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Roman & Greek Mythology Lesson Plan

by Mrs. Sarah J. O'Neil


As the myths are being introduced over a five week study I will have the students do the following:

1. Maintain a list of the vocabulary introduced (I will hand out individual notebooks to the students for this task).

2. Prepare lists of gods and heroes.

3. Prepare list of characteristics and symbols each god or hero listed is associated with.

4. Look up definition of words that have to do with Greek and Roman mythology, as well as, those the individual student might need in order to better understand the material introduced.

5. Oral as well as silent reading will take place.

6. Find ways of using new vocabulary in their writing or their speech.

They will be asked to write three sentences each day in their notebooks. Each sentence needs to include one or more new vocabulary words.


I will try to improve the language comprehension skills in my students. The fact is, very often myths have a message to convey. When the student comes in contact with myths, his/her understanding of the content will be more complete, because the information received might very well be within the student's frame of reference or background.

Most of the comprehension skills are developed through constant analytical questioning, but I will place special attention on the timing of the questions. My students will be prepared to delve and explore into the myths when he/she has acquired familiarity with the vocabulary as well as a general understanding of myths. Thus, the second objective is to reinforce or develop comprehension skills through the introduction of Greek and Roman mythology readings (Although this study emphasizes the Labors of Heracles, the reader has been provided with bibliographical references that will introduce him or her to a wealth of information.).

To achieve this purpose the students will have to do the following:

1. Read and discuss myths.

2. Interpret several symbols or expressions in the myths they read myths.

3. Rewrite myths in their own words (the students will have a maximum of three days to complete their myths).

4. Write their own myth, allow them to be as creative as possible (they will have three days to complete this task). They should try to use as many mythology vocabulary words as possible.


As students become familiar with myths, they will be able to recognize words, objects, situations, and places where the influence of mythology is present.

The third objective is to encourage students to become more observant and appreciative of the world around them, especially the influence of mythology in the world today.

In order to achieve this objective the teacher should;

1. Have students use words and expressions of mythological background in their speech as well as their writing.

2. Have students recognize words and expressions where the influence of mythology is present.

3. Plan trips:

- to museums

- around the city to designated areas where mythological symbols are present. (Downtown Buffalo, Niagara Falls on the lake) I will have them write down any points of interests and take pictures

4. Help student link relationship between the mythological symbol and the operation of a building or place, as well as to things.

5. Help students identify characters of mythology.

6. Pinpoint symbolism that can be traced back to Greek and Roman mythology on the flags, emblems and seals of countries, states, and cities.

7. Have the student prepare his own dictionary by:

- Putting in alphabetical order the names of gods and heroes of Greek and Roman mythology.

- Finding out what each of those listed represent.

- Cutting out, drawing or tracing illustrations of characters or events connected with Greek and Roman mythology.

- Cutting out, drawing or tracing illustrations showing the influence of Greek and Roman mythology today.

The idea is to have immediate accessibility to information pertaining to Greek and Roman mythology.


The fourth objective is to help students gain further understanding of the process of decision by representation by utilizing a series of works that the students have already prepared. Those works that the students have already prepared. Those works include the characteristics, symbols, and illustrations of the gods and heroes they have studied and prepared.

The teacher should divide the class in small groups and have the students do the following:

1. Select from their individual groups a student to present and support individual group selections.

2. Select from the work each student has prepared the best representation of characteristics, symbols and illustrations of the gods and heroes.

3. The class as a whole will then vote on the best presentation or selection.

I will vary the last process by allowing the students who have been selected to represent each group make the final selection, or by using both processes and comparing end results. This exercise is also very good to introduce rules of behavior that are expected in committee work.

In order to encourage students to participate and do good work, in addition to grading, I may add other forms of recognition, such as the following:

1. Place selection of the individual groups in exhibition.

2. Prepare posters.


Thus the fifth objective is to encourage the students to make use of library facilities by assigning projects on Greek and Roman mythology that will require the use of the library for their completion.

In order to accomplish this objective the following strategies can be used:

1. Take the students to the library and ask the librarian to explain the following:

- The filing system used in the library.

- The checking out or book withdrawal system.

- Audiovisual facilities.

2. Plan a trip to the Bicentennial Library where the students will:

- Obtain a library identification card. (ask students to bring ID)

- Receive a tour of the library with special emphasis on the areas the students will be working on. (Roman History)

3. Reserve the books that will be used the most.

4. Request new material if necessary.

5. Order films and filmstrips on Greek and Roman mythology. (The Bicentennial library has a catalog of films and other materials that are accessible to school teachers that has already been categorized by grade levels.)

6. Provide reading suggestions on Greek and Roman mythology that the student can also read for pleasure.

7. Assign book reviews and reports on particular topics that relate to Greek and Roman mythology concerns or expressions.

