hansel and  Gretel" leave you feeling a bit blasé and just a tad too Nordic?  Mr. Rogers has the  cure for you!  Check out "Frank Rogers' Multi-Cultural Neighborhood" for links to sites and resources for multi-cultural children's literature.
Here is his impressive, wide-ranging menu: Adoption Themes; Africa/African American Themes; Asia/Asian American Themes; Disability Themes; Feminist Themes/Strong Girl Characters; Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Themes; Hispanic and Latino Themes; Arab/Islamic Themes; Buddhist Themes; Jewish/Hebrew Themes; Various Religious Themes; Native American Themes; Rural or Appalachian Themes; and General Multi-Cultural Resources.
http://publishing.about.com/business/industries/publishing/library/weekly/aa101599.htm
From Wendy Butler, the about.com guide to publishing, comes this 10/15/99 page on "Banning Harry Potter."  It gives a good overview and has a great number of links to further information on these wonderful children's books and on those Christian fundamentalists who seem to object to anything having to do with the imaginal realms so crucial to a child's maturation.
http://www.dreamcatchers.net/treasure/
[Updated 12/6/99] This is a creative 7-week lesson plan from Joan Bigelow for teaching Treasure Island (6th grade level).  "A Teaching Unit for Treasure Island" is --
...the result of a year-long teaching objective to upload an entire unit of literature onto the Internet. The Treasure Island Unit has been highly successful over the past six years at Avon Middle School, combining in-depth education with good old-fashion fun.
http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/users/sawweb/sawnet/kidsbooks.html
[Added 14 March 200]: From Sawnet (South Asian Women's Network) comes this fine page of children's books and software on South Asia.  A few entries have websites (including a great one on elephants), but most of the books would need to be ordered elsewhere.  Most were written in English although a few are English translations.  All look fascinating and well worth the effort to find.

OTHER SITES OF INTEREST


Angel
Artist: Nina Lopatina
(Courtesy of  Tradestone International)

http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwswp/links.html
[Link updated 14 June 2000]

[Added 12/6/99] "Useful Librarian's Links" is a unique, thorough, awesomely balanced site for K-12 librarians.  It comes from Georgia State University's Library Media Technology, compiled and annotated by Frank Rogers (see elsewhere on my site for 3 more of his pages) and Brian Patterson.  It contains:
                              librarian resources
                              general reference sources
                              K-12 student resources
                              K-12 teacher resources
                              assorted esoterica

http://www.plagiarism.org

I saw this site featured on ABC News in late October 1999 and immediately checked it out.  This non-profit organization is a boon for secondary and college educators worried about the growing problem of plagiarism among their students, especially those students who download data and/or papers directly from the internet.  The results are impressive.  There's a free trial offer.  If you then want to register, they charge $20 for the first 30 papers (which seems a bit high to me) and fifty cents/paper after that; bulk rates are available for larger numbers.  I wish we didn't have to be concerned with such issues, but in some areas, the problem is alarming and growing.
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Mything Links' General Reference Pages:
MythingLinks Search Engine
Cross-cultural, Multi-regional, Interdisciplinary Collections
General Reference Page  (online libraries, reference help, literary texts, world languages, word-lover sites, help on writing research papers, copyright information, film plots, themes, and/or films representing various historical periods)
Special Interest Sites for Pacifica Faculty, Students & Colleagues(includes Jung, Campbell, Freud, Eliade, Otto, Hillman, other depth psychologists, mysticism, anthropology, religious studies, archetypal perspectives, foundations for mythology & psychology, relevant journals, books, videos, etc.)
Teachers' Reference Page for Primary & Secondary School Education
__________________________________________________

HOME PAGE
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This page created with Netscape Gold 3.01
Technical assistance: William Weeks
Text and Design:
Copyright © 1999-2011 by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
All rights reserved unless otherwise noted.

Page designed,  created, & published "unlisted" 15 October 1999;
more additions & published "officially" 18 October 1999.
Latest Updates:
19 October 1999; 22 October 1999; 23 October 1999;
6 December 1999; 29 December 1999; 25 January 2000; 14 March 2000; 14 June 2000;
11 July 2001 (Ned3.0); 10 November 2001: Ebony Prints was sold to a firm whose offerings are not suitable for my site; I deleted all links as the "real" Ebony Prints is now defunct;
9 February 2002 (updated Frank Rogers' sites then did a links-check of everything).
8 July 2010: posted ad for renting textbooks; 20 July 2010: added "/" to end of ad link.
22 April 2011, 9pm: removed above ad at client's request -- some problem with google, it seems.
4 June 2011: added an educational video game section when today I came across a great link from H-NILAS academic list.
Unfortunately, no time to do a links check.

..........