Mythology for Kids: The National Mythology Exam
I sent in the exam yesterday. My daughter had 40 minutes to complete the first section which consisted of 40 multiple-choice questions. It didn’t take that long. What will be interesting is to see how she does because she loves, loves, loves mythology but she did not have the right books to prepare for this examination nor the desire to study. And why should she? This was just for fun. If she gets a certificate or not, either way, it’s no big deal. Truly, the certificate would have eventually ended up in the trash anyway. I did buy TODAY (so too late for the party!) all the books on the list except for D’aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid.
She read these books instead:
Edith Hamilton’s Mythology and Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes
The Adventures of Odysseus by Hugh Lupton (which she is loving and was given to me by Barefoot Books)
My oldest wanted to take this test for fun, and really, it’s just for bragging rights because if you do pass this rigorous exam all you get is a certificate. Some kids are studying for the exam and forming after-school study clubs but my daughter just wanted to wing it and see how she does. She does love mythology, particularly Greek, and has read Percy Jackson, ALL of them, plus Edith Hamilton’s books on Mythology and Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes which reads very pleasantly as short stories.
I managed to get the form and check on the last day it was due and the National Mythology Exam folks sent me a study guide. I just wanted to share their book list. I took a class as an undergraduate at Harvard on Mythology, nicknamed “Heroes for Zeros,” which was actually a really great class though perhaps not the most stressful class I’ve ever taken and we read some of these same books; the Lattimore translation of The Iliad, The Odyssey and The Aeneid though I can not for the life of me remember who translated it. There was also a class for Norse mythology. I didn’t take it but some friends of mine did. Guess what that was nicknamed? “Frozen Heroes for Zeros.” Though given the New England weather, it could also be called “Sub Zero Heros for Zeros” just as easily!
Bibliography for 2011 National Mythology Exam
General Mythology Section: 30 questions required by all students who take exam.
Ancient Beginnings: Next 10 questions are required of students in grades 5-, and optional for grades 3 and 4.
Literary Subtests: Students in grades 3 through 5 may choose to take no subtest or one or more subtest. Students in grades 6 through 9 must take at least one subtest.
Grades 10-12 may take this exam. They must take General Mythology section, Ancient Beginnings, and at least one literary subtest of their choice: the Iliad, the Odyssey, or the Aeneid. They may also take additional subtests of their choice.
Thank you to Carrie of Clew Publishing and author of Panorama: An Introduction to Classical Mythology for this book recommendation. She joined the National Mythology Exam Committee this month. See her comment below.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.