Aims and Objectives In this unit we are learning to:• Understand how myths can present us with ideas we can relate to in extraordinary circumstances.• Understand the way ancient myths have an influence on us today.• Think about how the presentation of different characters can affect the reader’s view of them.• Share our views about the behaviour of the Gods.• Complete a series of reading and writing tasks based upon this theme. What I’m looking for:• By the end of this unit you will understand four of the most famous Greek myths.• You will understand how to collect information for a presentation or report.• You will be clear about the qualities of a successful talk presentation.• You will have looked at several poetic forms, and have written a poem in one of these forms.• You will be able to write clear and detailed instructions.• You will understand the elements of an effective newspaper report.• You will have gathered a body of information about Heracles, in order to assemble a thorough character sketch.• You will be clear about the conventions of letter-writing. To complete this Unit you, like Heracles, will have to complete twelve tasks, or “labours” as the story calls them. By the time you reach the end you will have read four famous Greek myths, written several pieces of work about them and answered key questions about them. Good luck!
Where is Greece?In the ancient past, Europe was made up of many different races of peoples.These tribes travelled across one another’s lands but the majority stayed inparticular regions. One exception to this rule was the Celts, who travelled fromAsia, all the way across to Ireland and, finally, to Scotland.Have a look at the map below and see if you recognise any of these ancienttribes:
The GreeksOne race of people, the Greeks, made their home in the hot sun of south-eastEurope. Of course, at that time, there was no such thing as Europe!Knowledge of the world’s geography was quite limited because people did nothave the ability to travel as far as we can today. Many Greeks believed the Straitof Gibraltar, where southern Spain nearly touches Morocco in north Africa, wasthe edge of the world.Don’t go thinking the Greeks weren’t very clever, though. As a civilisation, theyinvented or discovered:Streets, maps, cranes, locks, plumbing, mechanical gears, the spiral staircase,the crossbow, coins, the winch, the wheelbarrow, showers, central heating, thelighthouse, the alarm clock, the cannon, levers, the water mill, the dry dock, airand water pumps, analogue computers, the fire hose, the vending machine, theweather vane, the clock tower, automatic doors, the study of biology, zoology,trial by jury, the theatre, the Olympics, democracy, philosophy, the idea of theEarth orbiting the Sun (Ptolomaios), empirical science, mathematics andthousands of other incredibly important achievements we take for granted. When was ancient Greece?When we talk about ancient Greece we are usually referring to a period fromabout 900BC to 146BC when the Greeks were overthrown by the Romans at theBattle of Corinth. The real hey-day of Greece is known as the Athenian GoldenAge and this was between 500BC and 400BC. Many of the most famous mythswere written down for the first time in the period.
What are Greek Myths?Greek mythology is a collection of myths and legends belonging to theancient Greek civilisation. The stories concern their gods and heroes, theway people behave, and the origins of the world. They were a part ofreligion in ancient Greece. At that time most people believed the storieswere true.From the myths we can find out a lot about the beliefs of Ancient Greece.However, these tales of revenge, love, betrayal and honour all havesomething interesting to say to us today. We can look at the characters inthese stories and identify with them.The myths were so popular that later, when the Romans came across them,they told the stories to one another and changed the names of thecharacters from Greek to Latin. As a result, Odysseus became known asUlysses, Poseidon became Neptune and all the other characters becameknown under different names.The Titans were the first gods in Greek myths and they included Oceanus,Cronous, Atlas, Pallas, Prometheus and Epimetheus. The Titans werereplaced by a younger race of gods, the Olympians, and these gods lateroverthrew the Titans in a great war. There are twelve Olympian gods: Zeus,Hera, Poseidon, Athena, Ares, Demeter, Apollo, Artemis, Hephaestus,Aphrodite, Hermes and Dionysus.Greek mythology has been enormously influential upon our culture, artsand literature, and is the origin of our best known and best loved stories.Poets and artists from ancient times to the present day have been inspiredby them and have kept them alive.
