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Moon Tales from Other Cultures



Overview - Objectives

Find out how the Moon has been an important symbol or object in the lives of people in other parts of the world or cultures.

Use the Internet to gather, evaluate, and research information.

Activity 1

The ancient Chinese, being an agricultural people, planted and harvested by watching the moon. They even created a mid autumn festival called the Moon Festival. This festival was held the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. There are also many legends and stories connected with the moon that are part of Chinese mythology. Some of these had morals similar to folk tales from other countries.

Have students learn more about the Moon Festival so that they can discover the answer to these questions.

• During which month is the Moon Festival usually held?

• What are moon cakes?

• What event do Moon cakes commemorate ?

Activity 2

• Read to students or have them read Wu Kang And The Cassia Tree about a young man or about Chang-O, a young woman. According to Chinese legends both went to the Moon. Then have them write about the story using one of these ideas.

Write a brief description which tells why these two Chinese figures ended up on the Moon.
What was the moral of the story?
Can you tell what problems the characters had which caused them to end up on the moon?

Activity 3

•Have students see how the Moon was important in other cultures by visiting these sites:s:

Read about Coyote as the Moon, Fox and the Moon, Coyote and Eagle Steal the Sun and Moon and other tales as you visit this site about Native Americans.

Read about more Moon Myths from other cultures and countries around the world including Africa, Japan, China, Greece, Rome. There are several reading levels to select from. How did these cultures honor or think about the the Moon? How is this the same or different from the ways people think about the Moon today?

Activity 4

• Have students try writing their own Moon tale or myth.