Free 12-Week Greek Mythology Unit Study

Learn Greek mythology as a family with these fun hands-on activities!

 

(click here to find a downloadable PDF of this unit study)

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I’ve always been completely fascinated by Greek Mythology and was so excited to find  D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths, a beautifully illustrated compilation of classical Greek myths for my then-14-yr.-old daughter. To go with it, I purchased the Student Guide, which contains additional vocabulary, quizzes, and map work that were an awesome supplement to the book.

Recently, as I was going through some of our old homeschooling resources, I rediscovered the beauty of this book and decided to use it with my older elementary-age and middle school-age children; however, I knew that the student guide was probably not going to hold their interest. Since unit studies have been very successful for our family, I decided to attempt to create a study based on this book, and behold- here it is today.

While I did use this particular title as the backbone of the activities included, this study is very flexible in that it will work well with any Greek mythology book of your choosing. I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

 

                                         Greek Mythology Unit Study

Recommended Resources:

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths- Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire– (I highly recommend this book above all others, as it is the foundation of all of the activities listed here.)

– Any book from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series- Rick Riordan

– Any book from the Heroes in Training series- Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Tornadoes– Gail Gibbons

A Komodo Dragon Hatchling Grows Up– Katie Marsico

About Arachnids– Cathryn Sill

Komodo Dragons- Giant Lizards of Indonesia – James Martin

Komodo Dragons– Thane Maynard

Extreme Weather– National Geographic Kids

Scorpions– Elizabeth Raum

Scorpions!– Laurence Pringle

Classic Starts- Greek Myths– Diane Namm

Vultures– Sandra Markle

Pegasus- Marianna Mayer

Disney Storybook Collection

Vultures– Wayne Lynch

Vultures– Lynn M. Stone

Mythological Creatures– Lynn Curlee

– Greece! Rome! Monsters!– John Harris

– movies- The Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters

Vocabulary:

mythology           idol                     Titan
god                         goddess             bountiful
Cyclopes               universe            sprite
nymph                   trident               lightning
invisibility            helm                  thunderbolt
iridescent              throne               ambrosia
nectar                     underworld      ichor
mortal                     immortality    strait
forge                        volcano            chariot
discord                    pain                   panic
famine                    oblivion            prudence
irreverent              grotto                constellation
pomegranate        eternal              wizened
lyre                          satyr                   muse
spellbound            sacrifice             offspring
centaur                   pegasus             chimera

Activities:

1. Read a section of D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths together daily. (Literature, History)

2. Select several vocabulary words each week and practice writing them in cursive. (Language Arts)

3. Read one of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books as a family or independently. Write a book review when finished. (Language Arts)

4. Watch the Percy Jackson movies after reading the books. Write a paper highlighting the many differences between the books and the films. What did you think of these changes? (Language Arts)

5. Discuss the Gaea concept still held by some people in modern times. Is this biblical? (Social Studies, Critical Thinking)

6. Research pantheism, Wicca, and other pagan religions. What does the Bible say about these practices? (Social Studies, Bible)

7. Draw a cyclops. (Art)

8. Discuss the trident, the lightning bolt, and the cap (helm) of invisibility. Write an essay about which you’d choose and why. Read it aloud when finished. (Language Arts)

9. Draw a picture of Argus with his 100 eyes. Why is this a good quality for a guard? (Art, Critical Thinking)

10. Zeus would often disguise himself as animals or other objects when coming down to Earth. can you think of a time that God took another form? (Ex.burning bush) What would you disguise yourself as? (Critical Thinking)

11. Take a trip to a blacksmith shop. (Field Trip, Social Studies)

12. Hephaestus’s forge was in a volcano. Research volcanoes. (Science)

13. Build a clay volcano around an empty water bottle. When finished, pour in some baking soda, red food coloring, a little dish detergent, and vinegar. What happens? (Science, Art)

14. Try the same thing as above, but pour in some soda and Mentos candy instead. Did you get the same reaction? Why do you think that is? (Science)

15. No one knows where Aphrodite came from. Write your own myth explaining how you think she came about. (Language Arts)

16. Who does Eros remind you of? (Cupid) Draw a picture of him. (Art)

17. Make some beaded jewelry. (Art)

18. Cupid is the Roman name for Eros, and Venus is the Roman name for Aphrodite. Learn the Roman names for the Greek gods. (Language Arts, History)

19. Act out the story of the apple of discord. (Art, History)

20. Discuss the meaning of pain, panic, famine, and oblivion. (Language Arts)

21. Learn how to weave or watch a weaving demonstration. (Art, Life Skills)

22. Athena turned Arachne into a spider for being prideful about her weaving. Learn about arachnids. Where does the word “arachnid” come from? (History, Science, Language Arts)