Labour One: The Quest for WordsUse a dictionary to look up all of the words in bold and write down whatthey mean. There are fourteen in total.You can draw a table like the one below in your jotter to help lay it out.Number Word Meaning1 Mythology2 Legends3 Gods4 Heroes5 Origins6 Religion7 Revenge8 Love9 Betrayal10 Honour11 Characters12 Identify13 Romans14 Latin
Research and ReportBelow is a list of some of the most famous names in Greekmythology. These characters led extraordinary lives and wereinvolved in very exciting stories. Perhaps you recognise some ofthem already? Achilles Hades Pandora Aphrodite Hephaestus Persephone Apollo Hera Perseus Ares Heracles Poseidon Artemis Hermes Theseus Athena Hestia Zeus Demeter Odysseus Dionysus Orpheus Labour Two: Reporting Back Choose one of these names and research it. Use your findings to report back to the class. You can choose to write or give a presentation: Writing 1. Write a report about your character. This must be word-processed and include lots of information about their name, their history, their story and the other characters in their story. Presentation (Choose only one) 2a. Give a solo talk about your character. This must include a PowerPoint presentation including pictures, but with very little writing. You will use cue-cards to give your talk. 2b. Assume the persona of one of these characters and tell your life story to the class. Explain how you were born, who your parents were, some of the adventures you had and, if necessary, how you were killed. Include your own feelings about these events. “Persona” This is the character of someone else, played by an actor. So, you might say Toby Maguire takes the persona of Spiderman. He pretends to be him.
“Cue-cards”: These are small cards which contain notes, which you can use to help when giving a solo presentation. Cue-cards do not have a lot of writing on them – only key words to make sure you are only talking about things you should.
The Tale of PrometheusRead “The Tale of Prometheus”.There are TWO marks for each of thefollowing questions, giving you a total outof 30. Labour Three: Questions 1. What did Prometheus teach Man to do? 2. Why did Prometheus steal fire for Man? 3. Why was Prometheus wary of giving fire to Man? 4. How did Zeus trick Metis? 5. What was the name of Metis’s daughter? 6. How did Prometheus carry fire from Helios to Man? 7. What did Silenus the Satyr do that was foolish? 8. Why did Zeus not destroy mankind? 9. What did Prometheus say to Zeus that made him so angry? 10.Who made the brass fetters that chained Prometheus? 11.What punishment does Prometheus receive for not telling Hermes how Zeus could avoid his fate? 12.What mistake did Man make with the nectar Zeus gave them? 13.What does “Pandora” mean? 14.Who married Pandora, despite Prometheus’s warnings? 15.What terrible thing did Pandora do?
NB: Remember to write in completesentences. A complete sentence makessense if you read it without looking at thequestion first.
The Greeks and PoetryIn ancient Greece, poetry was consideredto be one of the most important art forms.Around the time when Greek myths werefirst being written down, many new formsof poetry were created. To be skilled inwriting poetry was as important to ancientGreek culture as being skilled in fighting inbattle, and poets were celebrated asequals to great warriors. Three quick poetic forms:AcrosticAn Acrostic poem writes a word down thepage, then uses each letter as the start of aline of poetry. My daughter Athena was born after I was Eaten by Zeus. I should not have Turned myself into a fly; something I regret deeply. But when Athena was born, Zeus had his head Split open. Serves him right!HaikuThis is a Japanese form of poem. It has avery specific form. You must write onlythree lines; the first line will have only fivesyllables, the second line seven syllables,and the third five again. Generous with fire He was punished by Zeus with A hungry eagle.Rhyming coupletsThis is not a type of poem but a poem canbe made of many rhyming couplets. Theseare paired lines which rhyme on the last
word. A poem can be made of any numberof rhyming couplets. The donkey looked into the lake And found only a cunning snake“Syllable” Syllables are chunks of sound. All words have at least one syllable. Syllables can be just one letter or a group of letters - its the sound that matters. So, the name Heracles, has three syllables: He – ra – cles
Labour Four: Writing PoemsChoose one of the poetic forms (orresearch a different one) and write aboutthe story of Prometheus.You can write about just a part of the myth(the birth of Athena, for example), orabout the whole thing.* If you choose to use haiku, you mustwrite at least four poems.* If you choose rhyming couplets, youmust write at least twelve lines. For those of you feeling very smart…Below is the Greek alphabet. Why not havea go at translating your poem into theseletters?Alpha Beta = Gamma Delta = =A B =G D
Epsilon Kappa Omicro Upsilon =E =K n=O =UZeta = Lambd Pi = P Phi = F Z a=L Rho = R Chi = CEta = H Mu = M Sigma Psi = YTheta = Nu = N =S Omega Q Xi = X Tau = T =WIota = I
Perseus the Gorgon-slayerRead “Perseus the Gorgon-slayer”There are TWO marks for each of thefollowing questions, giving you a total outof 30. Labour Five Questions 1. Who helped Man to build the cities of Argos, Mycenae, and Tiryns? What was unusual about them? 2. Why did Acrisius lock Danae and Perseus in the chest and cast them into the sea? 3. Where did the chest wash up? 4. Why did Polydectes want Perseus out of the way? 5. Which two Immortals helped Perseus, and how? 6. Describe the Grey Sisters. 7. Where did the invisibility cap come from? 8. How did Perseus know he was getting close to the Gorgons’ lair? 9. Describe the Gorgons. 10.How did Perseus avoid looking into Medusa’s eyes? 11.Who did Perseus stop to rescue? 12.How did he kill the sea-monster? 13.Who was the leader of the desperadoes? 14.What happened to Danae while Perseus was away? 15.How does Perseus fulfil the oracle’s prophecy?
