BCP DRAFT LIT 128

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Overview

The mythology of ancient Greece presented in second grade requires a two-month time allotment. Therefore, the books listed below and the suggested activities will remain the same for this month and next. Plan to cover all the gods and goddesses, the myths of Daedalus and Icarus, Theseus and the Minotaur, and the lesson on theater this month. The April saying keep your fingers crossed should also be covered.

Please note that because Greek and Roman names are interchanged in many of the resources, you may wish to present both where applicable. For your convenience both names are provided in the lesson that describes the gods and goddesses. The Greek name of the character is given first and the Roman name is written in parentheses. The annotations for the Suggested Books will also provide information on possible interchanges.

Some of the activities suggested are best used at the completion of the unit and are marked as such. Others may be used with minor modifications. Be sure that you have thoroughly read an activity to be certain that the students know the information, before assigning it.

 

Read Alouds

Aliki, written and illus. by. The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus. New York: HarperCollins, 1994. ISBN 0-06-023531

Story of the origin of the Olympians; beautifully illustrated and perfect for children. D'Aulaire, Ingri and Edgar Parin. D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. New York: Delacorte, 1962.

Beautiful illustrations enhance this read aloud.

Climo, Shirley. Atalanta's Race: A Greek Myth. New York: Clarion Books, 1995.

Illustrations by Alexander Koshkin.

Espeland, Pamela. The Story of Arachne. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 1980.

Retelling that includes some humorous asides; Roman name (Minerva) is used for Athena.

Fisher, Leonard Everett. The Olympians: Great Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece. New York: Holiday House, 1984.

Full page colorful illustrations accompany information on twelve gods and goddesses.

Hodges, Margaret. Persephone and the Springtime: A Greek Myth. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1973.

Colorful illustrations by Arvis Stewart enhance this telling. Hades is called by the Roman name Pluto in this version.

Hutton, Warwick. Odysseus and the Cyclops. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Beautifully illustrated, a wonderful selection for read aloud.

Hutton, Warwick, retold and illus by. The Trojan Horse. New York: McElderry, 1992.

Wonderful pen and watercolor illustrations; students will enjoy hearing this tale.

Low, Alice. The Macmillan Book of Greek Gods and Heroes. New York: Aladdin Books, 1985.

Wonderful collection that includes myths as well as background on the gods and goddesses.

Martin, Claire. The Race of the Golden Apples. New York: Dial, 1991.

Beautifully detailed illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon. This story gives the details of Atalanta's birth, early childhood and protection by Diana (Artemis).

Osborne, Mary Pope. Favorite Greek Myths. New York: Scholastic, 1989.

Illustrations by Troy Howell.

Contains various stories and information about the gods and goddesses. Pronunciation guide included.

BCP DRAFT LIT 129

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Overview

Pilling, Ann. Realms of Gold (Myths and Legends) From Around the World. New York: Kingfisher, 1993.

Lovely art by Kady MacDonald Denton. Includes Persephone and the story of King Midas.

Rockwell, Anne. The One-Eyed Giant and Other Monsters from the Greek Myths. New York: Greenwillow, 1996.

Includes the Minotaur, centaurs and the Cyclops.

Rockwell, Anne. The Robber Baby: Stories from the Greek Myths. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1994.

Includes a pronunciation guide. Stories included about the following:

Persephone, Daedalus, Atalanta, Pandora, Pegasus, Pan, Dionysus, Hephaestus

Simons, Jamie and Scott, retold by. Why Dolphins Call: A Story of Dionysus. Englewood Cliffs: Silver Press, 1991.

Wonderful story of the kidnaping of Dionysus and how he turned the pirates into dolphins.

Simons, Jamie and Scott, retold by. Why Spiders Spin: A Story of Arachne. Englewood Cliffs: Silver Press, 1991.

Beautiful, colorful illustrations highlight this tale.

Waldherr, Kris. Persephone and the Pomegranate: A Myth from Greece. New York: Dial, 1993.

Beautiful illustrations and retelling. Uses both Greek and Roman names.

Williams, Marcia. Greek Myths for Young Children. Cambridge: Candlewick Press, 1991.

Myths are told in a comic-strip style, lively and not serious; not useful in showing the entire class but enjoyable for individual students.

Includes Pandora's Box, Prometheus and Fire, The Twelve Tasks of Heracles, Daedalus and Icarus, Theseus and the Minotaur, and Arachne.

Yolen, Jane. Wings. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1991.

Excellent book that tells the tale of Daedalus and Icarus, enhancing it with the Greek chorus. Illustrations by Dennis Nolan have the gods and goddesses appear in the clouds.

Information/Reference

Clare, John D., ed. Ancient Greece. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1994.

One of the Living History series, this book combines photographs of artifacts and scenes with costumed actors orchestrated to look like actual scenes.

Crosher, Judith. The Greeks. Morristown: Silver Burdett Co., 1974.

Includes information on the gods and some useful pictures and diagrams of the theater.

Descamps-Lequime, Sophie and Denise Vernerey. The Ancient Greeks: In the Land of the Gods. Brookfield: The Millbrook Press, 1990.

Includes information on Greek theater and the gods and goddesses.

