Legendary Lands and Creatures
Building Mythical Worlds
A myth is a story that explains mysterious events and often describes the adventures of magical characters who have supernatural powers. Myths have origins all over the world, but many of them have only survived the test of time because of powerful storytelling. Today we’ll see what makes an awesome mythical world and put you on the path to creating the next Narnia or Atlantis!
what you’ll need
- A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
- Construction or regular paper
- Pens, crayons, markers or colored pencils
Ask About Today
Which mythical creature did you enjoy learning more about today? Why? Tell me more about your favorite creature.
If we could get ONE mythical pet, what would you name it and how would it look?
Skip the Ads
Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.
What's the secret formula for a fantastical world? Let's start with one key ingredient: A big imagination.
Favorite Fantasy Worlds
Fantasy worlds and mythical creatures go together like peanut butter and jelly! Your world and its creatures can be as wacky or whimsical as you’d like them to be. In this video, you’ll see just how far some filmmakers and writers were willing to go to bring their worlds to life.
Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.
Centaurs, Minotaurs, and More!
Mythical creatures have origins all around the world, and many of them have mixed or "hybrid" animal/human features (like the Centaur, which has the torso of a human and the body of a horse). In this video, you'll learn more about some of the most popular ones.
Tour a Wizarding School
In order to build your world, you’ll first need to think of your setting, the location where all the action will take place. For inspiration, check out this virtual tour of the legendary school of magic from the Harry Potter series, Hogwarts.
The beginning of your mythical world starts today with a little brainstorming and then design!
Plan Your Own Legendary Land
This week, you'll be creating your own legendary land, filled with fantastical creatures and mythical beasts. Start by recreating this "story map" on your own paper. Think about the main details, like where your story will take place, who the hero or heroine is, and what problem they are trying to solve. Don’t worry too much about other characters and creatures right now. You’ll be learning about so many this week and the special powers they have to help your story.
Draw Your World
Once you’re all done, grab your construction paper and use your markers or colored pencils to sketch what your world looks like! Here's some inspiration. Think of it as a rough draft to get your imagination working. Later this week, you'll use a larger sheet of paper or poster board to collect creatures and bring your land to life.
Where the Wild Things Came From
As you learned earlier, mythical creatures have origins all over the world. Many of the ones you’ll read about today will show up later in the week, but use these beautifully illustrated maps to learn which creatures may have origins near you and think about which ones you might want to include in your world.
For younger explorers
Thelma the Unicorn's Story
Read along with the story Thelma, The Unicorn by Aaron Blabey.
For younger explorers
How to Catch a Unicorn
Do you think you know how? Read along to find out!
For younger explorers
Meet George the Giant
The smartest giant in town!
Our Hero, Dark Bunny
Every imaginary world needs a hero. Think about the one you'll create for your world while you help Dark Bunny and his friends save the city on PBS Kids.
If exciting worlds haven't got your heart racing already...
Take a Jog in Unicorn Land
Get ready to move your body with the Kids Coach in mythical Unicorn Land. (Just keep clear of those pointy horns.)
more to explore
Get to know some of the most legendary creatures a little better.
Unicorns in History
You might be surprised to learn that tales and stories about unicorns originated in ancient Greece nearly 2,000 years ago! To learn more, check out these facts from the American Museum of Natural History.
The Giants Causeway
Many myths and legends come from mysteries of nature that were later explained by science. In Ireland, a magical place filled with unusual rock formations led to the legend of an epic fight between giants. Learn more about it—and the real explanation behind it—in this brief video.
Glacial Lakes, or Giant Footsteps?
Here's a giant tale closer to home: Legend has it that Minnesota's 10,000 lakes formed from the enormous footsteps of the giant Paul Bunyan and his ox. Was he real? And did he really have a giant blue ox named Babe? Find out for yourself in this article from History.com.
Books of Fantasy and Adventure
Want to get lost in a fantastical world? Here’s a list of some of the best fantasy books that you may be able to borrow from the library or buy at a local bookshop this summer, from our friends at Common Sense Media.