Greek god

Greek Mythology Learning Unit

Students submit a mythological allusion folder. The submission contains ten current references to mythology that students have located in various texts — advertising, literature, music, art, newspaper articles, new reports, etc. Students detail the reference or copy of the reference, its allusion to Greek mythology, and a summary of how their understanding of the text depends on awareness and understanding of Greek mythology.

Learning Unit

Greek Mythology: All In The Family

LU TITLE: Greek Mythology: All in the FamilyAUTHOR Tim Bazan and Judy Waite
Canastota, NY 13032
 SCHOOLS PHONE/FAX: 315-697-2003



  • Identifying the twelve Olympian gods/goddesses, their domain, and their symbols
  • Defining the following terms as used in the study of Greek mythology: mythology, anthropomorphism, hierarchy, fatalist
  • Summarizing the Greek version of the creation myth summarizing studies myths and understanding their value to the ancient Greeks:


  • Reading and interpreting information from their selected website
  • Compare/contrast the Greek myth to explain an aspect of nature to the scientific explanation or explanation cited by a culture group
  • Synthesizing and prioritizing information from a variety of sources
  • Creating an explanatory myth about some aspect of nature
  • Designing a mythological business card using Microsoft Word
  • Creating a mythological allusion folder


  • What lessons can we learn from the study of ancient Greek mythology that can be applied today to address social and ethical attitudes?
  • How and where do we see Greek myth alluded to in our culture today?
  • How does our knowledge of recently studied Greek mythology aid us as readers in constructing meaning from texts we encounter everyday such as signs, articles, literature, advertising?


Three days prior to the start of the class unit on Greek mythology, the instructor will have each student randomly select a slip of paper on which will be the name of the particular character the student must research for the following two days in the Media Center. Students will use the Internet and log onto an appropriate website to gather information about this mythological character. Students will take notes that they will use to present their learning to their peers. Students will also locate an appropriate visual of their studied character and will print a copy to be used at a later date.


Definitions of terms used during this unit study of Greek mythology:

During the start of Day 1, the instructor will ask all students to define mythology inside their notebook and list various references to myth. The instructor will then ask students to share their definitions along with their understanding of mythology. The instructor will stress to the seniors that they will be exploring the mythology of the early Greeks and how their tales explained natural phenomena, life, morality, and death. Since these seniors have analyzed various fables and legends earlier in their English curriculum at CHS, instructor will discuss the similarities/differences among the three genres.

The instructor will follow this discussion by writing the word anthropomorphism on the board and asking students to write this word in their notebook. Instructor will guide students to analyze this word based on its roots/suffix – anthrop/morph/ism. Once students determine the meaning of these roots, they should have little difficulty in defining the word. The instructor will remind students that many of our words from the English language are derived from the Greeks. Students will maintain a vocabulary page inside their notebook and will record words that they will encounter during this study that have been derived from the Greeks (geography, for example, once they’ve read about Gaea).

For hierarchy, the instructor will have drawn a ladder on the board to have students visualize the “rungs” and connect the rungs to higher rank. The instructor will have students complete a hierarchy within a school system and, after discussion and sharing, the students will create a visual to depict the hierarchy in another familiar setting of their choice – work place, family, U.S. government, for examples.

The remaining words will be assigned for homework to be defined inside the student’s notebook and will be listed and defined on strips of paper to be posted inside the classroom. Students will be assessed on the understanding of these vocabulary words at a later time – see attachment #1.

Identification of Greek gods/goddesses, their domains, and their symbols:

Having been assigned the reading entitles, THE OLYMPIAN GODS, from their text, students will be asked to list the names of the various gods/goddesses they encountered in their night’s reading. The instructor will list all student suggested names on the board. Instructor will engage students to either add to and/or delete from the list. Instructor will encourage the “student experts” to contribute to this list. Remember that I use the term “student experts” to refer to those students who have already completed their initiating activity/learning from the material accessed from their Internet website.

Once the list of the twelve Olympian gods/goddesses has been agreed to by the class, the instructor will distribute a graphic organizer – see attachment #1.

After this graphic organizer has been completed, students will share their information during class discussion. The “student experts” will enlighten their peers with additional information they had discovered on the Internet website. Students and instructor will modify their organizer accordingly. Once all discussion has ensued, the instructor will model his/her graphic organizer and display it on the overhead so that all students will be provided with one additional opportunity to make any necessary revisions. Students will demonstrate their knowledge by completing a blank organizer at a later time.

Greek’s version of creation:

Before assigning the readings, THE CREATION OF THE WORLD and THE CREATION OF MORTALS, from the text, the instructor will engage the students in identifying other creation myths they are familiar with. If there is limited response, the instructor will ask students to travel back into time to their seventh or tenth grade social studies class where they explored the Iroquois or Hindu creation myth. The instuctor will guide the students as they brainstorm the details they may remember about these myths. This list will remain in the room and be referred to after the students read the Greek myth of creation. Students may also be familiar with and share their understanding of the Genesis myth of creation.

