Teaching the Epic through Ghost Stories
Our oral tradition of telling ghost stories, with which most students are familiar, builds a useful bridge to the oral tradition of the ancient epic narrators. Students begin by examining ghost stories and brainstorming a list of qualities that make the stories vivid and interesting. They then use a literary elements map as they write a ghost story they have heard, but have never seen written, and then share their stories orally with the class. Finally, students explore the genre of epics and how they are related to oral storytelling. This lesson also includes support for English language learners.