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Connect Greek Mythology to Current Movie & Novel
For the 21st century learner, it helps to use interactive activities to teach Greek mythology to students. Greek mythology may seem "dusty" or boring to some young students. However, once a teacher can hook the students with an action packed story, students will see that the conflicts are entertaining and similar to some of the conflicts of today. In addition, teaching students the basics about Greek mythology can help them in the future because allusions to the gods and goddesses abound in various pieces of literature and movies.
Lightning Thief Novel & Movie
Middle sc hool and lower high school teachers have a perfect current movie and novel at their fingertips to introduce Greek mythology. These two contemporary pieces are entertaining and teach students about the Greek gods and goddesses.
The book Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan [Hyperion Book (September 16, 2008)] is part of a five series that includes The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian. The main character Percy Jackson learns that he is a demi-god, the son of Poseidon. He has to survive half blood camp. He embarks on a journey to save his mother and to find Zeus's lightning bolt. Of course, there are traps awaiting Percy and his friends as the gods watch from on high in Mount Olympus.
The movie Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief DVD by 20th Century Fox Studio is rated PG and run 120 minutes. It does not follow the book closely, but it tells the basic story. The actors are teens instead of 12-year-olds. However, it had action and adventure.
Activities for Lightning Thief Movie & Novel
Teachers can have students read the novel and watch the movie. Next, student can make a Greek gods, goddesses, and creatures booklet. The booklet should have a cover. It can be assessed on the criteria of creativity, correct content, and use of color.
- Students can select 10 or more mythical god, goddess and/or creatures from the novel
- Each page of the booklet should have one creature
- At the top of the page, the character's name should be spelled correctly.
- A picture should be drawn of the character
- The character's powers and basic description should be included
- A short passage that sums up the character should be included as well
A comparison and contrast paper is another way to assess student’s knowledge. Students can use a Venn diagram to organize their papers. To start the Venn diagram, students can compare and contrast the following:
- Events in the novel versus the movie
- Characters in the novel versus the movie
- Settings in the novel versus the movie
- The resolution in the novel versus the movie
Once students have completed the Venn diagram, they can write a rough draft and then write a final copy of the paper.
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Greek Mythology Website Extension
In addition to using reference books to help students learn about Greek gods and goddesses, there are many websites to offer interactive activities for Greek mythology where one can complete a mythology webquest for example.