The instructor will begin the reading during class, if time permits, and/or will assign it to be read for the following class. After completing this version, the instructor will read aloud Hesoid’s version located in Edith Hamilton’s MYTHOLOGY. “Student experts” will be afforded the opportunity to add to this discussion, and students will work in a triad to complete a graphic organizer to highlight the similarities/differenced among the various creation myths discussed.

Students will be assessed on their ability to compare/contrast the Greek myth of creation to another myth of their choice after composing a one page word processed response paper that will be holistically scored with equal grading for organization, development, and technical control.

Greek myths of nature:

After completing a brief study of the Greek’s version of creation, the instructor will assign students the reading from their text entitled, THE NATURAL WORLD. Students must be reminded that one of the primary purposes of mythology is to explain imaginatively something which science can’t explain and that, since the Greeks were highly imaginative, many of their myths explained phenomena of nature. Working in pairs of triads at the start of this class, the instructor will have the groups compose an explanatory story based on a topic selected at random. The groups will compose for fifteen minutes and then share their creations with the class.

The class will start the reading of these myths after they share their stories. Students will complete their reading for homework and will complete a graphic organizer that will ask students to summarize the myth and the value the myth had in Greek society. “Student experts” will add any other details so that all students will have a better understanding of these myths. All students will have the time to revise their organizer accordingly. Students will be assessed on their understanding through their participation in class discussion and the completion of their organizer that will be holistically scored.

Greek myths of morality:

Before beginning class on this area of investigation, students will freewrites for five minutes to create a joke or familiar story that ends with a moral. Students will volunteer to share these entries with their classmates and have their classmates provide the moral. After sharing one or two of these stories/jokes, students will complete the graphic organizer independently that requires them to identify the myths they read from the text entitled, THE MORAL WORLD, summarize each myth listed, and identify the moral lesson learned. Organizers will be collected and returned the following day when “student experts” will be afforded the opportunity to share their knowledge. Students will be encouraged to make necessary revisions during this discussion period. Students will be assessed on their understanding based on their completed organizer that will be holistically scored and through their participation during class discussion.

Greek mythological business card:

Following the completion of the textual readings and class discussions, the instructor will ask students to refer back to their character and brainstorm a list of details about this character worth remembering. Students will then meet with a peer to share their list. Students, at this particular time, may add details to their notebook list. The instructor will ask students to then prioritize the most important detail. Students will be reminded to consider Internet research, other research, class discussion, textual readings, and notes before they prioritize.

Students will meet the next day inside the computer lab where they will be instructed how to create their business card using the MICROSOFT WORD program available. If the English classroom instructor is unfamiliar with this program, he/she simply could arrange for the business communication instructor to work with the students.

Students will be designing their business card that will include the identity of their character, a visual of their character or aspect of their character, and a listing of, at least, eight key details relating to their character. Students will learn how to scan their visual (previously located when students initially researched their character) and determine where to place it on their card. Students then need to be certain they have prioritized their details so that they have included those details their classrooms need to remember about this character.

Once all students have completed their business cards, the instructor will create review sheets that will include all student cards do that they can study for their unit exam and later use to review for their final. Each review sheet will contain approximately eight student created cards, and the number of review sheets will be determined by the total number of cards created.

NOTE: Since the cards are sometimes difficult to read, I have discovered that it is easier for students to enlarge their cards. Those cards could easily become part of the mythology bulletin board display. See attachment for assessment of student created mythological business card.

Myth allusion folder:

Students will be requires to submit a mythological allusion folder that will include, at least, ten student located references to mythology in our world today. The instructor will remind students that artists, writers, speakers, etc. use mythological references in their communication. In order for the audience to understand the message, the audience must recognize and understand the allusion. Thus, this culminating project demands that students become aware of the mythology used in their everyday surroundings and allows them the opportunity to locate various texts that contain mythological allusion. Students will locate ten such texts from a variety of diverse sources such as advertising, poetry, songs, art work, any written text, political cartoons, cartoons, etc. Students must “stretch” themselves and discover mythological allusions from, at least, five different sources. Students will provide the mythological allusion in its context and explain how meaning is derived from their understanding of this allusion. The instructor will provide a rubric to assess student work on this culminating project. See rubric that follows.


Working independently, at first, students will create a business card that features a visual and the ten most important details or facts about their recently reserached Greek character. Students will review their internet notes, lecture notes, discussion notes, graphic organizers, etc. to compile this list of the ten most important facts or features of their character. The class will then group all cards and will place them on a ditto that will contain eight student created cards. This will be xeroxed for all students to enable them to review for their unit exam. Students’ original mythological business card will be enlarged and become part of the class bulletin board display.

