6-8 team social studies students have been studying Ancient Civilizations – most recently their gods and goddesses – encouraging the students’ understanding and appreciation of different cultures, whether across the world or in different eras.
In learning about Greek mythology, for example, students consider “What meanings did the myths have for the ancient Greeks?” and “What meanings do the Greek myths have for us today?”
In ancient times, Greek myths offered stories about gods and goddesses who generally had very human traits: they constantly fought among themselves, behaved irrationally and unfairly, and were often jealous of each other. How do the stories of ancient Greek gods and goddesses compare with the stories of contemporary leaders, celebrities or superheroes? What role do these stories play in today’s society? (Note that stories of ancient Greek gods and heroes still engage audiences today through books, movies and television programs ranging from Rock Riordan’s Percy Jackson character to The Legend of Hercules, Troy and Clash of the Titans.)
Despite the miles and the centuries between the ancient Greeks and ourselves, do we still have things in common?