ANCIENT BEGINNINGS ENRICHMENT: PANDORA

PANDORA ENRICHMENT SECTION

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ANCIENT BEGINNINGS ENRICHMENT: PANDORA

THE STORY OF PANDORA Another Version of the Story
Zeus spent long hours trying to find a terrible punishment to inflict upon man for having accepted the gift of fire from Prometheus. At last, it came to him. The great father of the gods ordered Hephaestus to build a statue of a young woman whose beauty would be like Aphrodite’s. Zeus looked upon the work of art when it was finished, and he named the maiden Pandora. The Olympians were invited by Zeus to meet Pandora, and they brought her gifts.

Predict what gift each of the Olympian gods would give.

Zeus gave the most unusual gift -- a golden box -- and he told Pandora, “You must never open the box.” Then he gave the maiden another gift: curiosity. Alas! Zeus’ presents were to cause great trouble.

What is going to happen? Why?

Afterward, Pandora was brought to Earth and became the loving wife of Prometheus’ brother. She was a busy and happy wife. She spun cloth and gardened. She baked and sang. Husband and wife lived in joy and peace. But Pandora was curious about the box Zeus had given to her. It sat on a table where she could see it every day. She polished and cleaned the outside and tried to figure out why she had been told not to open it. Was there something inside that was bad? Were there gems and riches? Did Zeus expect -- even want -- her to open it?

What would you do? What would you find inside?

At last Pandora could not stand seeing the box each time she walked by the table. Obeying Zeus’ order was too hard to do with it so displayed. So, Pandora put it away in a dark, dusty storeroom. But hiding the box from her eyes did not hide it from her mind. Soon she found herself making excuses for going into the storeroom and visiting the box. Realizing both the power of her curiosity and the need to obey Zeus, one day she placed the golden box into a heavy wooden chest. She locked it tightly and then buried it deep in the garden. Yet even from within the earth the box was on her mind and in her thoughts. Finally, she could stand it no longer. Late one night she rose quietly from her bed and went into the garden. Using a shovel, she dug and dug. When she reached the wooden chest, she unlocked it and held the precious golden box again. Slowly, carefully, she lifted the lid from it.
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ANCIENT BEGINNINGS ENRICHMENT: PANDORA

THE STORY OF PANDORA (continued)
Out flew monstrous creatures with bodies like lizards and with bat-like wings and red shining eyes. They stretched and hissed and flew past the horrified Pandora. Frightened but determined, she slammed down the top, trapping the last monster before it could get free. The escaped creatures scattered around the world and came to live in every home. They were all the things that make man sad. They were old age, insanity, famine, and ills. They stung men, and sorrows followed. But the trapped one? It wasn’t a monster at all. This creature was hope. If it had escaped, everyone would despair of the things that were in store for them in the future. Man would have no hope. Thus did Zeus punish man for accepting the gift of fire from Prometheus.

CLASS PROJECT
Construct a golden box. Cover or paint the outside of any box and decorate it. Ask your students to think of gifts that would be useful to mankind. They should each bring in one useful item for the box and conceal it in a wrapper so that the other students do not know what it is. Open the lid to allow the students to put in the gifts they have chosen for mankind. Close the box and tie it shut. Leave it in plain sight for a few days, and when the class becomes really curious about the contents, open the box and examine all the helpful items. Discuss the possible reasons about why each item was chosen.

Laurie Darman Boca Raton, FL 34
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ANCIENT BEGINNINGS ENRICHMENT: PANDORA

Help Pandora Find The Buried Box

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ANCIENT BEGINNINGS ENRICHMENT: PANDORA

TEACHER’S KEY Help Pandora Find the Buried Box

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ANCIENT BEGINNINGS ENRICHMENT: PANDORA

