The life of ancient Greeks revolved around a myriad of Greek gods. The gods governed everything from home and family to crops to travel in the ancient world. Greek artisans invoked gods and goddesses before starting work and often made the deities the subject of their work. Sculptures, pottery and jewellery survive to the present day, giving us a glimpse of life in ancient Greece.
Dressing Like a Goddess (or a God)
Grecian Gods wore clothing similar to the Greek people, just a little fancier. Create a Greek god costume with a simple sheet. Fold a twin sized sheet in quarters. Cut a hole in the centre large enough for your head. Open the sheet and stick your head through the hole. Gather the sides of the sheet at the shoulders and tie both sides with gold cord. Drape a coloured scarf over one shoulder and let the ends fall. Tie a second cord around the waist. Pull the front and back of the robe up through the belt so that the robe blouses at the waist. Make sure that the hem of the robe doesn't touch the floor. For a more godlike costume, add accessories that indicate the specific god's responsibilities. Add fish or seaweed for Poseidon, god of the sea. Put a heart necklace on Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Pin lightning bolts to the shoulders of Zeus, the king of the gods.
Greek Story Pots
Artisans decorated pots and clay vessels with the stories and myths of the gods. You can create your own Greek story pot by drawing or painting scenes from your favourite myth onto a large terracotta plant pot. If you want a more traditional pot shape, like that of an amphora, use paper mache. Use a balloon for a traditional pot shape. To create an amphora, cut a slit in the centre of a paper bowl. Pull the knot of the balloon through the hole. Apply paper mache over the entire shape. Roll a sheet of paper into a tube and tape it to the sides of the amphora for handles. After the paper mache dries, give your amphora a base coat of paint, then paint your favourite myth on the sides.
The caduceus is the modern symbol of doctors and medicine, but it began as the staff of Hermes, the messenger of the gods. To make your own, start with a paper towel tube and a tennis ball. Hot glue the ball to one end of the tube and spray paint the entire staff gold. Fold a piece of white paper in half and draw a wing. Cut the wing out and unfold the paper. This gives you two matching wings. Glue the wings to the top of the gold staff. Wrap a plastic snake around the length of the staff. To add to Hermes' props, cut smaller fabric wings out of felt. Hot glue the wings to a pair of sandals.
Act out your own myths with a cast of god and goddess puppets. Save several toilet paper rolls for their bodies. Draw a face on a piece of construction paper and glue to the top of the toilet paper roll. Add tissue paper or fabric togas. Identify each god or goddess with a symbol of his or her domain. For example, add a small construction paper owl to Athena or a sword and shield to Ares.
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