23. Use blocks, Legos, or clay to build a representation of Poseidon’s underwater palace. (Art)

24. Learn how islands can be formed by earthquakes. (Geography, Science)

25. Draw your own rendition of Python. (Art)

26. The dragons of Greek mythology are mythical creatures which may have been based on dinosaurs. Today the earth still holds an island which is home to real dragons. Research the Komodo dragon and write a report or a fact sheet on them. (Science, History, Language Arts))

27. Orion was killed by a scorpion sent by Apollo. Write a report or fact sheet on scorpions. (Science, Language Arts)

28. Study the Orion constellation. Orion’s belt is very easy to locate. Look for it the next time you are out on a clear night. (Science)

29. What is a lyre? Listen to music from one. (Music)

30. Read about Hermes. Can newborn babies really do what the story tells us he did? Why or why not? (Critical Thinking)

31. Hades was not only Lord of the Underworld, but he was also rich beyond measure since he owned all the jewels under the earth. Where are precious stones found? Learn about this process. (Science)

32. Visit a cave that is open to visitors which exhibits geological finds, such as crystals. (Field Trip, Science)

33. Cerberus was a three-headed dog who guarded the entrance to Hades. Paint a picture of him. (Art)

34. Persephone was stolen away by Hades to become his bride. Discuss stranger danger. (Safety)

35. How did the Greeks use the story of Persephone and Demeter to explain the seasons? Find out how the seasons really occur. (History, Science)

36. Using a globe and a lamp or large ball as the sun, give a visual demonstration of how the seasons are caused by the tilt of the earth’s axis. (Science)

37. Dionysus, the god of wine, was raised around leopards and tigers, who were very fond of him. Make some paper plate leopards and tigers. Eat some grapes as a snack! (Art)

38. What does it mean that dolphins are the most human creatures? Read about dolphins. (Science. Critical Thinking)

39. Prometheus was said to have modeled man out of clay, while his brother Epimetheus made animals. Make some people and animals out of clay. (Art)

40. The story tells us that Epimetheus gave all of the good gifts to the animals and didn’t leave much for Prometheus to bestow upon the humans. In what ways are animals more gifted than men (speed, better sight, smell, hearing, endurance, etc.)? In what ways are humans superior? What is the most important thing we have that the animals do not? (Science, Critical Thinking)

41. Draw Prometheus and the eagle. (Art)

42. What does it mean to “open Pandora’s box?” (Language Arts)

43. Define greed, vanity, slander, and envy. Do you see these in the world today? (Language Arts)

44. Compare the biblical flood to the Greek flood. Study worldwide flood legends. Why do you think it is that secular geologists ignore these stories and insist that no worldwide flood ever happened? (History, Critical Thinking, Social Studies)

45. Write an essay on tornadoes, hurricanes, or typhoons. (Science)

46. Read the story of Helios. Why is it dangerous to look at the sun? Does this story make a good case for why it is best to obey your parents? (Science, Health, Safety)

47. Write about a time you did not obey your parents and something bad happened because of it. (Language Arts)

48. What are centaurs and satyrs? (Language Arts)

49. Draw the transition of Tithonus from man to grasshopper. (Art)

50. Write grasshopper facts. (Science, Language Arts)

51. If a pregnancy lasts nine months and Selene bore 50 daughters, how many months was she pregnant altogether? How many years is that? (Math)

52. In Greek mythology, satyrs live 10,000 times longer than humans. If the average human life span is 85 years, how long would the average satyr life span be? (Math)

53. Listen to a recording of a shepherd’s pipe. (Music)

54. Read the story of Echo and Narcissus. How does Echo’s punishment fit her name? (Language Arts)

55. What does “narcissistic” mean? How does this fit Narcissus? (Language Arts, Social Studies)

56. Make a set of reed pipes using drinking straws. (Art, Music)

57. In the Greek Olympics, winners would be awarded with a laurel wreath. Why? (History)

58. Define cunning, savage, and vulgar. (Language Arts)

59. Why was Chiron different than the other centaurs? Why do parental care and discipline make such a big difference in a child’s life? (Critical Thinking)

60. What word is derived from “Hygeia,” and what does it mean? Who was Hygeia? (Language Arts, History)

61. Re-enact a doctor’s visit. Assign roles of nurse, doctor, patient, receptionist, etc. Be sure to take measurements of height and weight, check temperatures, and give eye exams! (Health, Social Studies)

62. Learn about the Nine Muses. Write a list of their names and what they do. Memorize them. (Language Arts, History)

63. If there were nine Muses… (Math)
-How many eyes altogether? Fingers? Fingers and toes?

64. Orpheus’s wife was killed by a venomous snake. Research them. Do any live near you? Learn what to do in the event of a snake bite. (Science, Health/Safety)