Ganeri, Anita. Focus on Ancient Greeks. New York: Gloucester Press, 1993.

Geography, Language and literature, Science and math, History, Social history, and Arts, crafts and music are highlighted in this book. Snippets of information on gods and goddesses included.

Hewitt, Sally. Footsteps in Time: The Greeks. Chicago: Children's Press, 1995.

Very basic book, has some good craft activities related to the Greeks.

BCP DRAFT LIT 130

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Overview

Schomp, Virginia. Cultures of the Past: The Ancient Greeks. New York: Benchmark Books, 1996.

Wonderful information on the gods and goddesses, selections could be read aloud.

Audio

Mythology Set (K+) Greek Myths T7-221-3738, as told by Jim Weiss (Delta)

Greathall Productions (800) 477-6234

She and He: Adventures in Mythology, also by Jim Weiss (Greathall), includes the story of "Atalanta and the Golden Apples."

Teacher Reference

Artman, John H. Ancient Greece: Independent Learning Unit. Parsippany: Good Apple, Inc., 1991.

Useful reference book that includes activities; too advanced for this grade, but does provide ideas.



BCP DRAFT LIT 131

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Overview

Possible Activities

Riddle-Me-This!

Present the following brief descriptions of gods, goddesses and characters from the myths, and have the students solve the riddles. You may wish to have the students form teams and play against each other awarding a point for each correct answer. You could also draw a large tic-tac-toe grid on the board, again forming teams and making one the X team and the other the O team. This time when a student answers correctly have him or her place an X or an O in the grid trying to win the game. For an extension of this activity have the students write their own riddles.

(Be sure that the students are familiar with all of the characters used in this exercise. It is possible to remove unfamiliar characters and still do the activity.)

I am one of the Titans.

I knew that men needed fire because they did not have warm fur like the animals my brother made.

I was given a terrible punishment for getting the fire for them.

Who am I?

(Prometheus)

I am Zeus' son.

I made the twelve thrones of Olympus.

My forge is inside a volcano.

Who am I?

(Hephaestus)

I am the daughter of Zeus.

The people of Athens love me because I gave them the olive tree.

I am very wise.

Who am I?

(Athena)

Nobody knows where I came from but I bring love wherever I go.

My son's name is like the arrow he shoots.

I have a magic belt of beauty.

Who am I?

(Aphrodite)

I am the brother of Zeus.

You'll know me by my three-pointed spear.

I created the horse and earthquakes.

Who am I?

(Poseidon)

BCP DRAFT LIT 132

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Overview

I am Zeus' son.

Because of me the earth has light and music.

I carry a kind of harp called a lyre.

Who am I?

(Apollo)

I am a mortal.

I am a wonderful architect, just ask King Minos.

I made a complicated maze, but I had trouble making wings.

Who am I?

(Daedalus)

I had to do a dozen labors as punishment for my temper.

They would have been difficult for the average man, but I am very strong.

Even Cerberus is afraid of me.

Who am I?

(Heracles)

I am just too curious for everyone's good.

I peeked inside a jar (box) that Zeus gave to me.

I HOPE you can figure out who I am.

Who am I?

(Pandora)

I'm the reason for autumn and winter.

Because I ate six pomegranate seeds I only get to see my mother for half of the year and stay in the underground the rest of the time.

My mother is Demeter.

Who am I?

(Persephone)

I am Zeus' son.

I wear wings on my hat and wings on my sandals.

Give me a message and I'll make sure it gets delivered.

Who am I?

(Hermes)

I am Zeus' son.

I grew up with tigers and leopards in a valley.

Dolphins could tell you all about me.

Who am I?

(Dionysus)

BCP DRAFT LIT 133

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Overview

I am Zeus' brother, but you won't find me on Olympus.

I like my home and my riches.

You might see me on earth, or you might not.

Who am I?

(Hades)

I can run faster than any other mortal.

Men who wanted to marry me had to race against me.

Melanion is the apple of my eye.

Who am I?

(Atalanta)

I am the king of all the gods.

The Olympics are held in my honor.

It's easy for people to know when I'm angry because then

I toss thunderbolts.

Who am I?

(Zeus)

I am a Titan with very sore shoulders.

Holding up the sky can be very tough work.

I almost tricked Heracles into giving me a day off, but then he tricked me!

Who am I?

(Atlas)

I carried Bellerophon to fight the Chimera.

Later we tried to go to Olympus together, but it was a bad day for FLYing.

Now I carry thunderbolts.

Who am I?

(Pegasus)

Zeus is my husband and I am not a happy wife.

I am jealous and I like to get revenge.

Even my peacock knows that I want all eyes on me!

Who am I?

(Hera)

I used a ball of thread to help me get out of a maze.

Ariadne helped me and so did Daedalus.

I solved the problem Athens was having with the Minotaur.

Who am I?

(Theseus)

BCP DRAFT LIT 134

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Overview

Who's in Charge?

Back in the early days of Greece, each of the gods and goddesses was in charge of something, what do you think the god or goddess in charge of television or radio would look like if there were such a job? What special powers would this Olympian have and what special gifts would he or she bestow on devoted worshipers?

