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Mythology: Then and Now

Lindsay Gallaugher
7th Grade/ Social Studies and English

Common Core Standards:


Social Studies Standard, Grade 7, Early Civilizations 2. The civilizations that developed in Greece and Rome
had an enduring impact on later civilizations. This legacy includes governance and law, engineering and
technology, art and architecture, as well as literature and history. The Roman Empire also played an
instrumental role in the spread of Christianity
Language, Grade 7, Vocabulary Acquisition and Use, 5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language,
word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., literary, biblical, and
mythological allusions) in context.
Reading Standards for Literature, Grade 7, 2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its
development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
Speaking and Listening Standards, Grade 7, 1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (oneon-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on
others ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Speaking and Listening Standards, Grade 7, 4. Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a
focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact,
adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Speaking and Listening Standards, Grade 7, 5. Include multimedia components and visual displays in
presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points.
Lesson Summary:
Students examine mythology in the context of Ancient Greece as well as the resonating impact on modern
times. They will analyze what different mythological figures represented at the time and find examples of them
in modern times, as well as have an opportunity to have a critical discussion in small groups thinking of how
mythology applies today and present on an individual basis as well. They will have an opportunity to work
with multimedia tools and use those in a presentation as well.
Estimated Duration:
245 minutes, 5 days

Commentary: I really enjoy this lesson in theory because of the amount of discussion and critical thinking
that is involved in it. It is my hope that mythology is a subject many students will already find interesting. I
added in the comic book parallel as a relatable example of how many thematic elements of mythology are
alive and well today, and to help capture their interest. The one hesitation I have is with how much critical
thinking there is. At times the students may need some guidance on what direction the lesson is going with the
idea of identifying or even applying mythology to our modern society. I tried to create the lesson plan in
phases: giving information, doing an exercise as a class, letting the students do a version of that exercise on
their own or in small groups. This format, I hope, will help students have an idea of how to approach their
tasks.

Instructional Procedures:

Day 1:
60 Minutes
Start with a handout to measure students knowledge of myths and begin to challenge their conception of it.
The worksheet will cover topics like asking what a myth is, asking students to name some myths they know,
and to think about any examples of modern myths. Allow 5 to 10 minutes for this.
Next give a verbal retelling of the origin of the Greek Gods. Tell the story of the birth of Zeus, and his battle
with Cronus. End the story with Zeus taking domain over the sky. Explain that this myth is a cornerstone for
much of Greek mythology, and that it served a purpose of setting up Zeus as the God of thunder. This myth
helped explain weather for the people at the time. Ask the students what else they know about Zeus, with the
goal of analyzing the fallible side of him and how that made him more relatable and helped convey morals to
the people of the time.
Discuss how the Greek myths were blended with Roman mythology as Rome conquered much of Europe.
Briefly touch upon the notion that this helped with the Greek population assimilating into the Roman rule. Talk
about how Greek myths were so prevalent that they permeate into todays culture. Give them the example of
Nike, the goddess of victory. Ask students why they think the Nike brand chose to name themselves for that
goddess discuss what it is that she represents that they want to convey. This instruction time should last
around 20 to 25 minutes.
Have the students break up into small groups with their iPads or laptops. Assign each group an aspect of a
myth (i.e. Nike) and use their iPads or laptops to research how it is used in modern vernacular. Have students
discuss amongst themselves why they think the terms developed this way like you previously did for Nike
(embodying the concept of victory). Allow them 20 minutes to research and discuss. Use the last 10 minutes of
the time to let a member of each group present what they found. End the session by reiterating that myths
represented important notions and morals in ancient times, and that they still influence todays society as a
means of conveying a central idea.