“Prophecy” A prophecy is a prediction of something that will happen in the future.
Labour Six Instructions – How to Kill a GorgonThere are many things Perseus has to doin order to kill Medusa. He needsparticular pieces of equipment and needsto get these from particular characters.It’s quite a lot of work.1. In pairs, make a list of all the thingsPerseus had to do to achieve his goal(killing Medusa).2. Decide which order these should go in.Discuss your list and put the correctnumber next to each thing Perseus has todo.3. Write down an instruction guide givingstep-by-step instructions on how you cansuccessfully carry out this very dangeroustask.For example…First, borrow the sickle of adamant fromHermes.Next, collect the shield from Athena.Etc, etc…
Roman NumeralsIn Roman times (after the Greekcivilization), numbers were written withroman numerals. They’re very differentfrom our numbers!The numbers are shown by letters: I=1 V=5 X = 10 L = 50 C = 100 D = 500 M = 1000Here’s how it works:V is 5, so VI is 5+1 or 6.X is 10, so XII is 10 and 2 more or 12IV is 1 before 5 and that’s 4IX is 1 before 10 and that’s 91. See if you can work out these Romannumerals:XXIII = ________ LXX = ________XXXV = ________ CLIII =________XXXXIV = ________ CIX = ________2. Now make these numbers into Romannumerals:62 = ________ 140 = ________81 = ________ 754 = ________29 = ________ 526 = ________3. Try writing the year you were born inRoman numerals!______________________________________________________
The Labours of HeraclesRead “The Twelve Labours of Heracles”.There are TWO marks for each of thefollowing questions, giving you a total outof 30. Labour Seven Questions (Episode in brackets) 1. Which king did Heracles have to serve as a slave? (II) 2. Explain the connection between Heracles and the King. (II) 3. What did Heracles have to do for the first task? (III) 4. Why was it difficult to kill the Hydra? (IV) 5. What did Heracles do with the immortal head of the Hydra? (IV) 6. After the death of Pholus, how do we know the poison of the Hydra will bring more bad news? (V) 7. How does Heracles show endurance in the Fourth Labour? (VI) 8. What was Heracles’s clever plan to complete the Fifth Labour? 9. Again, in the Sixth Labour, Heracles uses his brain to solve the problem – explain how he cleans the stables. (VIII) 10.Why did the gods make the Cretan Bull so wild? (IX) 11.Eurystheus shows he is not very clever by losing the Horses of Diomedes. What happened to them after they escaped? (X) 12.Who suggested that Heracles try to capture Hippolyta’s girdle? (XI)
13.Heracles was brave enough to fire arrows at a god! But which one? (XII)14.How did Heracles use his brain to get Atlas to hold up the world? (XIII)15.Which details show us that the Underworld is a terrible place? (XIV)
Labour Eight Character Sketch Discuss these questions as a class, but be sure to jot down notes as you think of answers to them – you will need these notes to write your character sketch. You will find the information for each question in the section marked by each roman numeral. Instead of writing this as a series of answers, you must write in complete sentences, and in paragraphs. You can decide when to paragraph for yourself. The best pieces of work will write more than just the answers to these questions. The more you write about what you know of the myths, the better your grade will be.1. Explain why Heracles is the most loved of the Greek heroes. (I)2. Describe his first brave deed – how old was he, what did he do? (I)3. This first deed shows a difference between Heracles and his brother – explain the difference. (I)4. Heracles was not a hero by accident – he worked hard for it. Explain how Heracles’s education. (II)5. Heracles’s dream has a strong symbolic lesson for him to learn. What was this lesson? (II)6. Why did Eurystheus dislike Heracles? How did he want to punish him? (II)7. How does Heracles show his strength in the First Labour? (III)8. Heracles’s bravery contrasts with Eurystheus’s cowardice – how is this shown at the end of the First Labour? (III)9. Heracles is not perfect – what does he regret in the Third Labour? (V)
10. Explain how we know Heracles has exceptional endurance from the tale of the Fourth Labour. (VI)11. Can you think of any other examples of Heracles being very physically strong?12. Heracles uses cunning rather than force in the Fifth Labour – how? (VII)13. Can you think of any other examples of Heracles being clever rather than strong?14. In the final Labour (XIV) Heracles has to be incredibly brave. Describe how he is brave, and what fears he has to overcome.15. Finally, what do you think of Heracles? Did you enjoy reading about his adventures? Which ones did you enjoy most? Do you think we can learn anything from his stories?
