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1 A Guide to Teaching Mary Pope Osborne s Book Created by The Learning Mom

2 For the Teacher This unit is a short literature unit that is meant to enrich the study of ancient Greece. It will allow any teacher to use Favorite Greek Myths to enjoy literature with students, tie literature to history, and focus on theme. Study Guide Pg. 3-6 Short answer questions provided for each chapter are designed to help focus the student s attention on plot and theme. They can be used as written work or to facilitate discussion. Be sure to have plenty of discussion about the story. If a student s answers are very vague or do not reference events from the book, look back at the story together and discuss the main ideas, lessons to be learned and other indicators of theme. Encourage your students to use examples from the book. Pg. 7-9 Answer Key There is no right answer to an open ended question. The answer key can guide you if you are working with a student whose answers are vague or inaccurate. They may give you a reference to see what information a student might include. Please do not use it as you would a math answer key to mark questions right or wrong. Connections to History Pg Learning About Greece from Their Stories As students read each story in Favorite Greek Myths, they will record the basic plot and/or theme in the chart. Then, they will determine what can be learned about ancient Greek culture from the events and ideas in the story. This can be a great discussion starter. Writing Pg. 12 Retelling the Ancient Myths - Tell one of the stories from Favorite Greek Myths in your own way. Option 1: Create a comic strip version. Option 2: Write a play. Pg. 13 Write an Original Story Use this worksheet to plan a story with a topic/theme similar to one from Favorite Greek Myths. Pg. 14 Greece Themed Paper Use this themed paper to for plays and/or stories. Fonts provided by Kimberly Santana. All rights reserved by author. Permission to copy for single family/classroom use only. Electronic distribution limited to single family/classroom use only. Not for public display. 2

3 Chariot of the Sun God Study Guide The attendants of Helios have the names Day, Month, Year, Century, Hours, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. How are all these terms logically related to the sun? What kind of person is Phaeton? How do you know? (Use evidence from the text.) Is there a lesson to be learned from this story? If so, what is it? How does this point to a theme? The Golden Touch Write three or four sentences that summarize this story. What lesson can we learn from King Midas? Is this a theme of the story? Lost at Sea Why was Alcyone worried about King Ceyx traveling across the sea? How did Alcyone and Ceyx feel about each other? How do you know? (Use evidence from the text.) 3

4 The Weaving Contest What character trait did Arachne have in common with Phaeton (from Chariot of the Sun God )? How are Arachne and Phaeton different? Does this story have a theme in common with Chariot of the Sun God? If so, what is it? Apollo s Tree Write three or four sentences that summarize this story. What is the theme of this story? The Face In The Pool What kind of person was Narcissus? How do you know? (Use evidence from the text.) The Kidnapping What is the theme of this story? How do you know? (Use evidence from the text.) 4

5 What natural phenomenon does this story attempt to explain? The Great Bear What is the theme of this story? How do you know? (Use evidence from the text.) What elements (characters, settings, events, etc.) of this story are similar to the other Greek myths you have read? Journey to the Underworld What theme do we see again in this story? How do you know? (Use evidence from the text.) What kind of place is the underworld? How do you know? (Use evidence from the text.) The Golden Apples What themes does this story have in common with Apollo s Tree? Compare and contrast the two stories. 5

6 The Four Tasks Why was Venus angry with Psyche? What theme do you notice in this story? _ The Mysterious Visitors What kind of people were Baucis and Philemon? How do you know? (Use examples from the text.) In the story, what specific virtue of the couple did the gods reward? 6

7 Study Guide Answer Key Chariot of the Sun God The attendants of Helios have the names Day, Month, Year, Century, Hours, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. How are all these terms logically related to the sun? Helios s attendants all have names that are measurements of time. We use the sun to measure time, so all the terms are related to the sun. What kind of person is Phaeton? How do you know? (Use evidence from the text.) Phaeton is prideful. He insists that he can do Helios s job even when Helios warns him that he can t. No matter what Helios says to him, he is determined to prove he can drive the fiery chariot across the sky. Is there a lesson to be learned from this story? If so, what is it? The lesson to be learned is, pride has consequences and they might be disastrous. The Golden Touch Write three or four sentences that summarize this story. The god Bacchus offered King Midas a reward for his hospitality. Midas wanted more gold, so he asked that everything he touched would turn to gold. Bacchus granted the wish and King Midas soon found that he couldn t eat or drink because everything turned to gold. Midas asked forgiveness for his greed and Bacchus took away the golden touch. What lesson can we learn from King Midas? Is this a theme of the story? It doesn t pay to be greedy. Yes, the problem of greed is a theme. Lost at Sea Why was Alcyone worried about King Ceyx traveling across the sea? She knew that sea travel was dangerous. She didn t want him to be ship wrecked or lost at sea. How did Alcyone and Ceyx feel about each other? How do you know? (Use evidence from the text.) Alcyone and Ceyx loved each other. Alcyone worried about Ceyx. While he was gone she prayed for him, made clothes for him, and planned what to wear when he came home. Ceyx died thinking of Alcyone and praying that his body would be taken back to her. The Weaving Contest What character trait did Arachne have in common with Phaeton (from Chariot of the Sun God )? Arachne and Phaeton were both prideful. How are Arachne and Phaeton different? Phaeton thought he could drive the sun god s chariot across the sky, but he couldn t. Arachne was actually able to weave better than Minerva. While Phaeton died because of his own failure, Archne was punished because of her pride. 7