PROJECTS for PANDORA
1. The name Pandora means “all-gifted.” Pandora was very beautiful, and she was friendly and happy. She was also curious about the world. She represents one idea about women. Do you think Pandora really represents all women? If Zeus made Pandora today, what qualities, or gifts, might he give her? Describe Pandora as she might be today. 2. When Pandora took the lid from the box, all sorts of troubles flew out into the world, such as disease, war, and distrust. Make a list of things that might have never been invented if Pandora had never opened the box. (You might start with locks and keys. There would be no theft, so people would not have to lock up their possessions!) 3. Some retellings of the myth of Pandora call the container left with her a “jar.” Use clay, clay-dough, or papier-mâché to make a jar. When it is dry, decorate it as you think a jar might have been decorated. Make objects to put into it to represent the evils Pandora set free when she took off the lid. 4. Pretend that you are Pandora. Think how you felt when you realized what had happened when you opened the box. Write a paragraph describing your feelings. 5. Write a poem about one of the evils that flew into the world from Pandora’s box. You might choose greed, envy, or hunger. You could write about war, anger, or murder. You could write about sickness or poverty. Think about how that one bad thing makes you feel and how it causes trouble to people. Remember a poem can rhyme or not rhyme. A poem tells how you feel, using as few words as possible. A poem should not use worn out words like good, or nice, or bad, but it should try to find new ways to show what you mean. A poem should paint pictures inside the reader’s head. When you have finished the poem, use a sheet of paper to make a packet called “Pandora’s Box.” Decorate the box as you think the real one might have looked. Put your poem into the box so that it shows. When it is displayed on the wall, others can read your poem and see how you feel about the evil you have chosen to write about. To make Pandora’s Box Packet for poetry display, fold a sheet of 9 x 18 inch construction or art paper so that 3 inches extend above. Staple sides. Decorate. Insert poem.

WAR

Janeene Blank Birmingham, MI 37
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ANCIENT BEGINNINGS ENRICHMENT: PANDORA

PANDORA’S BOX An Art Activity
When working with the myth of Pandora’s Box, students can make their own boxes. My students have made boxes in clay as well as paper. It is helpful to show pictures of boxes from classical art. These beautifully decorated objects will provide the students with an excellent visual reference point. A very easy box to make is a cube. You may follow the directions given below to make patterns for the students to trace around. Oak tag works well for patterns. The students may draw their own boxes with a ruler on 12 x 8 inch paper although this is a little more difficult. Before the cube is assembled, the sides are decorated with scenes from the myth. The cube is then cut out. The next step is to construct the cube, folding it in on itself. In the directions below, I have included tabs. These are folded in and glued to hold the box together. The top may be left unglued allowing the students to draw the evils that were released into the world by Pandora when she opened the box. Some students will want to make accordion paper springs for a pop-up effect. The boxes may be displayed on a table or hung by string from the ceiling.

Janeene Blank Birmingham, MI 38
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ANCIENT BEGINNINGS ENRICHMENT: PANDORA

PANDORA’S BOX Creative Writing
In the myth about Pandora, she is left a beautiful box and is warned not to open it. If someone left a very special package with you and told you not to open it, what would you do? Would you become curious like Pandora and take off the lid, or would you keep the box carefully? On the box below, write a story about a secret and exciting box left in your care. What happened?

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ANCIENT BEGINNINGS ENRICHMENT: PANDORA

PANDORA -- A LOST GODDESS?
An earlier version of the Pandora myth appears in Lost Goddesses of Early Greece by Charlene Spretnak. The author has collected myths from the Pre-Hellenic era when Greek culture and mythology were matrifocal. The Pre-Hellenic myth of Pandora depicts the girl as the giver of all gifts, i.e. all good gifts. Among the material gifts she gave to humankind were flowering trees, seeds, minerals, clay, and flint. Other gifts she bestowed were wisdom, curiosity, caring, strength, and the seeds of peace. Note that curiosity appears in both versions of the myth. Curiosity is considered to be the cause of Pandora’s downfall in one myth; in the other it is included in the list of good gifts.

ACTIVITY
How do you view curiosity? In small groups, discuss the following views of curiosity.

A proverb: Curiosity killed the cat.

A quote:

“Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.” (Samuel Johnson)

A book:

Curious George

Try to determine the point at which curiosity changes from a positive quality to a negative quality. Cite specific examples in your conclusions.

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