At first glance, students may wonder what ties their lives may have to Greek mythology, if any.
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However, upon further examination, they will realize that myths have provided us with explanations, have influenced our vocabulary, have entertained people for many generations, and continue to teach us many lessons. Students will gain knowledge and understanding of the legacy of ancient Greece; selected myths, gods, and goddesses and their impact on literature today; and the relationship between Greek mythology and modern society.
Use this activity at the beginning of the unit to assess how much students already know about mythology and to determine what they would be interested in learning. At the conclusion of the unit, students work in small groups to generate lists of new understandings about what they have learned. Understanding Conflict and Resolution: Throughout the first two weeks, students read myths in class to determine the types of conflicts that occur e.
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Students plot word maps to help facilitate their understanding of new vocabulary encountered during the unit. Word maps contain definitions, synonyms, sentences using the word correctly, and illustrations. Students are presented with a conversation between two mythological characters from which all punctuation has been removed. Students work with a partner to punctuate the conversation correctly and then compare their version with the original.
Students discuss the name of the mythological character and make predictions about the character in the myth. As they read, students continue to make predictions and confirm or reject those predictions.
After reading the story of Demeter and Persephone, students determine what naturally occurring phenomena are explained. Students brainstorm words that describe the underworld and then write a descriptive paragraph of what Persephone saw when Hades kidnaps her and takes her to the underworld. After reading the myth about Prometheus, divide students into two groups.
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One group supports Prometheus's decision to give man the precious gift of fire. The other group supports Zeus's decree that man should not be given fire. Students must use evidence and sound reasoning to support their positions. After reading the myth of Echo and Narcissus, students begin a class book entitled, Beauty Is All members of the class, including the teacher, contribute to the book.
Students will work in groups to adapt mythological stories using a Reader's Theater format and then present their adaptations to the rest of the class. Students study the differences in author's style and purpose for newspaper writing vs. Communicate with your teachers.
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