Heracles Today (worksheet included)

Tell the students that they have the job of designing three labors for a modern-day Heracles. Ask: What are the three most difficult tasks you can imagine? Would it take a superhero to clean your room? Babysit your little brother/sister? Help your team win the championship? Do your homework for an entire week? Eat the kind of dinner that your big sister prepares?

Have the students complete the Jobs-to-Do worksheet, listing three more labors for Heracles to complete and telling why it would take a superhero to do them.

You may wish to have the students illustrate Heracles completing one of the labors they have assigned.



Word Find (worksheet and answer key included)

To complete the word find, students should first match the correct words from those given at the top of the page to the statements below. Be sure to tell the students that two of the names will not be used.

After completing the matching, students will then locate and ring the words in the puzzle. The words may be found horizontally, vertically, diagonally, and backwards in any of these directions. The two names that were not used cannot be found in the puzzle.

(This activity should be used at the completion of the unit.)



 

BCP DRAFT LIT 135

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology

Name _____________________________________________

HERACLES' JOBS-TO-DO

 

JOB ONE _______________________________________________________

THIS WOULD TAKE A SUPERHERO BECAUSE ______________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________



JOB TWO _______________________________________________________

THIS WOULD TAKE A SUPERHERO BECAUSE ______________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________



JOB THREE _____________________________________________________

THIS WOULD TAKE A SUPERHERO BECAUSE ______________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Name _____________________________________________________

Word Find - Match the correct word to each statement, then find the word in the Word-Find.

ICARUS ATALANTA HERA PEGASUS

ATLAS ARACHNE ATHENA POSEIDON

PERSEPHONE HADES CERBERUS ZEUS

HERACLES MINOTAUR OLYMPUS DOLPHINS

S N I H P L O D A
M I C E L T A O S
I C E R B E R U S
N A H A S T E C E
O R O C T Z H N D
T U P L O D H E A
A S L E R C R O H
U S U S A G E P D
R E B R S A L T A
M Z A T H E N A P
L A T A L A N T A
O L Y M P U S E H

Winged horse ___________________________ Wife of Zeus ______________________

Skilled weaver __________________________ King of the gods ____________________

Three-headed dog ________________________ Held up the sky _____________________

Ruler of the underworld ___________________ Half-man, half-bull __________________

Pirates became these ______________________ Home of the gods ____________________

Son of Daedalus _________________________ Fastest runner _______________________

Gave the olive tree to Athens ________________________________

Performed twelve labors ____________________________________

Name ANSWER KEY

Word Find - Match the correct word to each statement, then find the word in the Word-Find.

ICARUS ATALANTA HERA PEGASUS

ATLAS ARACHNE ATHENA POSEIDON

PERSEPHONE HADES CERBERUS ZEUS

HERACLES MINOTAUR OLYMPUS DOLPHINS

S N I H P L O D A
M I C E L T A O S
I C E R B E R U S
N A H A S T E C E
O R O C T Z H N D
T U P L O D H E A
A S L E R C R O H
U S U S A G E P D
R E B R S A L T A
M Z A T H E N A P
L A T A L A N T A
O L Y M P U S E H

Winged horse _(PEGASUS)________________ Wife of Zeus _(HERA)_______________

Skilled weaver _(ARACHNE)_______________ King of the gods _(ZEUS)_____________

Three-headed dog _(CERBERUS)___________ Held up the sky _(ATLAS)____________

Ruler of the underworld _(HADES)__________ Half-man, half-bull _(MINOTAUR)_____

Pirates became these _(DOLPHINS)__________ Home of the gods _(OLYMPUS)________

Son of Daedalus _(ICARUS)________________ Fastest runner _(ATALANTA)__________

Gave the olive tree to Athens _(ATHENA)_____________________

Performed twelve labors _(HERACLES)_______________________

BCP DRAFT LIT 138

Second Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases -April

Keep your fingers crossed.

Ask the students if they have ever heard someone say, "I'll keep my fingers crossed." Maybe they have made the statement themselves. If so allow them to explain what the statement means to them.

Tell students that people usually say this when they are wishing for something to happen that they are really worried will not happen. We might ask someone to "keep your fingers crossed" as support for us when we are trying something we are not sure we can do, like getting permission from our parents to spend the night at a friend's house, or going to the movies.

People cross their fingers (and toes, and arms, and legs, and eyes) when they are wishing and hoping for something very much. They may be rooting for their team to win, or they may hope their name or number will be picked in a drawing. It is almost as though we think we can keep away bad luck this way.

Last of all, people sometimes cross their fingers when they are telling a fib. It is done in fun and the person crossing his or her fingers usually lets others know by hiding his or her hands in back, or sitting on them, or doing anything that makes it obvious that this kind of teasing is going on. We check to see if that person is being honest by asking if fingers (or toes, arms, or legs) are crossed.

Tell the students that as they read the myths this month and learn about the gods and goddesses, they will figure out that many fingers could have been crossed. The Story of Atalanta (The Three Golden Apples) is a perfect example. Racing against Atalanta a man might cross his fingers for luck, and the crowd might cross their fingers to cheer him on. Atalanta might even cross her fingers. Say: When we read this myth we'll see if you can figure out why she would.

