Mythology Syllabus Harrison County High School

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Mythology Syllabus

Harrison County High School

Mr. Joshua Powers
320 Webster Avenue~ Cynthiana, Kentucky 41031
Phone 234-7117 ~ E-mail

This course will address the origins, foundations, traditions of mythology, as well as providing contextual framework for symbolic, cultural and archetypal representation. It’s also one of the oldest forms of human entertainment (storytelling) and attempts to rationalize the human condition (why are we here?).

This course will examine Greek myths and beyond…that’s right! Zeus doesn’t have a monopoly

on mythology. We will scan the globe for mythologies from each continent. It’s not all gods and goddesses! Mythology is fairy tales, Daniel Boone, the X-Files and Star Trek. We’ll investigate modern and post-modern mythology—for example: The Lord of the Rings, StarWars, The Matrix. These films have a long legacy of influences. We’ll also investigate contemporary myths in the form of conspiracy theories and urban legends if time permits. While we will be reading quite a bit, we’ll also use film and other forms of media to inform our “mythic journey” . This class will be rich with discussion, projects, and student input. Regardless of your major, the imagery, stories and sheer beauty of mythology can be used in all your fields. It’s also sexy, perverted, preposterous and usually very entertaining!

Course Objectives

1. To enable you to read and enjoy the most significant myths and legends in the world.

2. To help you obtain an appreciation for the meaning and significance of myths.

3. To identify how ancient myths affect today’s culture, and to be able to recognize urban myth or legend in the making.

Course Timeline
This timeline is tentative, fluid, and subject to change based on class/teacher learning goals.

Introduction to Studying Mythology
-What is mythology? What is the purpose of mythology?
-Mythology as social, cultural, national identity.
-Similarities between mythology, parallels between mythology.
What is Myth? And Ways of Understanding Myth
Video: Joseph Campbell-The Power of Myths
- Greek Creation Stories
- Ovid’s Creation Story
- Biblical Creation Stories
- The Prose Edda’s Creation Stories
- Native-American Creation Stories
- African Creation Stories
- Astrology and Mythology
Myths of Creation and Destruction.
-Discussion of reading
Video: Clash of the Titans
- Ragnarok
- Biblical flood Stories
- Ovid’s Flood Story

- The Hero with a Thousand Faces

- The Epic of Gilgamesh
- The Ramayana
- Heroes in The Prose Edda
- Oedipus the King
- Raven
- The Mwindo Epic
- African and African American Trickster Stories
- Prometheus
- Demeter and Persephone
- Isis and Osiris
- The Rituals of Northern Europe
- Heracles and Dionysus
- The Morphology of the Folktale
- Household Tales
- Cupid and Psyche
- Daniel Boone Myth
- Star Trek and the X-Files

-Various Greek, Egyptian, and Norse mythology and folktale.


Recommended Material

  • Spiral notebook, Loose-leaf paper, Folder, Flash Drive/Writeable CD, and Writing tools

--Please bring all materials to class. Once the bell rings, you will not be able to return to your locker. I will try to remind you of assignments due and materials needed as often as possible.

Class Expectations


-You are expected to complete all work yourself, unless working in a group as assigned by the instructor. Cheating and plagiarism (taking someone else’s works, expressions, or ideas and passing them off as your own) are serious offences. Any such offence will result in a score of zero and further disciplinary action. I take both cheating and plagiarism very seriously!!!


-This includes not talking while the teacher or any other student is talking. Remember this is our class, not just mine or just yours. As such, we should respect others by not interrupting.


Students are expected to follow class procedures, including:

--Be in seat when the bell rings.

--Turn in assignments on time.

--Return any communications (i.e. midterm reports, movie permission,

syllabus, lab contract) from your parents/guardians to me with their signature.

These classroom expectations supplement all other school rules and policies. For further information on school regulations, please consult your student agenda/handbook.


  1. You are expected to attend all class sessions.

  2. If you are absent, then you must:

    1. Bring an admit slip from the attendance clerk before entering the next class.

    2. The admit slip must indicate the absence was excused.

    3. Students will have time (the number of days absent + 1) to make up work. In the event that work cannot be made up (i.e. certain group work or “lab” activities), the student’s score will be pro-rated such that the absence will not hurt the grade of the student. This rule only applies to those students with excused absences.

Grading Policy

Grades are determined based on percentages as set forth by Harrison County High School and the Harrison County School District

A100-92 B91-83 C82-74 D73-65 F0-64

Grades will be based on: total points earned / the total points possible = grade

There will be extra credit opportunities throughout the semester

There will be specific assignments that will be announced in class, including various reading and writing assignments assigned as we progress throughout the year not contained within this tentative class schedule.

Tests, Quizzes, Homework, Group Work, Bell Ringers, Projects, Educational Films, and Technology/Computer Lab work, etc:

All of these techniques are ways to evaluate your progress in class and your understanding of the material.

--In general, and throughout the semester, you will have any combination of the following: Tests, Quizzes, Homework, Group Work, Bell Ringers, Projects, Educational Films and related applications, and relevant computer lab work. There will be specific assignments that will be announced in class, including various reading and writing assignments assigned as we progress throughout the year not contained within this tentative class schedule.

--We will also be doing some group work. It is important that everyone pull his/her own weight in the group. Do not make others do your work! That is not beneficial for you and it is not fair to your group mates. If I find that you are not participating in the group, I may pull you from the group and you may be assigned an individual project to work on until the group activity is complete.

--From time to time when you come to class, there will be a question or quote on the board. You should answer the question on the board as a “bell-ringer.” You will have at least 10 minutes to respond in your notebook. Please write in complete sentences and make each response about a half a page, usually between 5 and 10 sentences. We may discuss some of your responses out loud.

As your teacher, I am committed to your educational successes. If it is ever necessary to get in touch with me, please do not hesitate to email or call the school. I will make every effort to schedule a mutually convenient time to meet with you.

Our signatures below indicate that we have read and discussed the class procedures of Mythology and are responsible for the information contained within this syllabus.

_______________________ ________________ __________

Signature of Parent/Guardian Signature of Student Date

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