8. Take the class to the library and do research for the projects right there.


This leads us to the sixth objective. the development and reinforcement of map skills through mythology.

In this area the students will do the following:

1. Draw or trace maps of Ancient Rome & Greece.

2. Trace important places in the birth of Herakles.

3. Trace maps indicating:

- Adriatic Sea

- Atlantic Ocean

- Black Sea

- Mediterranean Sea

- Red Sea


Thus, the Seventh Objective, the way sex role stereotypes are manifested in Greek an Roman mythology.

In order to achieve this objective, the teacher should have the students do the following:

1. Classify gods by sex.

2. Classify gods by roles.

3. Compare both classifications.

4. Read a narrative of the myth of Athena's birth.

- Explain why the process of her birth is important.

- Could Athena be considered an exception to the roles attributed to other goddesses?

- Explain her roles.

5. Read a narrative about Her.

- How is she related to Zeus?

- Does she get more power and respect for being Zeus' wife than Zeus' sister?

6. Check how much this concept of male roles in decision making positions has changed by doing the following:

- Prepare a questionnaire indicating the following questions:

1. Is the principal of your school male or female?

2. Is the mayor of the city male or female?

3. Is the governor of the state male or female?

4. Is the president of the United States male or female?

Lesson Plan I

1.Introduce various definitions of the word myth.

2. Provide a list of new vocabulary depending upon the narrative of the myth to be introduced.

3. Selecting the myth of the birth of Heracles for the first lesson plan the teacher may introduce the following vocabulary:

Lesson Plan II

1. Once the student is familiarized with the ideas represented by each design, he will become more observant of the things he sees. Now, if the student looks at an owl on a medal, he will associate the design with wisdom and high achievement. The owl was the bird of Athena in the same way the eagle was the bird of Zeus. To reinforce this new association, have the student look at magazines, posters, and advertisements.

2. Have the student look at different brand names in order to identify designs of Greek and Roman mythology origin and explain why that particular symbol was chosen.

Good Year Tire and Rubber Co. - Hermes, foot speed

Mobile Gas - Pegasus, speed and power

Atlas Moving Co. - Atlas, strength and knowledge of the world

3. Have the students create their own company and choose a design.

Lesson Plan III

The third lesson is a follow up after the student has read the Labors of Heracles.

1. Who is the main character in the Labors of Heracles?

2. Why did Heracles have to spend his whole life in the midst of danger and confusion?

3. Where do the myths take place? (Have the student trace maps.)

4. Name instances where Heracles demonstrated a good sense of values. (When he met the maidens of virtue and vice, and chose virtue. - Saving Prometheus.)

5. What incident motivated the Labors of Heracles? (Murder of wife and children.)

6. Would Heracles have been prosecuted in our system of justice?

7. What possible reason could he have used to plead not guilty?

8. How did Heracles bear away the Nemean lion's skin? (Since no other weapon could penetrate it, he used the lion's claws.)

9. Why did he wear the skin as his mantle for the rest of his life? (Because it was weapon-proof.)

10. How did Heracles manage to kill the Hydra? (By searing the necks with fire.)

11. What would it mean to say that cities have hydra-headed problems? (Fix one problem on one side and get two new ones on the other.)

12. What did King Euristheus do when he saw the wild boar? (Hide in a vase.) What quality does this act demonstrated? (cowardice).

13. Why was it difficult to catch the doe of Cerynes (Arcadian stag)? (Because it could run continuously without fatigue.)

14. In the myth of the Cretan Bull, why is Poseidon angry with King Minos? (Because King Minos did not sacrifice the bull to him ass he had promised.)

15. From the reaction of Poseidon in this myth, what qualities could be said this god possesses? (gullibility, need of praise).

16. From the reaction of King Minos? (avarice).

Classroom materials:

1. Slide and overhead projectors.

2. Blackboard

3. Maps

4. Records

5. Magazines

6. Notebooks

Other activities:

1. Invite guest speakers.

2. Decorate room with mythological posters and illustrations.

3. As a research activity, draw a parallel between heroes in Greek and Roman Mythology and more contemporary cultural heroes.

a. curse

a. maldicio

b. enchantment     

b. encantamiento

c. fate

c. destino

d. immortal

d. immortal

e. chariot

e. carriage

f. linger

f. prolonged

g. oath

g. juramenta

4. Have the students read the narrative and identify the characters and their individual characteristics. (sample chart)





strong, mortal


powerful, immortal       



beautiful, noble, mortal


understanding, mortal


powerful, vengeful, immortal


5. After the students have prepared a preliminary assessment of the characters, assign them individual research on each of the characters.

6. Using a map have students identify places where important events take place as shown in following example.

- Themes

- Argyles

8. Have the students answer the following questions:

1. What particular act did Heracles perform when he was ten months old?

2. Explain the events that led to that happening.

3. Explain the fact that Zeus appears more than once in Heracles" genealogy.

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