The School “Strumienie”
The school for girls “Strumienie” [“Streams”], one of “Sternik” [“Helmsman”] Association’s schools, has been in existence already eleven years. It is an educational complex, located in Józefów near Warsaw, composed of kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and, for the last five years, also high school. For more information see the school’s website.
Chasing Beasts of Roman and Greek Mythology:
Posters and Emblems
One of the aims of a project, in which we were invited to participate, was to investigate different plots from mythology. We were to explore them, and describe the meanings they carry in various children’ books.
The special challenge of our School “Strumienie” was to find connections between Greek mythology – heroes and scenes in Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Our schoolgirls came with an idea to enrich it by showing different mythical plots in the form of emblems which combine the contemporary poster with the 16th-century emblem. In order to achieve this our students prepared a presentation and led a lesson for pupils of our primary school during which they explained the aims of the project and asked younger colleagues to make drawings to illustrate selected topics of mythical tales of Narnia.
When the drawings were done we proceeded with implementation of the next stage of the project, e.g., composing the emblem. It was not an easy task even for students at secondary school level. The emblem’s idea contains three important elements: i.e., an inscription, an image, and some text connected as a comment. It seemed that the difficulty lay in finding and formulating a concise message. We wanted the posters to show that this inscription together with an image and text refer us directly to the Greek mythology. We have also tried answer the following questions: Why Lewis introduced so many mythical beasts in Narnia? Is Narnia just a collection of fairy tales with a new meaning?
After discussions during the lessons on mythology we came to the conclusion that ancient Greeks’ mythology in Chronicles of Narnia can still capture the imagination of young readers for whom it can have a new, contemporary meaning. Composing emblems and drawings enabled us to understand and present how young people understand mythology now. For them that mythical Faun can sometimes be like a friend from the neighborhood and another time like someone with whom they can drink a cup of tea, or have a chat. It seems that for the young ones our world and that of ancient Greeks are not so far.
The project gave our students and teachers an opportunity to cooperate and to show the results of our work at a special conference planned for May 2016. The conference will be organized by the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” of the University of Warsaw. The result of our research will be presented in the form of posters.
We are happy that this project helped us to chase, catch, and domesticate different beasts of Roman Greek mythology.
Teacher of Latin and Ancient Culture at High School Strumienie
Students and abstracts
Do nymphs have souls?
Nymphs live in the trees; indeed, they are the trees. When we cut down the trees, do we also kill their souls and thus the dryads?