Day 2:
50 Minutes
Start by retelling the myth of Hercules Ninth Labor. Give a brief introduction of Hera giving him the labors

before telling the story of Hercules and the Amazons. Use google slides to show pottery and other images from
the time that depict Hercules and the Amazons. Ask the students what they think this story was trying to
convey. Lead a critical discussion. Students may see the myth as simply a story about how untrustworthy Hera
is, or as a story about the inevitable superiority of the men over the women, or many other things. The goal
isnt to drive towards a right answer, but to help them critically analyze the story and come up with their
own answers. Spend roughly 15 minutes on this.
Have the students get out their iPads and guide them through using Comixology to download the free
Sensation Comics #1. Give the students 15 minutes of reading time to read the digital comic and consider how
it portrays Amazons differently. After the allotted reading time is over, discuss with the class their thoughts on
how the comic uses what is established about Amazons in ancient mythology to express its own meaning.
Ask the students to make a list of traits they know about Wonder Woman. Lead them through comparing the
character of Wonder Woman to that of Hercules. Cover points like their superhuman abilities, tasks to prove
their strength, and being sent on a mission. Discuss how they both symbolize a figure that is superhuman but
tasked with helping mankind, implying the moral may be something like our obligation to use our skills to
serve a greater good. Guide students through considering comic books and superhero movies as a modern day
mythology with superhuman figures conveying a moral. Ask them if they can think of other superheroes that
represent something. A good example would be Spider-Mans with great power comes great responsibility,
or the X-Men representing puberty or being an outsider. Again, theres really no correct answer, rather we are
just trying to get the students to critically analyze media they are exposed to with the lens of having seen how
ancient mythology conveyed moral lessons to the people of Ancient Greece. This discussion should take about
15 minutes.
Day 3:
60 Minutes
Introduce the google slides project to the students. Demonstrate an example using Hercules and Wonder
Woman. The presentation will consist only of two slides. The first will have a picture of Hercules and list
several facts about him. The second slide will have a picture of Wonder Woman and a brief description of how
she represents similar things. Verbally reiterate what the class discussed the similarities were the previous day.
Explain to the students that the will be doing a similar presentation. Each student will be assigned a god or
mythological figure. They will create a slide that includes an image of their character and lists some facts
about them. They will then be challenged to think of a modern day character or product that, intentionally or
not, embodies some aspect of their figure. Another example would be Nike the goddess for the first slide and
Nike the brand for the second, or Pegasus for the first slide and American Airlines for the second with the
reasoning being they promote fantastic flights. The student doesnt necessarily need to identify a myth in
modern culture, but make connections as to what the myth represents and apply it to modern culture. The
student will be expected to present the slides to their class. With the first slide, they will give a brief, verbal
retelling of a myth involving their character. This retelling will be in their own words. Spend 15 minutes
introducing the project, and then assign each student their character.
Have the students use their laptops to research their figure and then think critically about what modern day
character or brand they will use. They will have time in class to develop their concept and their two slides.
Spend this time walking around the classroom actively helping, whether with the technology or with the
critical thought process of it. Explain to students they are welcome to access their google slide at home and
make changes if they want to that evening.

Day 4:
60 minutes
Have students take out their laptops. Give the students 10 minutes to make any adjustments they may want to
make to their google slide. Set up a google drive for the class. Walk the students through adding a copy of their
google slide to the shared google drive. Spend the rest of the time having each student give a presentation of
their mythological figure and how they think it could be represented by a modern figure. Let them know that
there will be a Kahoot quiz tomorrow on mythology. Hopefully since Kahoot shows a leaderboard the
competitive aspect of it will encourage students to participate in active listening while other students present. It
should act as an incentive.
Day 5:
15 minutes
Have the students take out their iPads or laptops and participate in the Kahoot quiz. The quiz covers the figures
that were researched in small groups and assigned for the projects, as well as the myths discussed in class.
Have them enter a mythology reference as their username. Use the results of this quiz to help measure the
success of retention with students.

