Write Your Own Myth


If you have ever taken the time to look at the night sky with a star finder chart in your hands, you may wonder how these constellations ever got their names. Ursa Major looks nothing at all like a big bear, so why didn't the ancients simply call it the Big Dipper? Canis Minor looks like two stars, so why didn't the ancients name it The Wizard's Wand? You might see the constellation Taurus and visualize a giant predatory insect with huge antennae rather than a bull. Therefore, you are being given the opportunity to describe what you see in the night sky yourself. As the Babylonians saw mythical creatures in the heavens waging various battles, you might see something completely different.

Your assignment is to take any portion of the night sky for any season of the year and write a mythical account of what you think the stars are doing. The story should be a minimum of 250 words and completely creative on your part. This is designed to be something fun, but also to help acquaint you with how the asterisms got names in the first place.

When you are finished, send the assignment to me via e-mail (Tom_Franke@hopkins.k12.mn.us). I am not looking for grammatical correctness nor am I really worried about spelling. You will receive full credit for having the myth be of the correct length and being on time. Tardiness or shortness will result in a reduced score.

Return to Ancient Astronomy or Syllabus.


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