Theseus and the MinotaurRead “The Adventures of Theseus”There are TWO marks for each of thefollowing questions (except wheremarked), giving you a total out of 30. Labour Nine Questions 1. Who was Theseus’s father? 2. Who did Theseus want to be like? 3. Why does Theseus not use a “swift ship” to go to Athens, like his mother suggests? 4. What did Theseus do to Sinis? 5. Why do all of Procrustes’s guests fit into his bed? 6. What sacrifice did Aegeus have to give to Minos? 7. What did Aegeus make Theseus promise him before he left? 8. What was Ariadne’s plan to save Theseus from the Labyrinth? 9. How did Dionysus get Ariadne to marry him? 10.What did Aegeus do when Theseus forgot his promise? 11.Why was Minos angry with the craftsman Daedalus? 12.Explain what happened to Icarus. 13.How did Daedalus solve the problem of the spiral shell? 14.How did Minos die? 15.What did Theseus quest for last?
Labour Ten Newspaper ReportWrite an account of Theseus’s adventuresas it would appear in your localnewspaper the following day.Before you begin this, look at someexamples of newspaper writing anddiscuss their style and presentation.Use the following sheet to help youstructure your report.
Labour Ten: How to write a newspaper report. Headline. You usually start with a headline. It tells the reader what the story is about in only a few words. It does not have to be a complete sentence. For example, “Medusa killed in hero’squest” Introduction (first paragraph) In your first sentence (which might only consist of one sentence) you must give the basic information. What happened to Whom When and Where Main part In the main part you give a more detailed account of what happened. Only write what you really know and not what you think! What happened to Whom When and Where Conclusion (last paragraph) Your report may end with the “last event” of the main part. In this case it is important to make the reader understand that this is the end of the report by using a good connective such as “Finally”, “In conclusion” and so on. Or Your report may end with some kind of consequence from what has happened. If you do this you must switch from past tense into the present tense for this paragraph only.
For example, “Perseus is looking forward to settling down, putting an end to his travelling.” In your whole report… Use adjectives and adverbs to make your report more detailed and accurate. Use expressions of time such as last week, at first, then, two hours later, after that, etc. Use conjunctions such as because, but, so, therefore, besides, although
Labour Eleven Write your own Greek mythNow you have looked at four of thesemyths, it’s time to put all you know intopractice. • Choose one of the heroes from the myths you have read and write a new adventure about him.You should include: • A test set by another character (a cruel god or an evil witch, perhaps) • A magic item to be retrieved • A magical beast or monster • A special way of succeeding • A prize for completing the testRemember, your hero doesn’t have to win.He just has to take on the challenge.There are certain characters your herolikes or dislikes (Prometheus and Zeusdidn’t get on, for example). Use your notesto remind yourself. You could include someof these characters or create your own. Use the worksheets that follow to structure your story.
Write your own Greek myth BrainstormingPossible Story Topics/Plots:Character Traits of Main Character:Possible Settings:What lessons would I like to teach?
Write your own Greek myth Setting DescriptionWhere does your story take place?What year?What time of year?Key words to describe the setting?How does the setting fit your character?
Write your own Greek myth Main Character SketchCharacter’s Name:Age:Background Info:Positive Traits:Negative Traits:Ambitions/Goals:Clothing:Eye Color: HairColor:Hair Style: Height:What other people think of this character:
Write your own Greek myth Plot OutlineProblem:Explain Conflict:Attempts to Solve Problem (Create 5 anduse at least 2): 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)Climax (Final Attempt to Solve Problem):Resolution
Labour Twelve Greek ArtUsing the sheet on the final page, turnyour myth into a cartoon (you can usestick-figures if you’re not very confidentat drawing).Under each box, be sure to explain whatis happening in it.
Name:________________________________ Greek Art – My Greek Myth