65. The story of Orpheus claims that he found the entrance to Hades at the end of the world. Does the world really have an end? What does this tell you about how the Greeks thought the earth was shaped? (Science, Critical Thinking, History, Social Studies)

66. Radamanthus, a son of Zeus and Europa, was so wise he became a judge in the underworld. Who is the true judge of all? (Critical Thinking)

67. Learn about the American judicial system. (Social Studies)

68. Locate Crete and Thebes on a map. (Geography)

69. Pelops participated in a chariot race to win his bride. His opponent lost because of an intentional malfunction of the wheel and axle. Study simple machines. (Science)

70. Pelops initiated the first Olympic games. Watch an Olympic event. Videos of these can be found on YouTube.com (Social Studies, Physical Education)

71. Host your own Olympic games. Plan events, make your own medals, and don’t forget a laurel wreath! (Physical Education, Art)

72. In the tale of King Midas, he grew a pair of donkey ears. In what other story did a character grow a pair of donkey ears? Read “Pinocchio.” (Literature)

73. King Midas’s servant was so desperate to tell someone about the king’s donkey ears that he dug a hole in the ground and whispered it into there. Unfortunately, some nearby reeds heard it, so they whispered it to each other over and over again. Soon, everyone knew the king’s secret. Play “Whisper Down the Alley.” (History, Language Arts)

74. When an ancient Greek passed away, a loved one would place a coin under his/her tongue. What was this for? (History, Social Studies)

75. Read about Pegasus, and write a report. (Language Arts, History)

76. Study the chimera and the different meanings of the word. (History, Language Arts)

77. Melampus could understand animals and once overheard the conversation of some vultures having a meal. Write a report on vultures. Include a drawing or picture of one. (Science, Language Arts, Art)

78. If Melampus wanted 1/3 of the kingdom for himself and 1/3 for his brother, how much did that leave the king with? What portion of the kingdom did the brothers now possess? (Math)

79. Read about Heracles’s labor of retrieving the apple from the Garden of Hesperides. Eat an apple while doing so. (Language Arts)

80. King Minos’s half-man/half-bull son, the Minotaur, had to be kept in an underground labyrinth. Do a maze or make one of your own. (Math)

81. King Minos used a conch shell to find out where his servant, Daedelus, was hiding. The conch shell has long been thought to allow people to hear the ocean when holding their ear up to one. Is this true? What can really be heard? (Blood circulating through the ear) (Science)

82. Oedipus was able to solve the Sphinx’s riddle. Read some riddles aloud or make up some of your own. (Language Arts)

83. What is an Oedipal complex? (Social Studies)

84. Draw a harpy or a siren. (Art)

85. Jason defeated the fire-breathing dragon in order to get the Golden Fleece. Discuss fire safety. (Safety)

86. Visit a local fire station. Bake them cookies. (Safety, Field Trip, Life Skills)

87. Artemis once sent a huge boar to avenge her anger against a king. Write oa report or a fact sheet on wild boars. (Science, Language Arts)

88. Draw Atalanta hunting the boar. (Art)

89. Atalanta was very fast and won many races. Have your own race. (Physical Education)

90. Achilles was invulnerable except for on his heel. What is an Achilles tendon? (Science)
91. Read about the Trojan War. (History)

92. Build a model of the Trojan Horse using items from around the house. Be creative! (Art)

93. Look at pictures of the architecture in ancient Greece. Does any of it look similar to famous buildings in the US? (History, Social Studies)

94. The gods and goddesses would often commemorate heroes by placing constellations in their honor in the sky. Make a chalk pastel night sky scenery. Be sure to include your favorite constellations! (Art)

 

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Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

35 thoughts on “Free 12-Week Greek Mythology Unit Study”

  1. Hello, visiting from Literacy Musing Mondays today. This is such an awesome unit! We are getting ready to start studying ancient Greece in our homeschool so I am excited you shared this! Hope you have a great day🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You had me at Greek Mythology! This is so cool! I love all mythology but in particular, Greek mythology. Clash of the Titans, the 80’s version with the horrible CGI, one of my fave movies of all time! Thank you so much, now let’s see if my daughter will appreciate the history as much as I do!🙂
    Kristine

    Like

    1. It’s my favorite mythology, too. My dad used to watch the old Clash of the Titans all the time, and he drove me crazy with it! Now I drive my kids crazy with the new one.😉

      Like

  3. You put a lot of work into this unit study! Did you do any art activity with it? Nice art projects! I love the lego suggestion. How about this Art Challenge: Imagine yourself as a greek hero fighting a mythological monster. Draw what you imagine using charcoal on a poster size page. I can picture myself now riding Pegasus, wearing a bedsheet while fighting medusa with my eyes shut!

    Liked by 1 person

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