Essay Assignment

Mythology II
Children’s Literature Unit
Name______________________________ Period _____
You have just finished studying J.K. Rowling’s use of mythology in Harry Potter and
the Sorcerer’s Stone and J.R.R. Tolkin’s Fellowship of the Ring with a side trip into
C.S. Lewis’s use of both Biblical and mythological allusions and references in The Lion,
The Witch, and the Wardrobe (in the Narnia series). The first level of this unit
encouraged you to notice the use of mythology; the second level required you to recount
the stories supporting those uses; the next level of understanding will require you to read
six children’s books and analyze the use of mythology within them; and the final level of
thinking requests you to “make something of your observations”.
Reading/Writing Assignment: Read 6 children’s books and write an annotation (with
correct bibliography) for 5 of the 6 books. The annotation must analyze the usefulness of
the book for your essay and include a summary of the book. Please limit your
annotations to fewer than 75 words, typed. An annotation is a brief summary of a written
work, which also contains comments on the usefulness of that piece of literature so that
the reader of the annotation can decide whether or not to read the work itself. The writer
of the annotation helps the reader to understand the strengths and shortcomings of the
A sample is provided for you below.
Essay Assignment: Write an essay (2-3 pages) in which you assert your opinions about
HOW and WHY authors use mythology in children’s literature. You can consider the
illustrations as well as the text. You will use Fellowship of the Ring and Harry Potter as
the foundation texts as well Narnia and the short children’s books for support and
examples in your essay. Please type this essay according to instructions given in class.
Annotations will be due on ____________, ____________ ____ in class. Final essays
will be due no later than ____________, ____________ ____. I am available before and
after school each day for assistance.
A Sample Annotation for you:
De Paola, Tomie. Fin M’Coul. New York: Holiday House, 1981.
This Irish legend/folktale recounts the tale of one of Ireland’s finest big folk, Fin M’Coul
as he faces the giant Cucullin. Fin’s clever wife, Oonagh, helps him face his fears as she
outwits the dimwitted Cucullin and saves her husband. Tomie de Paola’s illustrations
reinforce the cleverness of Oonagh’s strategy and add the humor of Cucullin’s reactions.
This book is useful for its complete retelling of this famous story and for the discussion
of mythology for younger audiences.
Check pages 114-115 in your planner for Bibliography guidelines………..
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