BCP DRAFT LIT 139

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Gods and Goddesses

Teacher Information

The four books listed are recommended read alouds for information on the gods and goddesses. You will note slight differences in the descriptions of the Olympians as well as more- or less-detailed explanations of the unions that produced them.

Be certain that the students understand that the gods and goddesses were worshiped and feared for the power that they wielded. The Greeks believed that all mortal problems or good fortune happened at the pleasure (or displeasure) of the gods and goddesses. The myths were their attempt to explain nature and the world around them.

In introducing Olympus and those who ruled from the palace there, you may wish to make a chart (or bulletin board) that has space for the twelve thrones as well as Hestia's fire. As each Olympian is introduced, add him or her as well as representative animals or symbols, so that the students have a visual assist.

The information below is a compilation from several books. It is intended to provide information for you and may certainly be used when introducing Greek mythology. The study will be most enjoyable, however if you read selections from the books whenever possible.

Aliki, written and illus. by. The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.

Story of the origin of the Olympians; beautifully illustrated and perfect for children.

D'Aulaire, Ingri and Edgar Parin. D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. New York: Delacorte, 1962.

Beautiful illustrations enhance this read aloud.

Fisher, Leonard Everett. The Olympians: Great Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece. New York: Holiday House, 1984.

Full-page colorful illustrations accompany information on twelve gods and goddesses.

Low, Alice. The Macmillan Book of Greek Gods and Heroes. New York: Aladdin Books, 1985.

Wonderful collection that includes myths as well as background on the gods and goddesses.

Mount Olympus - The tallest mountain in Greece was believed to be the home of the gods and goddesses. The palace was high above the clouds and hidden from the view of those below. Olympus was said to be filled with sunlight always and there was never rain or snow there. The Greeks believed that the gods and goddesses could pass through the clouds to the land below, but no human could travel up through the clouds to the palace. The rainbow is said to be the path that the messenger Iris used to travel from Olympus to earth and then back.

In the palace there were twelve golden thrones made by Hephaestus, son of Zeus and god of fire. On these thrones sat the twelve great gods and goddesses: Zeus, Hera, Ares, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Hermes, Demeter with Persephone on her lap, Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, and Dionysus. Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, tended the sacred fire. She had given her throne to Dionysus when he first came to Olympus. Hades, god of the underworld, decided to not live on Olympus, but to remain below the earth.

 

BCP DRAFT LIT 140

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Gods and Goddesses

Major Gods and Goddesses

Zeus (Jupiter) - King of the gods, was considered the chief judge who settled arguments, he threw thunderbolts when he was angry, was stronger than all the other gods together. The Olympics were held to honor Zeus. All athletes visited the temple to Zeus (which housed a statue

of him that was nearly four stories tall), and promised that they would compete with honor. The games were held every four years and Olympia hosted the first. "Citius, Altius, Fortius" ("Faster, Higher, Stronger") is the motto of the games.

Zeus is referenced in some way in most of the myths covered in this unit. His frequent trysts with mortal women resulted in superhero children and a difficult relationship with his wife.

Hera ( Juno) - Wife and youngest sister of Zeus, Hera frequently plotted against her husband because of his unfaithfulness and her jealousy. She caused many hardships for mortals because of her desire for revenge. She was the goddess of marriage and her favorite bird was the peacock. The origin of the peacock can be found in the story of Io, Argus and Hermes.

Apollo - Son of Zeus, god of light, Apollo was the most handsome of the gods. He was also the god of music and mathematics, poetry, medicine and healing, and reason. He spoke through the oracle at Delphi where he predicted the future. Apollo carried a small harp, or lyre, made for him by his brother Hermes. Apollo had a twin sister Artemis (Diana) who was the goddess of the hunt and all newborn creatures, she protected little children and ruled the moon.

Poseidon (Neptune) - God of the sea and brother of Zeus, Poseidon is pictured with a long beard and carrying a trident, or three-pointed pitchfork. He was the second most powerful of the gods, able to cause tempests and earthquakes by striking the sea with his spear. Poseidon is supposed to have created the horse and given it to man.

Aphrodite (Venus) - Goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite was the wife of Hephaestus. Born without parents, she is supposed to have sprung from the sea. When she wore her magic girdle (belt), a gift from her husband, it was said that no one could resist her as she was more beautiful than all others. Aphrodite's son was Eros.

Ares (Mars) - The son of Zeus and Hera, Ares was the god of war. He was vain and cruel and would wage war for the joy of it. He delighted in seeing mortals battle and frequently brought violence to them. He sided with the Trojans in the Trojan War. Aphrodite cared for him, but all the other gods and goddesses disliked him.

Hermes (Mercury) - Messenger of Zeus as well as his son, Hermes was god of shepherds, travelers, merchants, thieves and all others who live by their wits. He wore a golden hat with wings, a pair of winged sandals, and a cape under which he could hide his magic tricks. Travelers would pile stones along the roads believing that Hermes stood inside helping them find the way. Hermes led the souls of the dead to the underworld. His son was Pan.

