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Dragons are a much-loved mythological animal that are gigantic, powerful snakes or reptile-like creatures. They have appeared in mythology throughout the ages and are especially popular and cultural in China.
See the fact file below for more information on Dragons or you can download our 29-page Dragons worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Origin of Dragons
- Dragons are among the most well-known and enduring mythological creatures, having been thought to exist for centuries. Dragon stories have been passed down through many cultures, from the Americas to Europe and from India to China.
- It’s unclear when or where dragon stories first appeared, but the massive, flying serpents had been characterized at least as far back as the ancient Greeks and Sumerians.
- Eastern Origins – The Eastern dragon first appears in two Chinese creation myths, one of which is the story of Pan Gu, who hatched from a cosmic egg, and the other about the goddess Nuwa.
- Nuwa is portrayed as a woman with the lower half of an Eastern dragon, which features a muscular torso and a feathery tail.
- It is said that the Eastern Dragon inherited today has the body of a snake, the belly of a frog, the scales of a carp, the head of a camel, the horns of a giant stag, the eyes of a hare, the ears of a bull, the neck of an iguana, the paws of tigers, and the claws of an eagle.
- Western Origins – The origins of the western dragon can be found in the myths of those countries. Dragons appear in Greek mythology as Typhon, Ladon, Lernaean Hydra, and Python. Typhon is a monstrous dragon with a hundred snake heads who was defeated by Zeus in their battle for supremacy over the cosmos.
ROLE OF DRAGONS
- The Dragons’ roles in mythology vary depending on the ancient culture in which they appear. Dragons are often sinister creatures in European mythology that must be defeated or outwitted.
- It is said that mythical dragons were responsible for monarchs ascending to the heavenly realms, the same with the story of when Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor, was abducted and carried to the sky by a bearded dragon.
- Dragons frequently appear in most ancient mythologies and were closely linked with the Great Mother, the water god, or even the warrior sun god.
- As all-powerful creatures of the universe, they were thought to be both beneficial and destructive.
- Western dragons have been depicted as evil in the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments.
- The dragon in the Book of Revelation is a serpent called the Devil, Satan, that is red and large, with ten horns and seven heads, on which are seven crowns, but it wants to eat a child. Dragons are considered the world’s deceivers.
- In both Eastern and Western cultures, the dragon is said to be the enemy of the sun and the moon. Eclipses were thought to happen whenever the dragon swallowed the heavenly bodies, which explains why the dragon appears in primitive astronomy.
CHARACTERISTICS ACCORDING TO EASTERN BELIEFS
- Although dragons, or dragon-like creatures, frequently appear in legends all over the world, different cultures have interpreted them in different ways.
- Chinese dragons and Eastern dragons are generally regarded as benevolent and spiritual beings who represent primal forces of nature and the universe and are great sources of wisdom.
- Temples dedicated to Eastern Dragons or with Eastern Dragons as guardians are located near the sea or rivers, as dragons inhabit and rule the earth’s waters in many parts of the East.
- Eastern Dragons can create clouds full of fertilizing rain for the earth, which links them to storms, particularly thunder and lightning, and also makes the Eastern Dragon a symbol of the unity of two waters: earth’s waters, such as lakes, rivers, the sea, and so on; and heaven’s waters, or the rain.
- Dragons are most likely the most significant creatures in Eastern cultures, with different forms and meanings in Japan, China, Vietnam, and Korea.
- Dragons appear in many celebrations and are part of the Chinese zodiac. They are carved on many buildings and doors, woven into garments for traditional Asian clothing, painted in murals, and still used in dances today.
CHARACTERISTICS ACCORDING TO WESTERN BELIEFS
- Unlike Chinese dragons, which are regarded as a symbol of good fortune, a dragon in Western mythology is regarded as an evil entity.
- The English word dragon is said to be derived from the Greek word drakes, which means “serpent.” The true origin of the word, on the other hand, still remains a mystery.
- European dragons, as well as some cultures in Asia Minor, such as the ancient Persian Empire, were frequently perceived as malevolent, linked with evil supernatural entities as well as the natural enemy of humanity.
- Many legends depict dragons as greedy creatures who hoard swarms of gold and other precious treasure. Dragons were monsters to be defeated in myths and folklore.
- Because dragons are thought to represent the dark side of humanity, such as greed, lust, and violence, conquering a dragon represents confronting and extinguishing those evil instincts.
ABILITIES AND APPEARANCES
- The Eastern dragon lacks wings because its ability to fly is due to divinity and mystical powers rather than physical adaptations.
- The Western dragon, on the other hand, has the same scaly, reptilian appearance as the Eastern dragon, but that’s about it. Western dragons are depicted as having four legs and two bat-like wings, allowing them to fly.
- The Western dragon’s power stems from its razor-sharp talons, massive size, and ability to breathe fire. Meanwhile, the Eastern dragon is a graceful creature that commands all of the elements, especially water.
- While the flames of the Western dragon bring destruction, the waters of the Eastern dragon bring life and agricultural prosperity.
- They are considered celestial providers who have control over lakes, rivers, and rain.
- Dragons have appeared in almost every culture throughout history in various forms.
- They serve as characters in films, books, and even literature. The famous medieval fantasy epic series “The Game of Thrones,” has three dragons in its cast; where Drogon stood out the most is one of the most popular cultures where dragons are featured.
- Smaug, a dragon from the film “The Hobbit”, is said to be Middle Earth’s final “great” dragon, is a dragon stereotypical of European mythology. Smaug is a vengeful dragon who lives within the confines of his own mountain, resting on a bed of gold coins stolen from the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain.
- Shenlong, also known as the “Eternal Dragon” and “Dragon God,” is one of pop culture’s most recognizable dragons due to Dragon Ball’s long-standing influence on the anime community.
- Toothless, the secondary protagonist in “How to Train Your Dragon,” is one of the well-known dragons in an animated film.
- Mushu the dragon is one of the most well-known characters in the Disney film “Mulan.” Mushu’s characteristics distinguish him from the typical dragon character. He’s short in stature, unable to fly, a coward in combat, and unable to breathe fire.
- Siegfried’s myths inspired Richard Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung, one of history’s most famous operas. J.R.R. Tolkien, like J.K. Rowling, did for her Harry Potter series, drew inspiration for his novel The Hobbit from medieval dragon legends.
This fantastic bundle includes everything you need to know about Dragons across 29 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching kids about Dragons, a much-loved mythological animal that are gigantic, powerful snakes or reptile-like creatures. They have appeared in mythology throughout the ages and are especially popular and cultural in China.
Complete List of Included Worksheets
Below is a list of all the worksheets included in this document.
- Dragons Facts
- Dragon Impressions
- Oriental Dragons
- Chinese Dragons
- Yamata no Orochi
- Dragons of the West
- Two Dragons
- Earth Dragons
- Earth Dragons II
- The Underwater Dragon
- A State Symbol
Frequently Asked Questions
What are dragons known for?
Dragons are mythical creatures that have been in a lot of old cultures and traditions. They could be good or bad, and they could live anywhere. A lot of dragons could breathe fire and were very strong.
Who invented dragons?
The earliest pictures of creatures that look like dragons are from the Xinglongwa culture between 6200-5400 BC. It is possible that the Hongshan culture was the first to use Chinese hieroglyphs (symbols) to represent dragons around 4700-2900 BC.
Do dragons talk?
Dragons can’t speak the languages that people speak because their lips are not good at making some of the sounds. But each side can learn to understand the other’s language, so they can still talk by speaking in their own languages.
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Link will appear as Dragon Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 14, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.