4 class periods of 60 minutes each
Thinking & Reasoning
Essential Question: What role did entertainment play in the development of ancient civilizations?
- Copies of short versions of various Greek and Roman myths.
Story map for each individual student and for each group.
Examples of puppets
Materials to create puppets (socks, popsicle sticks, cardstock, string, crayons, etc.)
Student Prior Knowledge
Understand the purpose and features of mythology.
Intended Learning Outcomes
Students will recognize the cultural contributions of ancient Greek and Roman mythology and drama.
What is an entertainment that you enjoy? Your family? Our country?
Discuss what they are and the origins of some of their favorite forms of entertainment. Brainstorm as a class forms of entertainment that we enjoy today that have existed for thousands of years (activating prior knowledge).
What forms of entertainment did ancient Greek and Romans develop that still exist today?
Direct discussion to storytelling and drama.
- Read to the class a Greek or Roman myth of choice.
- As teacher reads, the students listen and take notes on the story map.
- When the story is finished, discuss the features of the myth using the story map as a guide. Have a student record the features on the board. Discuss with the class the purpose this particular myth had in the lives of the ancient Greek or Roman people (for example, to explain a natural phenomenon or teach a moral lesson).
- Introduce dramatization of Greek and Roman myths. Tell the class that each group will perform a myth using puppets for the class. Display various puppets and show how they work (if possible), and/or let students decide which puppet type (paper-doll, sock, shadow, etc.) they want to use for their shows. As an example, show videos listed in this lesson or others that model simple puppet performances. Show videos multiple times for discussion purposes. Discuss with students what they liked and didn't like about the videos.
- Divide the class into groups of no more than four. Each group picks a myth to read together, identifies and maps the myth features, and determines the purpose the myth had in the ancient civilization. Students then decide on whether they want their "show" to be in narrative (narrator and players) or script (everything rewritten as dialogue with all participants playing parts in the myth) form. Last, groups decide which puppet type (if given this freedom) they will use for their show.
- Within groups, students assign jobs: narrator and characters roles. Students construct puppets for their show, practice, then make and post posters announcing show date(s) and time(s).
- On performance date(s), video performances, show video to class, and if desired, critique.
- Students write a myth based on the structure of Greek and Roman mythology.
- Student research mythology of other cultures and compare and contrast to ancient Greek and Roman mythology.
- Students create a dictionary of ancient Greek and Roman mythological characters.