Athena (Minerva) - Goddess of wisdom and war, Athena sprang from the head of her father Zeus, already grown-up and fully dressed in armor. She carried a magic shield that turned her BCP DRAFT LIT 141

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Gods and Goddesses

enemies into stone. She was Zeus' favorite child (her companion was Nike, the spirit of victory); she watched over cities and the people who lived in them. Athens was under her protection and named for her. In a contest against her uncle Poseidon, she won the affection of the people of Athens by giving them an olive tree. She is often pictured with an owl on her shoulder. Athena

waged only righteous war, as when she sided with the Greeks in the Trojan War. She challenged and changed Arachne into a spider.

Hephaestus (Vulcan) - God of fire and child of Zeus and Hera, Hephaestus was thrown to earth by Zeus and forever crippled. He created helpers made of gold who assisted him and helped him move about from place to place. He worked at forges inside volcanoes and his hammering would cause eruptions to occur. He made the most wonderful clever things from metal (the twelve thrones of Olympus) at his forge. He was the husband of Aphrodite, but theirs was not a happy union.

Dionysus (Bacchus) - Son of Zeus and god of wine, Dionysus was the youngest of all the Olympians. He grew up in a valley where he played with tigers and leopards. He taught himself to make wine from the grapes that grew there and spent his time traveling throughout Greece teaching this skill to others. Hestia (goddess of the hearth), the most generous and sweetest of the gods and goddesses, gave her throne to him.

Simons, Jamie and Scott, retold by. Why Dolphins Call: A Story of Dionysus. Englewood Cliffs: Silver Press, 1991.

Wonderful story of the kidnaping of Dionysus and how he turned his pirate captors into dolphins.

Hades (Pluto) - Brother of Zeus, Hades was god of the underworld and ruler of the dead. His name was also the name given to the place where people went when they died. All the precious metals under the earth belonged to Hades so he was also the god of wealth. He was called the "unseen" because he had and used the cap of invisibility. He ruled and lived in the underworld and did not have a throne on Mt. Olympus. He stole Persephone from earth and brought her below to be his wife.

Demeter (Ceres) - Sister of Zeus, Demeter was the goddess of harvest. She was responsible for making the crops of the earth grow, and keeping the land healthy and green. Her daughter Persephone (Proserpina) was her greatest joy and when Demeter sat in her throne on Olympus, Persephone sat in her lap. If Demeter visited earth, Persephone went along as she was never out of her mother's sight for long. When Persephone was taken to the underworld by Hades, Demeter almost let the earth become barren and the people starve. Because she was a kind goddess, Demeter taught man how to plant and sow in order to always have food.

Hestia (Vesta) - Eldest sister of Zeus, Hestia tended the fire in the palace hearth and was honored by mortals with a fire in the hearth of every home. Hestia was very kind and gave her throne to Dionysus when he was brought to Olympus. She never took sides nor did she disagree with anyone. All mortals prayed to her.

BCP DRAFT LIT 142

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Gods and Goddesses

Minor Gods, Creatures and Characters

Eros (Cupid) - God of love and son of Aphrodite, Eros would shoot a person with one of his

magic arrows and cause that person to fall in love with the first person he saw. He is usually pictured as a cherub and is often associated with Valentine's Day.

Pan - Son of Hermes and god of nature, Pan was protector of hunters, shepherds and curly-

fleeced sheep. He was a funny looking creature with a goat's legs, pointed ears, two small horns and hair covering his body. He delighted in living a leisurely life in the fields where he played an instrument (pan flute) made of a series of pipes joined together in a line. Pan's scream caused what we call panic.

Atlas - One of the Titans (giants), Atlas was the brother of Prometheus and Epimetheus. He was given the job of holding up the heavens on his shoulders. Heracles tricked Atlas into helping him with one of his labors. Atlas tried to trick Heracles, too.

centaurs - Centaurs were creatures who were half man and half horse. Men from head to waist attached to the bodies of horses, they were noted for their wild and careless behavior. They trampled crops and carried off women.

Cerberus - Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of Hades, kept the souls of the dead in the underworld from leaving, and kept mortals from entering. Heracles had to capture Cerberus for one of his labors.

Pegasus - Pegasus was the winged horse ridden by Bellerophon when he fought the Chimera, a creature with the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a dragon. Bellerophon was given a magic bridle by Athena so that he could capture Pegasus.

Years later Bellerophon tried to fly to Olympus on Pegasus. Zeus sent a gadfly to sting Pegasus. Pegasus reared when he was stung and threw Bellerophon to earth where he landed blind and lame. Pegasus was taken to Olympus by Zeus where he became the bearer of Zeus' thunderbolts.

BCP DRAFT LIT 143

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Theater

Objectives - Note: This lesson may require two class periods.

Identify the parts of a Greek theater.

Compare and contrast Greek theater to theater of today.

Materials

Diagram of a Greek theater (attached)

Pictures of Greek theater ruins and masks worn by actors (see Suggested Books)

Suggested Books

Crosher, Judith. The Greeks. Morristown: Silver Burdett Co., 1974.

Includes information on the gods and some useful pictures and diagrams of the theater.

Descamps-Lequime, Sophie and Denise Vernerey. The Ancient Greeks: In the Land of the Gods. Brookfield: The Millbrook Press, 1990.

Includes information on Greek theater and the gods and goddesses.

Fagg, Christopher. Ancient Greece. New York: Warwick Press, 1979.

