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This breakout session will discuss the reasons that storm myths or stories have been written throughout history.  Through the discussion in the workshop, educators will be able to integrate into their literature curriculum a connection between El Niño and storm stories or myths.  The discussion will include philosophical questions such as “Why is there a human need to explain natural occurrences that we do not understand with supernatural deities controlling the occurrence?”  This question leads into the discussion of mythical deities, such as Poseidon, Thor and Prospero, and how they were shown to control humans through controlling the weather. 

The discussion will encourage educators to look at different genres of literature and see where storms have been used to create the setting or mood.  This part of the discussion will focus on questions such as “What do rain or storms usually symbolize in books or movies?”  “If you, as an author, were going to write a book or a play, what would the weather be like as an appropriate background for the plot?” 

Some activities for the workshop will be for the participants to do a web search and find a list of at least ten weather, myth and fairy tale
websites that could be used as a resource in the classroom.  Another part would be to create some age appropriate activities for their classroom, tying together literature and El Niño. 


The El Niño  Workshop is a Co-production of USC Sea Grant Program, The College of Exploration and Metasystems Design Group, Inc.

last updated 5 April 1998  peter@tmn.com