Author:
Christina Karakanta
Subject:
Ancient History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Middle School
Grade:
6, 7
Provider:
Wyoming Department of Education
Tags:
  • Ancient Greece
  • God
  • Goddesses
  • Greece
  • Greece Civilization
  • Greek
  • Mythology
  • Religion
  • Wyoming Department of Education
  • religion
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Audio, Downloadable docs, Video

    Education Standards

    Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece (90 minutes)

    Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece (90 minutes)

    Overview

    The study of ancient Greece is vital to the study of all other periods of history, including modern history, in understanding how past enduring influences shape our present. This lesson may be part of a unit on Ancient Greece that covers the major areas of this ancient civilization: geography, architecture, democracy, government, philosophy, Olympics, daily life, Athens, and Sparta. Students will learn about the gods and goddesses, their place of origin, their symbols, and their sanctuaries.  

     

    Introduction to Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece (10 minutes)

    The following activities are part of the introduction to the lesson.

    Teacher starts by informing students that the learning objectives of the lesson: to learn about the gods and goddesses, their place of origin, their symbols, and their sanctuaries.   

    Teacher does a KWL activity on flipchart paper or whiteboard (K: what students already know; W: what they want to know; L: what they have learned - this step is performed at the end of the lesson).

    Teacher asks students:

    What do you know about gods and goddesses of ancient Greece? (make notes on the flipchart as students brainstorm).

    What do you want to learn about gods and goddesses of ancient Greece?

    Teacher makes notes on the flipchart as students share their questions.

    Greek Gods

    The learning objectives of today's lesson are to learn about the gods and goddesses, their place of origin, their symbols, and their sanctuaries.  

    What do you know about the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece?

    What do you want to learn about the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece?

    Image retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/zeus-poseidon-hi-greeting-zipper-2897795/

    Teacher plays the video The Greek Gods on a projector for students to get a general overview of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece.

     

     

    The Greek Gods

    Watch this fun video to get a brief introduction about the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece.

    Teacher asks/discusses:

    What are some characteristics common for every god and goddess?

    Students should be supported with prompting to identify that gods and goddesses

    * have a special power 

    * a symbol

    * human-like qualities (emotional, irrational, jealous of each other, immoral)

    * their power helped explain the unknown or teach a lesson to humans

    Teacher asks students to reflect on which god or goddess caught their attention, and why (allow some time for sharing), or something that surprised them.

    What are some characteristics common for every god and goddess?

    Note that each god and goddess has a special power, a symbol, and human-like qualities. 

    Myths described gods and goddesses' lives and actions. In myths, they often actively intervened in the day-to-day lives of humans. Myths were used to help explain the unknown and sometimes teach a lesson to humans. For example, Zeus, the king of the gods, carried his favorite weapon, the thunderbolt. When it rained and there was thunder and lightning, the ancient Greeks believed that Zeus was venting his anger. 

    Many stories are about how the Greek gods and goddesses behaved and interacted with humans. The Greeks created gods and goddesses in the image of humans; that is, their gods had many human qualities even though they were gods. The gods and goddesses constantly fought among themselves, behaved irrationally and unfairly, and were often jealous of each other. The Greek gods and goddesses were highly emotional and behaved inconsistently and sometimes immorally. Greek religion did not have a standard set of morals. The gods and goddesses, heroes, and humans of Greek mythology were flawed.

    Which god or goddess caught your attention, and why? 

    What surprised you? 

     

    Where did Gods and Goddesses live? (15 minutes)

     

    Following the brief, fun introduction on gods and goddesses of ancient Greece, students will travel to the home of the gods and goddesses via Google Earth.

    Teacher asks students: So, where did these gods and goddesses live?

    Teacher takes students' responses.

    Acropolis

    Where did the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece live?

    Gods and goddesses of ancient Greece lived on Mount Olympus and were worshiped in sanctuaries built in their honour. 

    Image retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/acropolis-athens-greece-antique-1348511/

     

    Teacher prepares Google Earth on the projector. 

    Teacher asks students if they have tried Google Earth before.

    Teacher tells students: Ancient Greek gods and goddesses lived on the Mount of Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. The gods and goddesses of ancient Greece were also called "The Olympians" because they lived on Mount Olympus.

    Teacher takes students to Mount Olympus on Google Earth. Teacher tells students that some gods and goddesses are believed to have been born in other places and that many gods and goddesses have sunctuaries dedicated in their honour.

    Teacher shows the following places to students (in bold):

    Zeus: found in a cave in Mount Dikte or Mount Ida in Crete

    Hera: believed to be from Samos island 

    Athena: the goddess of the city of Athens; her sunctuary is the Parthenon

    Apollo: his birthplace is Delos island

    Demeter: believed to have stayed in Eleusis to mourn her daughter's death

    Poseidon: temple in Cape Sounion and sanctuary in Isthmia near Corinth dedicated to him

    Aphrodite: born from the sea; came ashore near Paphos in Cyprus

    Artemis: sanctuary in Ephesos

    Ares: his home believed to be the land of Thrace

    Hephaistos: Hephaisteion temple in Athens

    Dionysos: born in Thebes

     

    World

    Have you tried Google Earth before? We are going to use Google Earth to visit the places of gods and goddesses of ancient Greece.

