Creative School Projects for Greek Mythology

Written by bonnie jahangiri
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Creative School Projects for Greek Mythology
Projects help students learn about Greek mythological characters such as Odysseus. ( Images)

A creative menu of Greek mythology school projects from which a student can choose helps that student capture the essence of mythological characters and their origins. Establishing a connection between the student and the characters of Greek mythology can be more effective than a project demonstrating sheer academic knowledge. Incorporating art or creative writing assignments facilitates a lasting connection to the mythological stories, ensuring that the student's study of mythology achieves insight into the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece.

Newspaper Article

Writing about a Greek mythology story or character in the form of a newspaper article forces students to study the myth according to very specific conventions and form. Like newspaper reporters, students should identify the basic facts of a story, such as the Trojan War, including the journalistic "who, what, when, where, why and how." Students then present the information in an effective newspaper article format, such as a news event or a feature story. A newspaper article telling of Persephone's kidnapping, for example, takes the mythological event into a context with which the 21st-century student can identify. An obituary of a mythological character demonstrates another effective article format. Students' articles in the aggregate can form a class newspaper.

Black Figure Amphora

The Black Figure Amphora project encourages the development of storytelling skills through Greek-inspired art. Viewing images of Greek pottery can help students learn to draw one or more scenes of a mythological storyline. After making several preliminary sketches, students lightly sketch their final illustration on red paper, cut into the shape of an amphora, a two-handled Greek vase with a long, narrow neck. Students then trace over the pencil lines with black markers. In addition to the myth illustration, incorporating at least one ancient Greek pattern on the amphora reinforces the representation of Greek art. Finally, the student completes an oral presentation of the mythological story, using the amphora as a visual tool. Three-dimensional amphoras can be created with papier mache or actual pottery vases.

Conflict and Resolution Identification

Greek myths embody typical human conflicts, often with resolutions blending human and divine elements. Providing a setting in which students use mythological characters to solve modern day problems or issues emphasises the character's traits. Carol Moseman, a ninth-grade teacher writing for MythWeb, says she teaches her students to create their own versions of "The Odyssey," in which Odysseus has to return to their hometown from a modern conflict in a foreign country. This project focuses the student on composition as well as geography, as students chart the order of Odysseus' return as well as conduct research about other countries.

Greek Mythology Scrapbook

Students of Greek mythology can build a scrapbook throughout a course, detailing mythological stories and characters to creatively present the knowledge gained through the course. The scrapbook may chronologically recount a particular myth, using a combination of narrative and art to tell the story. Students maintain freedom to include a collection of relevant items, images and historical facts to depict the myth's context. Another scrapbook theme involves profiling a mythical character by gathering visual and written representations of the character's image, personality traits, likes and dislikes, famous quotations, or even fictitious diary entries told from the character's perspective.

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