Many good photographs.

Ganeri, Anita. Focus on Ancient Greeks. New York: Gloucester Press, 1993.

Geography, language and literature, science and math, history, social history, and arts, crafts and music are highlighted in this book. Snippets of information on gods and goddesses included.

Hewitt, Sally. Footsteps in Time: The Greeks. Chicago: Children's Press, 1995.

Very basic book, has some good art activities related to the Greeks.

Pearson, Anne. What Do We Know About the Greeks? New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1992.

Good photographs of theater, pictures of masks.

Schomp, Virginia. Cultures of the Past: The Ancient Greeks. New York: Benchmark Books, 1996.

Includes photographs of Greek theaters and background information.

Related Books

Morris, Ting and Neil. Sticky Fingers: Masks. New York: Franklin Watts, 1993.

Step-by-step instructions for making very simple masks.

Procedure

Remind the students that when you read A Christmas Carol you talked about some of the words that are associated with theater. Quickly review the words play, playwright, comedy, tragedy, theater, stage, act and scene. You may wish to simply ask how many students recall the terms.

Tell the students that performing plays and using a theater first began almost 2000 years ago in Greece. Plays were performed as a part of a religious festival that occurred for ten days out of the year. During those ten days all the people in the city came to the theater. Even the people who couldn't afford to pay their admission had it paid by the government so that they could participate. The audience sat in the theater for the entire day. People brought food and drink with them and comfortable cushions to sit on. Ask the students how they think they would feel if they had to sit in one place for the entire day!

BCP DRAFT LIT 144

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Theater

Say: The word theater comes from a Greek word that means "a place for seeing." The Greek theaters were certainly that. Write the word theater and a place for seeing on the board.

Using a transparency of the attached Greek theater design or a drawing of your own, show the students the horseshoe shape of the area where the audience sat. Tell the students that what they are looking at is an overhead view, what they might see if they were birds flying above. (You may also want to have the students "make" a theater in the classroom by moving a group of desks into a horseshoe formation, marking an area for the orchestra, and putting more desks at the end to form the Proskenion.) Explain that the seats rose in tiers. Ask the students why they think the seating was arranged this way and does it remind them of any other place where the audience sits in this kind of arrangement? (all the audience could see; a stadium) Tell the students that the theater and seats were made of stone, and the seats were built into a hillside. (Remember those cushions that people took along!) This entire structure is called an amphitheater. (Add to list on board.) Explain that performances were originally given with the audience seated in a circle. Ask the students if they could think of any advantages or disadvantages of that kind of arrangement.

Point out the altar (located in the orchestra) and remind the students that the plays were part of a religious festival. Ask the students to recall the name of the god of wine (Dionysus) Explain that the altar was dedicated to him and offerings were made to him there. Remind the students that food and wine were often used for offerings, but that while the festival was going on prayers were probably offered.

Again referencing the diagram, identify the circular area in front of the seats as the orchestra. Be sure that the students understand that in Greek theater this is the name given to an area and not a group of musicians. Tell the students that the chorus performed in the area of the orchestra. Ask students if they have ever heard the word chorus before. If so, ask a volunteer to tell what a chorus does. Explain that the Greek chorus was made up of singers and dancers who explained what was going on in the play and responded to the actions and words of the performers. (Add the words altar, orchestra, and chorus to the board.)

The plays that were performed were written by men with names that sound very strange to us. Sophocles (SAH-fo-cleez) and Euripides (Yu-RIP-I-deez) were two such men. They and other playwrights each wrote three tragedies and one short funny play that were performed during the festival. (Remind the students that in a tragedy the hero faces terrible problems or obstacles. Ask them if they can guess who causes the problems.) Judges who watched the plays from the front seats of the theater, chose a winning play and winning actors. It was a great honor for the playwright whose work was chosen as best. He was honored with a wreath of olive or laurel leaves.

The first plays told about the gods and goddesses only, but eventually they told stories about the mortals (people who were not gods and goddesses, people who were born and eventually died). Say: The stories you are learning about the gods and goddesses of Greece are what these plays were about.

Tell the students that performances were done either in front, or on the roof of the

Proskenion. This building held the dressing rooms, masks and props and was high enough so that the audience could easily see the actors performing on the roof there. The back wall of the stage was called the skene. It is the Greek word that our word scenery comes from. Ask a student to tell what scenery is. (Add the words Proskenion and skene to the board.)

BCP DRAFT LIT 145

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Theater

Only men were allowed to act in Greek theater and they wore masks so that they could portray any character. The masks were very large and extended so that they covered the actors' hair. The masks were built up around the mouth like a little megaphone so the actors' voices would carry. Usually an actor played several characters and sometimes several actors took turns

being the same character. The actors wore very high shoes like stilts so that everyone in the audience could see them. Because the theater was built into a hillside, sound traveled very well, so that made it easier for the audience to hear the performance.

Take some time to discuss and contrast Greek theater with theater of today. You might wish to point out the absence of lighting and microphones in Greek theater and the dependence on the weather for the day of the performance. Discuss the amount of time a performance took; performers were exclusively male; the use of masks with few props or costumes; and that Greek theater was part of a religious festival rather than simply entertainment.