8 Does this story have a theme in common with Chariot of the Sun God? If so, what is it? Yes, both stories have a theme of pride and downfall. Apollo s Tree Write three or four sentences that summarize this story. One day while Cupid was playing with Apollo s arrows, Apollo found him and chastised him. Cupid decided to get back at Apollo by causing him to fall in love with a woman who would not want him. He shot Daphne with a blunt arrow, causing her not to want love, and then shot Apollo with a golden arrow that caused him to love her. Daphne s father, the river god, helped her escape Apollo by turning her into a laurel tree. What is the theme of this story? The theme is love and rejection. The Face In The Pool What kind of person was Narcissus? How do you know? (Use evidence from the text.) Narcissus only cared about himself. When Echo told him she loved him he said, I d rather die than let you love me! Then, he died because he didn t want to stop looking at his reflection in the pond. The Kidnapping What is the theme of this story? How do you know? (Use evidence from the text.) Love and loss are themes. The story is all about how Ceres loved her daughter, but lost her to Pluto. Her mourning was so deep that all the crops stopped growing. (Family could be a theme it s about a mother s love for her daughter.) What natural phenomenon does this story attempt to explain? This story attempts to explain the changing of seasons. The Great Bear What is the theme of this story? How do you know? (Use evidence from the text.) The theme is jealousy. Juno was mad when she found out that her husband, Jupiter, had a baby with Callisto. She turned Callisto into a bear because she was jealous. What elements (characters, settings, events, etc.) of this story are similar to the other Greek myths you have read? Possible answers: Jupiter often falls in love with other women. A mother is separated from her child. Journey to the Underworld What theme do we see again in this story? How do you know? (Use evidence from the text.) We see the theme of love and loss again in this story. The newly married Eurydice was bitten by a snake and died. Her husband Orpheus is devastated and the story is about all he does to try and get her back. He was deeply in love and has a very hard time accepting his loss. 8

9 What kind of place is the underworld? How do you know? (Use evidence from the text.) Possible answer (this is a bit of an opinion questions, look for appropriate evidence): The underworld is dark and scary. When Orpheus entered he heard horrible sounds. It was very dark and, according to the text, buried ghosts and phantom dwellers floated by. The Golden Apples What themes does this story have in common with Apollo s Tree? Both have themes of love and rejection. Compare and contrast the two stories. Both stories feature young women who were pursued by men they didn t love. The young women did not want to be committed to a man. In Apollo s Tree, Daphne didn t change her mind. Apollo was left without her when her father intervened and turned her into a tree. In The Golden Apples, Atalanta started to feel differently, then Venus helped Hippomenes and they ended up together. Both stories had a transformation as Daphne turned into a tree and both Hippomenes and Atalanta were turned into lions. The Four Tasks Why was Venus angry with Psyche? Venus was angry with Psyche because Psyche was so beautiful. People started to worship Psyche instead of Venus. What theme do you notice in this story? This story is about jealousy. The Mysterious Visitors What kind of people were Baucis and Philemon? How do you know? (Use examples from the text.) Baucis and Philemon were generous and kind. They offered all their best to strangers just because the men were in need. They loved their goose, but were willing to feed it to their guests to make sure they had enough to eat. In the story, what specific virtue of the couple did the gods reward? Baucis and Philemon were rewarded for their hospitality. 9

10 Learning About Greece from Their Stories The myths and legends of ancient Greece give us important clues about the culture. By noticing common themes, we can tell what character traits were considered good or bad and what they thought about family. Use the chart below to keep track of what you learn about Greece from Favorite Greek Myths. Myth What is the main theme? What does this tell us about the Greeks? 10

11 11

12 Retelling the Ancient Myths Ancient myths were told and retold many times before they were ever written down. Now that we have them in writing, there are still many different versions of the same myths. Retell one of the stories from Favorite Greek Myths. If you re feeling extra creative, you may change the setting to your town, during your lifetime. Option 1: Use the squares below to create a comic strip version. Option 2: On a separate paper write a theatric version. It may be a screen play or a stage play. Title: Retold by: 12

13 Write an Original Story The themes that are found in Greek mythology are similar to themes found in many different types of literature throughout history. Things like love and loss are common human experiences and people want to write and read about them. Choose a theme that means something to you and write a story that explores that theme. Use this worksheet to organize your story. Theme: Characters: Setting: Plot Problem: Plot Outline: Introduction (Set the scene, introduce characters, set-up the problem): Rising Action (How do the characters attempt to solve the problem? What are the results? What events lead to the final resolution?): Climax and Wrap-up (What is the final solution to the problem? Answer all questions.) 13

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