Exploring Ancient Greece

In this unit, students explore ancient Greece, learning and exploring the different characteristics of ancient Greece and its values.



Alternate Unit 6

2nd Grade

Unit Summary

In this unit, students explore ancient Greece. Over the course of the unit, students learn and explore different characteristics of ancient Greece and its values. Through learning about the daily routines, structures, and rituals of ancient Greece, students will be challenged to draw conclusions about what the civilization valued and how those values compare to society today. Students will also learn about the different gods and goddesses and analyze the role they played in ancient Greek society. At the end of the unit, students will be challenged to compare and contrast the role of the Olympics in ancient Greek society with the modern-day Olympics. 

The mentor text for this unit, Ancient Greece and the Olympics, allows students to practice multiple informational reading strategies independently and with partners. Throughout the unit, students will practice determining the main topic of a section of a text and also the entire text. Students will also explore how authors include many types of details in a text. Students will begin to analyze which details in a text are important, and which details in a text are just interesting and make the text more enjoyable to read. 

Students will use all of the strategies they learned in previous units to engage with classmates in partner, small group, and whole class discussions. Students will continue to build on their peers’ talk and may begin to critique and analyze the reasoning of their peers when applicable.

Students continue to build their writing fluency by writing daily in response to the Target Task question using a combination of simple and complex sentences. Students also have multiple opportunities to write both informational and opinion paragraphs, building on the strategies they have learned across the entire sequence. Students end the unit by participating in their final research project, with an emphasis on using facts and definitions to develop points. Across the unit, students also write multiple opinion paragraphs, focusing on stating an opinion and supplying reasons to support the opinion.

Please Note: The text Growing Up in Ancient Greece by Chris Chelepi used in Lessons 9-11 is out of print. If you can't access this text, this lesson can be skipped.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

Supporting Materials


These assessments accompany this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

Before you teach this unit, unpack the texts, themes, and core standards through our guided intellectual preparation process. Each Unit Launch includes a series of short videos, targeted readings, and opportunities for action planning to ensure you're prepared to support every student.

Essential Questions

  • What connections can we make between ancient Greece and our society today?
  • What did the ancient Greeks believe and/or value?
  • How did ancient Greek beliefs and values shape their society?

Reading Focus Areas

  • The main topic is the big idea of a section of text; understanding the main topic of a section of text helps the reader determine which details are important.

  • Authors include many types of details in the text; some details are important and support the author’s point, while the others are just interesting.

Writing Focus Areas

Informational Writing

  • Participate in shared research and writing projects.

  • Use facts and definitions to develop points.

Opinion Writing

  • State an opinion and supply reasons that support that opinion.



artifact brutal citizen compete democracy devote headstrong honor moody modern oath obey philosophy please potter resisted rival rule sacrifice seldom store tense truce vase worship

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 6, view our 2nd Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Content Knowledge and Connections

  • Describe the city-states of Athens and Sparta.
  • Describe what daily life was like in ancient Greece and the way it was different from daily life today.
  • Explain how the first Olympic Games started and what they represented.
  • Explain why the Greeks worshiped gods and goddesses.
  • Identify and name three or four of the most popular gods and goddesses (Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Artemis, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Demeter, Ares, Hermes, Athena, Hades).

Lesson Map

Common Core Standards

Core Standards


Supporting Standards

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Unit 5

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