Tell the children that while there were many differences, there were similarities, too. Ask a volunteer to explain sound effects and tell the students that the Greeks managed to include special effects in their plays as well. They made thunder by rolling pebbles on sheets of copper (explain that this is metal), and they flashed mirrors to make lightning. Students may be able to suggest simple ways to simulate wind, the sound of hoofbeats, water, etc. that the Greeks might have used.

If you decide to allow the students to try producing sound effects try pebbles on cooky sheets for the thunder and fabric (sheets or towels) flapped sharply to create the sound of wind.

To end the lesson, ask volunteers to give simple definitions for the words you have written on the board and to recall as many things about Greek theater as they can. (For your convenience simple definitions are provided below.)

amphitheater - Greek theater, made of stone, built into the hillside

theater - "a place for seeing"

altar - place where gifts and prayers were offered to gods and goddesses; in the theater the altar was dedicated to Dionysus, the god of wine

orchestra - circular area in front of the seats; the altar was located here and the orchestra performed here

chorus - singers and dancers who explained and responded to the play

Proskenion - building that held the dressing rooms, masks and props; had a high roof where performances were held

skene - back wall of the stage, the word scenery comes from this

plays - included three tragedies and one humorous play; Euripides and Sophocles were early playwrights

BCP DRAFT LIT 146

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology - Theater

Additional Activities

You may wish to have the students make simple masks and perform a play based on one of the myths. If there are few characters in the play and few masks needed, have students work together in a group.

The diagram of the amphitheater could be reproduced for the class. Together you could create a key and the students could color the respective areas to match the key.

BCP DRAFT LIT 148

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology

Teacher Information

A brief synopsis of each myth is provided as well as objectives to consider when discussing it with the students. Some of the objectives will be readily grasped by the children, while others will require more direction on your part. Continue to have the students participate in the stories by role playing and pantomiming.

You may wish to have the students sequence the events in a particular myth or you may lead a discussion of the traits of a particular character. However, because so many myths are presented, and there is so much background on the gods and goddesses, you may wish to simply read and briefly discuss each.

Prometheus

D'Aulaire, Ingri and Edgar Parin. D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. New York: Delacorte, 1962.

Beautiful illustrations enhance this read aloud.

Low, Alice. The Macmillan Book of Greek Gods and Heroes. New York: Aladdin Books, 1985.

Wonderful collection that includes background on the gods and goddesses as well as myths.

Williams, Marcia. Greek Myths for Young Children. Cambridge: Candlewick Press, 1991.

Myths are told in a comic-strip style, lively and not serious; not useful in showing the entire class but enjoyable for individual students.

 

Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus, both giants or Titans as they were called, were given the job of making men and animals. When Zeus gave them this job he also gave them gifts to give to their creations. Prometheus made clay men who looked like the gods. When he was pleased with the figures he made, he breathed life into them. His brother Epimetheus made all the animals.

Epimetheus used all the gifts that Zeus had given like speed, sharp sight and hearing, and strength, for his animals. Prometheus' men were left without any of the fine gifts, and without fur to cover their bodies, they shivered in the cold.

To save his creations, Prometheus stole fire from Mt. Olympus and gave it to the men. Only the gods were allowed to own fire and Prometheus knew that Zeus would be angry. Because of this he taught the mortals to honor the gods by burning offerings of meat. The gods and goddesses loved the smell of the offerings but the men were burning up all the best food. So Prometheus tricked Zeus into saying he wanted offerings containing the parts of meat that the people could not eat. Zeus was so angry about the trick that he punished Prometheus by chaining him to the top of a mountain where every day an eagle swooped down and ate his liver. Each night the liver grew back and Prometheus was forced to feel the pain begin again.

(Heracles eventually frees Prometheus from his chains and the punishment.)

Recognize that the gods and goddesses could be equally kind and cruel.

Recall that fire was important to man (recall that it provided light, heat and protection).

Recognize that because of stories of the punishments they gave, the gods and goddesses were feared by the Greeks.

Activity - Make a list of wild animals and beside each write the "gift" that it received.

For example: lion - beautiful mane, sharp claws and teeth, roar

cheetah - spotted coat, speed

BCP DRAFT LIT 149

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology

Pandora

D'Aulaire, Ingri and Edgar Parin. D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. New York: Delacorte, 1962.

Beautiful illustrations enhance this read aloud.

Low, Alice. The Macmillan Book of Greek Gods and Heroes. New York: Aladdin Books, 1985.

Wonderful collection that includes myths as well as background on the gods and goddesses.

Rockwell, Anne. The Robber Baby: Stories from the Greek Myths. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1994.

Includes a pronunciation guide.

Persephone, Daedalus, Atalanta, Pandora, Pegasus, Pan, Dionysus

Williams, Marcia. Greek Myths for Young Children. Cambridge: Candlewick Press, 1991.

Myths are told in a comic-strip style, lively and not serious; not useful in showing the entire class but enjoyable for individual students.