    Ancient Greek gods and goddesses lived on the Mount of Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. The gods and goddesses of ancient Greece were also called "The Olympians" because they lived on Mount Olympus.

    Some gods and goddesses are believed to have been born in other places and that many gods and goddesses have sunctuaries dedicated in their honour.

    Open up Google Earth and visit the names (in bold) from the list bolow.

    Enjoy the journey!

    Mount Olympus (where gods and goddesses lived)

    Zeus: found in a cave in Mount Dikte or Mount Ida in Crete

    Hera: believed to be from Samos island 

    Athena: the goddess of the city of Athens; her sunctuary is the Parthenon

    Apollo: his birthplace is Delos island

    Demeter: believed to have stayed in Eleusis to mourn her daughter's death

    Poseidon: temple in Cape Sounion and sanctuary in Isthmia near Corinth dedicated to him

    Aphrodite: born from the sea; came ashore near Paphos in Cyprus

    Artemis: sanctuary in Ephesos

    Ares: his home believed to be the land of Thrace

    Hephaistos: Hephaisteion temple in Athens

    Dionysos: born in Thebes

    Image retrieved from https://www.google.ca/earth/

    Teacher asks students: 

    What did you think of Google Earth and the places we visited?

    Teacher listens to students' responses.

    What did you think of Google Earth and the places you visited?

    Let's Explore the Gods and Goddesses (40 minutes)

     

    In this activity, students visit The British Museum on individual iPads. They explore the gods and godesses of ancient Greece in greater detail using the graphic organizer attached. 

    Teacher pairs students; directs them to the British Museum website and asks them to click on Gods; puts the website on the projector for students to access on their iPads.

     

     

     

     

    Greek Gods

     

    Visit the British Museum website, and click on Gods.

    Image retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/greek-greece-frame-mythology-3223553/

    Teacher distributes graphic organizer to students; suggests students to split the gods and goddesses so they can work more efficiently and teach each other; informs students that they will be sharing their findings at the end of the activity; clarifies any questions about the activity.

    While students work on the activity, teacher circulates and offers assistance, where needed.

    Look up all the gods and goddesses in this interactive site, and, using the graphic organizer attached, make note of their symbols, story, objects, their place of birth, and the festivals they are celebrated on.

    Be prepared to share your findings.

    Teacher goes through the gods and goddesses in the graphic organizer to review, and has students share their findings.

    Teacher engages in a brief discussion about students' insights with questions such as: 

    What surprised you the most?

    Which God, in your opinion, is the most useful, and why?

    What surprised you the most?

    Which God, in your opinion, is the most useful, and why?

     

    Which Greek God or Goddess are you? (10 minutes)

     

    In this activity, students visit the National Geographic Kids site on individual iPads. They take a fun personality test to figure out which Greek god or goddess they are. 

    Teacher asks students:

    Are you fierce and focused, or dreamy and dramatic? Maybe you’re somewhere in between. Take this personality quiz to find out which ancient Greek god or goddess you’re most like! 

    It's OK if your result doesn't fit your personality—this is just for fun!

    Teacher puts the website on the projector for students to access on their iPads, and wait for students to take the quiz.

    Mythology

    Are you fierce and focused, or dreamy and dramatic? Maybe you’re somewhere in between. Take this personality quiz to find out which ancient Greek god or goddess you’re most like! 

    It's OK if your result doesn't fit your personality—this is just for fun! 

    Image retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/greek-mythology-vegetation-tree-1392847/

    Teacher asks students to share their results.

    Teacher asks students Do you agree with the results? Why? Why not?

    Which god or goddess are you?

    Do you agree with the results? Why? Why not?

     

    Wrap-up: Interactive Quiz on Gods and Goddesses (15 minutes)

    In this summative activity, students visit the British Museum site to assess their learning by taking one short quiz.

    Teacher tells students that they will take an easy online quiz to check their learning of gods and goddesses.

    Teacher tells students that they can take the quiz as many times as they like.

    Teacher puts up The British Museum: Gods and Goddesses website and clicks on Challenge. 

    Teacher asks students to access the website on their iPads and try out the quiz. Students can work in pairs.

     

    Quiz

    Visit The British Museum: Gods and Goddesses website and take the quiz to check your learning on the ancient Greek gods and goddesses. You may repeat the test as many times as you like. Have fun!

    IImage retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/quiz-tiles-letters-red-game-test-2074324/

    Teacher distributes the exit slips and asks students to share one interesting fact they learned from today's lesson. 

    Teacher collects the exit slips.

    The exit slip activity completes the KWL chart introductory activity.

    What is one interesting fact you learned from today's today?

    Complete the attached exit slip and return it to your teacher.