Monday, March 18

The Dragon Pearl & Korean Mythology

There are three types of myths in Korean culture - the shin, cheonseol, and mindam.  Shin stories are about ghosts or spirits, and are usually supernatural tales.  Cheonseol is based on Confucianism, and shows humans who rise above their station in life to challenge the gods.  These stories are often handed down, like folklore, and usually involve something that was left behind, such as a flower or rock.  Mindam stories might have someone overcoming a difficult situation through luck or trickery.  These stories are about common people.  Unlike western myths, the spirits in Korean myths are not always evil.  Life and death are considered part of the same process, and life can co-exist with death.

Creation story
The world did not exist until Yul-ryeo, a god, and the goddess Mago both appeared.  Yul-ryeo died, but Mago gave birth to Gung-hee and So-hee, two goddesses.  Each of the girls gave birth to two Men of Heaven and two Women of Heaven...these were the Heavenly People

Then Yul-ryeo was revived, and the earth, oceans, souls, fire, water, and earth were created.  These became the plants and animals of the world.  The Heavenly People ruled from a fortress called Magoseong, in honor of the goddess Mago.
shin                                shin                   spirit, god, divine, supernatural
hwahwa                    words, to talk
cheoncheon                    transmit, hand down
seolseol                                  to say, to speak
minmin                    people, mankind, folk
damdam                    to talk, to converse

For this unit, our spine read is The Dragon Pearl

Access the complete unit study in the World Mythology Unit Studies Bundle!

Includes sixteen unit studies covering world mythologies. Each unit addresses a new topic, spanning ancient through modern history.
  • Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.
  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.

These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together. Our family has used unit studies as curriculum for many years, and we hope that your family will enjoy these, too!


  1. This sounds like a book my son would LOVE! Thanks for recommendation.

  2. My 12 year old daughter would love this book! Thanks for linking up!

  3. This book seems fascinating!


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