Myths & Legends
- Sagwa - "The Four Dragons"
Fu-Fu and the kittens join up with some mice to act out a creation myth of China. The four stars take on the roles of four dragons that morphed into the great rivers of China. At first, their audience (the alley cats), mock the story. But they are soon drawn into the magical tale of the great rivers and the dragons they once were.
- Reading Rainbow
- "The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush"
A Native American story of Little Gopher following his destiny, as revealed in a Dream-Vision of becoming an artist for his people and bringing the colors of the sunset down to the earth. LeVar visits the Pueblo Indian people of Taos, New Mexico, where Mother Earth plays a crucial role in their art. He interviews a painter, a family of pottery makers, and a family of dancers. Each explains the traditions behind their art and the Native American culture.
Do in Class
- Reading Rainbow: The Gift of the Sacred Dog - Read a Native American Legend and start a new tradition in your family.
- Reading Rainbow: The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush - Listen to the story of the Little Gopher and then create reproductions of Native American artwork using modern story themes.
- With Eyes Open: Understanding the Cyclical Nature of Life - Understand the cyclical nature of life, and examine the way things in the natural world live, die or change form. Examine conceptions of the afterlife in various cultures exploring myths, stories, poetry and burial customs.
- Cyberchase: The Legend of the Grain of Rice - Watch and listen as Harry learns a legend about a boy who used math to outwit a king.
- PBS KIDS' Africa: The Quest for the Magic Calabash - Read an African legend as told by Anansi the spider, and then complete a quest to find puzzles pieces of great fortune.
- The Great Canoe: A Karina Legend
By Maria Elena Maggi and Gloria Calderon
Published September 2001 by Groundwood Books
When Europeans arrived in the Caribbean, they encountered the Karina, themselves great sailors, traders, and warriors. The Spanish called the Karina the Carib Indians. This retelling of a Karina tale about a flood will recall the story of Noah's Ark. Calderon's wonderfully detailed scratchboard illustrations make this a special version of a familiar tale.
- The Two Mountains: An Aztec Legend
By Eric A. Kimmel and Leonard Everett Fisher
Published March 2000 by Holiday House, Inc.
Ixcocauqui and Coyolxauhqui, the son and daughter of the god and goddess of the sun and moon, are banished from the heavens for breaking their vow never to visit earth. As mortals, they work, suffer, and are parted by death. This beautifully illustrated retelling of a Nahua legend is for children 4-8.
*As most PBS children's programs offer one year extended taping rights for teachers, please feel free to tape them now and save them for use in your classroom during the school year.