Congratulations! You’re a new teacher about to begin an incredible journey educating young minds. Right now, you’re probably getting organized and mapping out lesson plans. This sample lesson plan is a great go-to resource for how you can structure an individual lesson. It’s part of a larger series called 10 Guidelines for Planning Units, which provides strategies for efficiently putting together all of your teaching plans. Both were adapted from The New Teacher’s Complete Sourcebook: Middle School by Paula Naegle.
Mythological stories can be traced across continents and back to the beginning of time. People from different cultures have created myths to celebrate the diverse, the heroic, the unbelievable, and the unknown. At first glance, students may wonder what ties their lives may have to Greek mythology, if any. 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.
- Develop skills needed to respond to inferential and critical questions when reading
- Utilize works of literature as springboards to writing
- Develop vocabulary Develop oral and written skills
- Compare and contrast Greek mythology to other stories
- Practice writing for a variety of purposes and audiences
- Identify elements of Greek mythology in popular culture, including advertising, humorous writing, fiction, and product identification
- KWL Chart printable
- Books of myths
- World map
- Scrapbooking materials
Step 1: K-W-L: 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.
Step 2: Understanding Conflict and Resolution: Throughout the first two weeks, students read myths in class to determine the types of conflicts that occur (e.g., person vs. person, person vs. nature, etc.) and how these conflicts are resolved.
Step 3: Word Maps: 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.
Step 4: Punctuation Review: 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.
Step 5: Predictions: 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.
Step 6: Analysis: After reading the story of Demeter and Persephone, students determine what naturally occurring phenomena are explained.
Step 7: Descriptive Writing: 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.
Step 8: Class Debates: After reading the myth about Prometheus, divide students into two groups. 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.
Step 9: Collaborative Writing Project: 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.
Step 10: Reader's Theater: 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.
Step 11: Newspaper Article: Students study the differences in author's style and purpose for newspaper writing vs. fiction. Then they identify the basic facts of the Trojan War (who, what, when, where, why, and how) and convert the information into an effective newspaper article.
Step 12: Review Game: What's My Line? Students generate five sentences about their god or goddess without using the name. Divide students into two teams to play the game. Each player reads his or her sentences, one at a time, to the opposing team to see how few sentences it takes for that team to guess the god. This game is used at the end of the unit as a review for the unit test.
Step 13: Culminating Activity: Students create scrapbooks to demonstrate new knowledge of mythology. The scrapbooks will be displayed in the class museum. Throughout the unit, students participate in learning activities from which they may select items they have created to place in their scrapbooks. For example, if a student's assigned goddess is Persephone, that student could include a character map, flowers, a drawing of Persephone, a newspaper article telling of her kidnapping, postcards from the underworld, a mock marriage certificate for Persephone and Hades, or creative diary entries from Persephone's point of view. Students should participate in the development of a rubric or scoring guide to evaluate the project before they begin their work.
Teacher's observations of student preparedness, student work samples, and participation in group activities.
- Newspaper article related to the Trojan War
- Word maps and vocabulary quizzes
- Character chart of god or goddess
- Journal entries
- Oral presentation of god or goddess
- Mythology scrapbook