Myth has two main functions," the poet and scholar Robert Graves wrote in 1955. “The first is to answer the sort of awkward questions that children ask, such as ‘Who made the world? How will it end? Who was the first man? Where do souls go after death?’…The second function of myth is to justify an existing social system and account for traditional rites and customs.” In ancient Greece, stories about gods and goddesses and heroes and monsters were an important part of everyday life. They explained everything from religious rituals to the weather, and they gave meaning to the world people saw around them.
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Landscape With The Fall of Icarus
by William Carlos Williams
According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring
a farmer was ploughing
the whole pageantry
of the year was
the edge of the sea
sweating in the sun
the wings' wax
off the coast
a splash quite
this was Icarus drowning
It Came From Greek Mythology
(an EDSITEMENT resource)
How do the Greek heroes influence modern culture?
What meanings did myths about gods, goddesses, and heroes have for the ancient
What meanings do the Greek myths have for us today?
What qualities does a hero possess?
How were the earliest stories passed down?
What does folklore teach us about different cultures?
How did ancient cultures explain natural events?
How does traditional literature and mythology compare across cultures?
What do (the Greek) myths have to teach us? How are they relevant to contemporary life?
How does our knowledge of Greek mythology aid us as readers constructing meaning from
everyday text such as signs, articles, literature, and advertising?
Sample 9th grade unit (Week One Intro)
Some General Lesson Ideas
1. Write a HOW to piece based on a Greek Myth.. ex. How to fight Medusa. How to anger the Gods.
2. Complete a personality assessment based on characters from Greek Mythology.
3. Create a new journey for a hero or heroine.
4. Make a Crossword Puzzle using information learned.
5. Read a book (or use literature circles) that relates to Mythology and prepare a book talk that explains the connection to classic Greek Mythology and the contemporary novel.
6. Find or write a poem based on a Greek Myth
7. Watch a movie based on a Greek Myth and analyze the characterization of modern film to the text version.
8. Find photographs of the famous buildings of ancient Greece (Parthenon, Knossos, Delphi). Find American architecture that is influenced by Greek architecture.
9. Write an original myth to explain a natural phenomenon.
10. Bring in 3 advertisements that allude to Greek mythology.
11. Create a genealogy chart of family tree based on a series of characters.
12. Play 20 questions. One student is chosen to be a character (or could be an element or architecture) from Greek mythology. They leave the room and do not know who or what they are. Then that student can ask the class 20 questions to determine who they are.
13. Make a write-around story. Groups of 4 start a new story and then pass the paper to add a new line or paragraph.
14. Create a new advertisement using mythological allusions for a new or common product. Teacher can bring in ads and pass them out randomly for students to redesign, or the whole class can work on one.
15. Create a board game based on a myth(s).
16. Make a bulletin board and compare Greek images with modern images.
17. Students choose one story from Greek Mythology and memorize it. (not word-for-word, just enough so they can retell the story). Have a “campfire” in the classroom—sit on carpets, in a circle, and let each person tell their story. Can vote on who told it the best and offer a prize.
18. Watch the movie O Brother Where Art Thou and search for allusions and comparisons to Odysseus and The Odyssey.
19. Students create a modern day Pandora’s box. Decorate it with connections to myth and modern day—then fill it with a dozen evils of today’s society. The evils must be personified and at least have eyes and wings. After they have shared, they can write or discuss possible solutions.
20. Students work in pairs to create a poster of each of the characters you cover. Use different color paper to represent Gods, mortals, semi-gods.
Gallery of the Gods -- From Mythology Teacher
Awesome Webquest from Mythology Teacher
Trojan War Game from Mythology Teacher