Posted in Community, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Malletts Bay School

From the Greek

Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.
—Aristotle

At Malletts Bay School, students in Dawn Buswell’s fifth-grade class have recently wrapped up an extensive study of Greek mythology.

Part of the unit involved creating scrolls—written in Greek—and sharing and translating them with their peers.

An example of a scroll
An example of a scroll

The students did a great deal of reading and comparisons of versions of the same myth and also discussed how Greek mythology has been incorporated into many current books, including works by Rick Riordan and JK Rowling. Students also had a Greek spelling and vocabulary lesson, incorporating mythology into their own writing and creating writing pieces upon which handmade puppets were based.

Ms. Buswell wrapped up the mythology unit with a bit of Greek theater. The students offered performances on Midas, the story of Hermes, and the kidnapping of Persephone—dressed in togas and laurels.

As part of the technology integration of their work, students used iPads to conduct a short, focused research project on the Greek city-states and ancient Greek life. As part of this research, they argued and defended why they wished to live in a particular city-state.

Ms. Buswell feels strongly that the study of mythology is a particularly important component in the study of classic and modern literature. It is also helpful in the study of ancient culture as well as the study of the beginnings of Western civilization. “Besides exposing children to classic literature, I use the unit to reinforce the concepts of theme, conflict and resolution, and inferencing,” Buswell said. “We have three differentiated guided reading groups, but all students learn the major Olympians and their identifying myths, as well as the stories of Perseus, Theseus, Odysseus, Persephone, and Orpheus. Of course, no study of Greek mythology would be complete without Midas, Narcissus and Echo, Prometheus, or Pandora, just to name a few!”

For more information, please visit Ms. Buswell’s blog here! You may also call MBS at (802) 264-5900, or e-mail Dawn Buswell at buswelld@csdvt.org.

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