 

Pandora was made by Hephaestus. She was the first mortal woman and was given the gifts of life and beauty by Athena and Aphrodite, as well as many other gifts. When she was put on earth Zeus gave her a sealed jar (box) and warned her never to open it. Zeus was still unhappy that man had fire (see Prometheus) and devised a terrible trick to play on mankind. Being told not to open the container posed a tremendous temptation for Pandora. Eventually she gave in to her curiosity and decided that she could take a quick look without anyone finding out. When she did open the container to take a peek, Greed, Slander, Vanity, Envy and all the evils there could ever be escaped; only Hope was left.

Recognize that the gods were vengeful.

Recognize that while the escaping evils were a punishment, there was also goodness that came.

Relate "opening Pandora's box" to situations where unforseen problems result.

Activity - Put a sealed, attractively decorated box on display several days before you read this myth. (You may want to put some kind of treats for the children inside.) On the day that Pandora is read, ask the students if they can guess what it is the box. Ask how many have been curious about the contents.

Read the myth and then ask the children if they have any different ideas about what is inside the box. Do they still want to open it? (If you have put a treat inside, have the students help you open the box and share.)

Theseus

D'Aulaire, Ingri and Edgar Parin. D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. New York: Delacorte, 1962.

Beautiful illustrations enhance this read aloud.

Low, Alice. The Macmillan Book of Greek Gods and Heroes. New York: Aladdin Books, 1985.

Wonderful collection that includes myths as well as background on the gods and goddesses.

Williams, Marcia. Greek Myths for Young Children. Cambridge: Candlewick Press, 1991.

Myths are told in a comic-strip style, lively and not serious; not useful in showing the entire class but enjoyable for individual students.

BCP DRAFT LIT 150

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology

 

Theseus, the son of King Aegeus of Athens, grew up without knowing who his father was. Years later father and son were reunited and Aegeus named Theseus the heir to his throne. At this time Athens was being forced to send seven maids and seven lads to Crete every nine years. These youth were sacrificed to the Minotaur, a horrible creature with the body of a man and the head of a bull who resided in a labyrinth (maze) under the palace of King Minos. (Daedalus was the architect who designed the palace and the labyrinth.)

Theseus vowed to help his father and Athens defeat the Minotaur. He arranged to take the place of a young man on his way to be sacrificed. Theseus told his father that he would sail with black sails on the ship, and after defeating the Minotaur, would return with white sails flying.

Minos' lovely daughter Ariadne fell in love with Theseus. She promised to help him if he would agree to marry her and take her away. Aided by Daedalus, she gave Theseus a sword and a ball of thread that would unroll and show the way to the monster. Theseus, after killing the Minotaur, could follow the thread and find his way out.

Theseus was successful and he, Ariadne and the other Athenians started for home. On the way Dionysus appeared to Theseus and said he wished to marry Ariadne. Theseus did not wish to anger the god and left Ariadne on the island Naxos.

As he sailed back to Athens, he forgot to put up the white sails. Aegeus, who was anxiously awaiting his son's return, saw the black sails and threw himself into the sea (Aegean Sea) and died. Theseus became king.

Identify Theseus as a hero.

Recognize that Theseus respected the gods' wishes (left Ariadne).

Identify that strength alone would not defeat the Minotaur and the labyrinth.

Activity - Talk about how the ball of thread helped Theseus find his way out of the labyrinth. Relate to Hansel and Gretel and the stones Hansel dropped and then followed as a path out of the forest.

Make a maze out of desks in the classroom and have a student "Theseus" unravel a ball of yarn while finding the way to the center, then rerolling to find the way out.

Daedalus

D'Aulaire, Ingri and Edgar Parin. D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. New York: Delacorte, 1962.

Beautiful illustrations enhance this read aloud.

Low, Alice. The Macmillan Book of Greek Gods and Heroes. New York: Aladdin Books, 1985.

Wonderful collection that includes myths as well as background on the gods and goddesses.

Rockwell, Anne. The Robber Baby: Stories from the Greek Myths. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1994.

Includes a pronunciation guide.

Williams, Marcia. Greek Myths for Young Children. Cambridge: Candlewick Press, 1991.

Myths are told in a comic-strip style, lively and not serious; not useful in showing the entire class but enjoyable for individual students.

Yolen, Jane. Wings. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1991.

Excellent book that tells the tale of Daedalus and Icarus, enhancing it with the Greek chorus. Illustrations by Dennis Nolan have the gods and goddesses appear in the clouds.

BCP DRAFT LIT 151

Second Grade - Literature - Mythology

Daedalus was a master craftsman who designed the palace of Cnossus (king Minos' palace) as well as the labyrinth where the Minotaur was kept. When Theseus killed the Minotaur and escaped with Ariadne, King Minos knew that Daedalus had to have helped them. As punishment, Daedalus was made a prisoner.

Daedalus couldn't bear to stay locked up and made two sets of wings from feathers and wax, one for himself and one for his son Icarus. They flew off from the highest tower in Cnossus trying to escape. Daedalus warned his son not to fly too high because the sun would melt the wax. Icarus ignored his father and flew too high. The sun melted his wings and Icarus fell to his death. Unhappily, Daedalus flew on alone to Sicily.

Identify Daedalus as a hero who used his wit and cunning.

Recognize that Daedalus loved his son and wanted Icarus to be with him.

Recognize that Icarus did not heed his father's warning.