Students will also submit a mythological allusion folder that will include ten current references to mythology that students have located in various texts such as advertising, literature, music, art, newspaper articles, new reports, etc. Students will submit the reference or copy of the reference, its allusion to Greek mythology, and a summarization of how their understanding of the text is dependent on awareness and understanding of Greek mythology.


Incorporated in this three week unit on Greek mythology are the following English Language Arts/Technology Standards:

English Language Arts –

  1. Standards 1-4

Listening Skills: Students will…

  1. listen respectfully and responsively on a daily basis.
  2. listen on a daily basis to comprehend, interpret, and respond to instructor and classmates’ discussion of Greek mythology.
  3. listen to the Media Specialist’s lesson on using the Internet for research purposes.
  4. listen to the business communication instructor’s lesson on how to use Microsoft word program to create and design their mythological business card.
  5. Standards 1-4

Speaking Skills: Students will…

  1. speak on a daily basis to share interpretations, facts, ideas about Greek mythology.
  2. ask probing and challenging questions to acquire information and/or seek clarity.
  3. respond to questions/ideas from their classmates and instructor by speaking extemporaneously to clarify or elaborate on ideas, information, experiences, issues, etc.
  4. Standards 1-4

Reading Skills: Students will…

  1. use Internet, print, and on-line bibliographies and other specialized reference tools to gather and read information about Greek mythology.
  2. identify and evaluate the validity of these informational sources and form opinions and make judgements about the validity and accuracy of these texts.
  3. read to analyze and evaluate ideas, information, opinions, issues, etc. relating to Greek mythology.
  4. read texts to discover how authors employ mythology to communicate meaning.
  5. Standards 1-4

Writing Skills: Students will

  1. understand the purpose for writing.
  2. identify the intended audience for all created texts.
  3. use tone/diction appropriate for audience/purpose.
  4. observe all rules for punctuation, capitalization, and spelling when creating texts.
  5. analyze and integrate information to communicate data, facts, and ideas.
  6. use word processing software in the development of informational texts.

Technology Standards: Standard 3a – Universal Foundation Skills –

Students will apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human needs.

Students will use the computer as a tool for generating and drawing ideas.

Students will select and use appropriate technology to complete a task.


Key Questions:

What are the key elements, traits, or dimensions that will be evaluated?

Are the identified elements of equal importance or will they be weighed differently?

 Element #1Element #2Element #3Element #4
Elements/ScaleMythological AllusionsDescriptionSourcesTechnical Control
4Folder contains ten pages with each page noting one mythological allusion and its reference.Descriptions of mythological allusions are clear and accurate. A detailed explanation of their relevance is included.Each page featured one specific Greek mythological reference. There were no duplicates of reference names. There were, at least, five different kinds of sources used.Write-ups were written in correct form. There were no more than three technical control errors noted within the folder.
3Folder contains between seven and nine pages with each page noting one mythological allusion and its reference.Descriptions of mythological allusions are somewhat clear and accurate. A partially detailed explanation of their relevance is included.At least eight of the ten pages featured a unique Greek mythological reference. There were, at least, four different kinds of sources used.Write-ups were written in correct form. There were between four and seven total technical control errors throughout the folder.
2Folder contains between four and six pages with each page noting one mythological allusion and its reference.Descriptions of mythological allusions are not clear, accurate, or included. Explanations of their relevance is too brief.At least five of the ten pages featured a unique Greek mythological reference. There were, at least, three different kinds of sources used.Write-ups were not written in correct form. There were between seven and ten total errors noted throughout the folder.
1Folder contains between one and three pages with each page noting one mythological allusion and its reference.Descriptions are not included. Explanations of their relevance is also not included.At least three pages featured a unique Greek mythological reference. There were, at least, two different kinds of sources.Write-ups were not written in correct form. There were more than ten total errors noted throughout the folder.


INTERNET WEBSITES maicur/Individuals.html groedmed/myth.html


PRINT RESOURCES (in Canastota Jr. Sr. Media Center)

Bulfinch, Thomas. A book of myths, selections from Bulfinch’s Age of fables. New York: Macmillan, 1942.

Bulfinch, Thomas. Bulfinch’s mythology. New York: The Modern Library.

Colum, Padraic. The golden fleece and the heroes who lived before Achilles. New York: Macmillan, 1921.

Cotterell, Arthur. The encyclopedia of mythology. Smithmark, 1996.

Daly, Kathleen N. Greek and Roman mythology A to Z. New York: Facts on Fiel, 1992.

Evslin, Bernard. The Greek gods. New York: Scholastic Book Services, 1966.

Graves, Robert. The Greek myths. Baltimore: Penguin, 1960.

Hamilton, Edith. Mythology. New York: New American Library, 1942.

McLean, Mollie. Adventures of the Greek heroes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1961.

Further reading: How to Write a Lesson Plan: 7 Steps