Pre-Assessment:
The pre-assessment in this case starts with the hand out on day one. This is a way to measure what the students
know prior to the lesson even beginning. From there, the discussion that follows is another way to measure
how students conceptualize the topic as you begin.
Scoring Guidelines:
Since a lot of this assignment deals with critical thinking and analysis, the scoring guideline will be up
to the teachers judgement. It is the teachers responsibility to read and review the written assignments
that are turned in, and asses how much knowledge the students already possess about mythology and
their ability to recognize references to it in modern language.
Post-Assessment:
There are essentially two means of post-assessment for this lesson plan. The first is the google slides that the
student presents. This is a way of conveying the student can use multimedia with images to support their
findings and give a clearly spoken presentation to the class. The presentation also measures each students
ability to critically analyze their figure and personally apply the modern viewpoint to see how mythology
impacts our current culture. The Kahoot quiz at the end is a great way to measure the retention of basic facts
from the project as well.
Scoring Guidelines:
The presentation will be scored for a grade. Students will need to present at least four facts about their
character and clearly explain their thought process in choosing a figure that could be connected to it in
modern times. Grade the student on their ability to back up their reasoning, as well as on things like if
they were able to successfully use google slides technology and integrate an image with each slide. The
student will also be graded on their ability to tell a story in their own words. The Kahoot quiz helps the

teacher see the overall retention of the students. It will be over the key words and figures studied during
the week, and after the quiz the teacher is able to see a read out of which questions students missed.

Differentiated Instructional Support


Because this project is fairly independent, it leaves a lot of room to help challenge students. It may be
something as simple as asking questions of the accelerated students as they research their figure. Finding ways
to challenge their logic can help. In addition, the students who seem more advanced can be challenged to add
more transitions into their google slides and explore the technology further. These students may also be
encouraged to take a leadership role during the small group discussion.
For students who are struggling, the teacher should be walking around during the work time to assist with any
questions and supervise the project as it is being completed. This in class work period is an excellent
opportunity to help students that seem to be struggling with the assignment. These students are also ideally
able to take their work home and access their own project. Between day 4 and 5, the student would be able to
access the google drive as well to view other students presentations as review for the Kahoot quiz. The
Kahoot quiz, in addition, shows the top five or so users on the leaderboard, but no one below that, so a student
that is struggling will not feel as out of place.

Extension
http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/topics/z87tn39 - This is a great interactive site where students can click
through excellent visuals to explore topics of Ancient Greece in depth. There is even a link for Ancient Greek
Gods and Goddesses.
http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/greek-mythology/videos/greek-gods - The history channel
online offers some interesting videos that go more in depth on the stories of mythology.
http://www.storynory.com/archives/myths-world-stories/ - A fun collection of audio versions of ancient myths,
including more than just Greek ones.

Homework Options and Home Connections


There is no real assigned homework in this project, unless the student does not complete their google slide in
class and would like to continue working on it at home. The assignment does give them access to Comixology,
which is a nice resource for downloading and reading comics often for free. While this isnt a direct
connection to most of the coursework, it could offer a version of reading at home that students enjoy and
would select to do in their free time.

Interdisciplinary Connections

This plan covers several aspects. It starts with a social studies viewpoint by introducing myths of Ancient
Greece and discussing what the myths meant to society at the time. This ties into learning about Ancient
civilization as a whole. The plan also works with critical reading of a source or critical analysis of a story to
analyze what themes and messages the writer or storyteller intended to convey. The lesson also helps with
discussion and presentation of material, as well as using technology. It helps somewhat with writing as well.
While the students arent physically writing a story, they are expected to do a verbal retelling of a myth in their
own words.

Materials and Resources:

For teachers

Laptop/Desktop Computer
Smartboard/projector/tv screen

For students

Laptop
iPad (optional)
Access to the internet

Key Vocabulary
Mythology

Artemis

Zeus

Atlas

Hades

Gemini

Poseidon
Hera
Athena
Ares

Iris
Psyche
Titans

Apollo

Amazon

Calliope
Harpy
Oracle
Styx
Phoenix
Aphrodite

Hermes

Nemesis

Hercules

Pegasus

Achilles

Ambrosia

Adonis
Labyrinth
Narcissus

Chorus
Medusa
Pandora

Echo
Odysseus
Mt. Olympus

Additional Notes