Does your child dare taken on this fearsome Greek mythlogy maze? Featuring a dizzying spiral of twists and turns, plus a snoozing minotaur in the middle, this maze is a great backseat distraction and homework break -- just don't get lost!
The ancient Greeks were polytheistic, meaning they worshiped multiple gods. They also told many stories (myths) about the gods, which were meant to guide human behavior and teach about the relationship between gods and humans.
Zeus, the thunder god and ruler of the godsPoseidon, sea godHades, god of the underworldPersephone, queen of the underworldHephaestus, god of fire (blacksmithing)Hermes, messengerAres, god of warApollo, god of light, linked to Helios, the sunDionysus, god of wine and fertilityHera, wife of Zeus, queen of the godsAphrodite, goddess of loveIn addition to gods and goddesses, the Greeks included many heroes in their myths. Heroes were either human or demigods (the offspring of a human and a god or goddess).
NOTE: Even when written for children, Greek myths contain mature content such as violence and death; curses; sexuality, polygamy and infidelity; slavery and human sacrifice. It is highly recommended that you preview myths to assess their appropriateness for your students.
The following myths are recommended choices, since they have clear take-away lessons, and because violent elements and other mature content are a bit less prominent (though certainly still present). Decide whether you will allow students to access these links themselves, or whether you will print out the stories ahead of time.
The lessons in this unit provide you with an opportunity to use online resources to further enliven your students' encounter with Greek mythology, to deepen their understanding of what myths meant to the ancient Greeks, and to help them appreciate the meanings that Greek myths have for us today. In the lessons below, students will learn about Greek conceptions of the hero, the function of myths as explanatory accounts, the presence of mythological terms in contemporary culture, and the ways in which mythology has inspired later artists and poets.
Although myths convey exciting stories about gods and heroes, they are not equivalent to "stories" either in the modern sense of a deliberate fiction or the traditional sense of a folk tale or tall story. Rather, myths are traditional narratives often of gods, goddess, and heroes, great deeds and supernatural powers, that are passed down through various textual and visual sources and convey commonly held beliefs in a particular society about natural phenomena, historical events, and proper behavior. The lessons below will help students to understand this important distinction.
The Greek myths were not composed as stories for children. The Greeks were not shy about treating sexually explicit subjects. Although the links provided below are generally "cleaned up" versions of the myths, you should review all materials for appropriateness before presenting them to your students.
Note to the teacher: Be sure to review any material before distributing it to the class. While the Bullfinch versions of the Greek myths are generally "cleaned up," some versions you find may not be appropriate for your students.
As an introduction to this curriculum unit, and as a way of leveraging student interest in the Percy Jackson books and movie, have students watch this video of Rick Riordan, author of the award-winning children's book series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. (Note this can be done as homework the night before class.) Here are some questions for students to answer.
Greek myths often attempted to explain mysterious elements of the natural world. How did the Echo story explain what causes an echo? How did the Phaeton story explain how the sun moves across the sky and why the land of Libya is a desert? Spiders have adapted to catch prey through the creation of webs. How does the story of Arachne explain the origin of spiders?
Mythological terms are common in contemporary society. For example, an odyssey is a voyage, as well as a minivan! As students learn more about the characters of Greek mythology, they may be surprised to discover many familiar words derived from myths.
Hades rocketed onto the roguelike scene and quickly rose to prominence in the genre, garnering award after award for its slick gameplay, amazing visuals, and captivating story. With Hades II having just been announced, fans are already doing their Classics homework in order to figure out whatever they can about the newest installment of the phenomenal franchise.
Supergiant Games very clearly did their homework when it comes to Greek Mythology, specifically the deeper dives. The original Hades game stars Zagreus, a lesser-known god by today's standards but a central character in the Orphic Tradition. Often referred to as the "First Dionysus," there is a lot of scholarly debate around Zagreus himself and his origins.
Hades did an amazing job of drawing upon existing myths to create a story all its own that lives and breathes a distinctive identity. From what has been seen so far, Hades II seems to be following the same pattern of pulling from Orphic Tradition to tell a compelling, yet unique story. The sequel is very likely to live up to the greatness of its predecessor.
Although when we think of mythology we think of a collection of stories, there is a beginning to them. Understanding the beginning of the story, the creation of the world, gives us a framework to build upon as we learn about the different myths.
Myths are a way of understanding the world. This lesson has been about Greek mythology, but every culture has myths. Myths define social customs and beliefs, explain natural and psychological phenomena, and provide a way for people to discuss things that cause anxiety.
Hopefully myths inspire you, too, because you are about to create your own myth! As you know, myths were often used to explain natural phenomena. Your challenge is to create your own myth to explain some natural phenomenon or land formation. It could be anything from the origin of hurricanes to how the Grand Canyon or a mountain range was created. You will tell this myth in a story format.
Mythology is interesting. It tells the story of characters who are now thought of as fictional but centuries ago were worshiped and considered to be responsible for the well being of all of mankind. If you have homework to complete on this topic, here are some ideas that may save you time and effort.
They are a people with a very rich history that has been well documented. By reading this history you will gain a greater understanding of where their myths came from. It will make it easier for you to remember the myths as well because they will make sense to you one more levels.
This gives you a better sense of what you need to study and what future homework assignments will focus on. If your teacher is very helpful you can also take this opportunity to ask about whatever tends to confuse you about the myths.
This post resonates with me. My father is a mechanical engineer and was a prof. of engineering for fifteen years in Romania. Asking him for help with my high school physics homework was the worst. He basically told me the textbook and what the teacher told me was wrong. Now, he may well have been right (after all, he made satellites go into space using the math, whereas my physics teacher barely managed to communicate with us), but it did not help me do the problem sets one bit. Anyway, he made up for it when I was in grad school and occasionally wondering if I should take on some time-consuming activity or if I should focus on my dissertation. 2b1af7f3a8