Mythological Creature by Peter Griffin
Databases of Myths, Folklore, and Legends
Integrating the myths, folklore, and legends of various cultures into our lessons is very common today. How can you keep up with all of the different characters and tales, however? No matter what culture you are studying or how obscure the myth, try these five sites to help focus your search for interesting tales, and especially to guide student research as they study these myths, folklore and legends with you.
Encyclopedia MythicaTM – Containing close to 8,000 individual articles, this is perhaps the most comprehensive online encyclopedia of mythology available online today. Students can search the entire database by name, or browse categories such as mythology (subdivided by geographical location), folklore, bestiary (mythical creatures), heroes, images, and genealogy. Each article also provides a link that gives the proper citation in a paper.
Godchecker – This site lists “over 3,000 supreme beings, spirits, & demons” in its database. Laid out in a very colorful, easy to read format, students need only select the culture they are interested in and then browse an alphabetical list of the major gods and goddesses in those legends. Not as professional as other databases, the articles on Godchecker are very easy to read, however, and can be used as a good first glance at the god or goddess before digging a little deeper into the myths surrounding them.
Mythical Creatures List – Centered more on the beasts, demons, and creatures that are featured in the myths of various cultures, this site allows students to find a specific creature through different searches and browsing. The creatures are divided for browsing by culture, attribute (such as giant, celestial, aquatic creature), or their type (i.e., dragon, fairy, serpent). Each article is very short, but provides an image of the creature, as well as a listing of all its features and attributes as well as a short synopsis of the creature. As an added web 2.0 component, students can rate the creature as well.
THEOI – Centered solely on Greek Mythology, the Theoi Project contains over 1,500 pages that profile not only the gods and goddesses but also the other characters, including heroes and creatures featured in the Greek myths. Students can browse by category as well as search for specific characters. Each article is very details and includes information on the various names of the god or goddess, an annotated list of their myths, how they are featured in artwork, as well as details on how each was worshipped in ancient times. Citations are available for some articles, but not all.
And finally, if you are still at a loss…
Mythology, Legend, Folklore, & Ghosts – Set up by an educator, Mrs. Osborne, this site provides another very lengthy list of sites that cover all myths and legends, primarily from the major ancient civilizations worldwide. Each list is divided by culture, but without annotation. Geared more to higher-level secondary students, these sites are a great resource and some include lengthy articles on the varied characters in myths, but also lesson plans for assisting you in teaching about them.
As with all sites, make sure you preview these, but all are relatively ad-free and written for academic use. Find what is the best fit for your students or allow them to have them all and use the sites for a more directed research than “Googling it” can provide.