Sunday, 26 May 2013

Mumblings and ramblings

One of the joys of teaching is what you learn on the way.  Throughout the process of planning my storytelling project I have turned over many interesting stones and found such wonders underneath.  In turn the children are beginning to turn over stones of their own, piquing interest and finding out new things.  I had no idea the urban legend of The Slender Man has his roots in Native American mythology.  To be honest I had no idea who Slender Man was until one of the children in my class set off on her trail.

In addition to my own I have been helped along the way by the lovely Terri Windling, Anthropomorphica and also (inadvertently) by Rima at the Hermitage.  I had chosen shape shifting as a theme, which led some of the children to Beauty and the Beast and the Frog Prince.  The theme is a strong one and there is a shapeshifting tradition in nearly all myth and legend.  It would seem that the human spirit has an inherent need for an animal totem and a wish to change it's skin for something wild.

Some times these shifts are the realm of evil spirits: in Native American mythology shapeshifters are not to be spoken of for fear of attracting their interest.  They are the embodiment of all that is dangerous.  In Icealnadic to Scottish lore the Selkies are mer-folk, magical, special and wild.  In Greek legend the gods chose many animal forms for their congress with man; each anima different and with its own consequences.  The persistence of belief is such that men still believe that witches will change their form, witches as hares, the devil as familiar.
               three interlinked hares

I intend to continue on the collections of stories, long after the children have finished their stories and left school.

No comments:

Post a Comment