Interpreting Perspectives: Greek Myths

Students dive into the world of Greek mythology with the classic myths of Pandora, Arachne, and Echo and Narcissus, and explore how the Greeks used mythology to make sense of their world.

Unit Summary

In this unit students dive into the world of Greek mythology. Over the course of the unit students will read the classic myths of Pandora, Arachne, and Echo and Narcissus. In reading the myths, students will gain a deeper understanding of the gods and mortals in ancient Greece and how the ancient Greeks used mythology as a way to make sense of and interpret the world around them. Students will also continue the thematic exploration from previous units about how a person’s beliefs, ethics, or values influence that person’s behavior.

Over the course of the unit, students will read multiple versions of the classic myths. The primary focus of this unit is on close reading and analyzing the differences among the versions and critically analyzing an author’s choice of genre. In doing so, students will be challenged to think about how the structural elements of different genres, particularly prose, drama, and verse, allow a reader to better understand a story or text. Students will also explore how the point of view in which a story is written, either third-person point of view or first-person point of view, changes the way a story is told and the depth of information that a reader knows. Another focus of this unit is determining the central theme of the myths. Because the stories in this unit are shorter than the novels students have read so far, this unit offers students practice in finding the theme of a shorter text and explaining how the author uses evidence to develop the theme.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

Assessment

These assessments accompany this unit to help gauge student understanding of key unit content and skills. Additional progress monitoring suggestions are included throughout the unit.

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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  • Why was Greek mythology important in ancient Greece? 
  • What lessons can be learned from Greek mythology? 

Vocabulary

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Text-based

"beauty is only skin deep" "blow hot and cold" "curiosity killed the cat" "open pandora's box" appalled awe bad-tempered boost chorus conceited cope companion deceiving declare despair decreed echo endure enraged exquisite fate infatuation inexcusable misery mortal narrator perished pity rage reflection resist seldom sorrow spiteful suffer surpass temptation transform vain vanity

Root/Affix

-ful -tion in-

To see all the vocabulary for this course, view our 4th Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Lesson Map

1

  • McElderry... pp. 1 – 5 — Prometheus

    RL.4.2

Summarize what happened to Prometheus.

2

  • McElderry... pp. 6 – 12 — Pandora's Box

    RL.4.2

Summarize what happens in Pandora’s Box.

7

Narrative Writing

    W.4.3.d

    L.4.1.d

    L.4.3.a

Rewrite the myth from Epimetheus’ point of view.

8

  • McElderry... pp. 30 – 35

    RL.4.2

    RL.4.3

    RL.4.6

Summarize what happened in “Arachne”.

9

  • I am Arachne pp. 2 – 5

    RL.4.2

Explain what lesson Arachne learns and how she learns it. 

13

Narrative Writing

    RL.4.6

    W.4.3.a

    W.4.3.b

Rewrite the myth Arachne from Athena’s point of view.

14Essential Task

  • McElderry... pp. 22 – 29

    RL.4.2

    RL.4.3

Summarize “Echo and Narcissus.”

15

  • I am Arachne pp. 36 – 42

    RL.4.2

    RL.4.3

Defend if Narcissus learns his lesson.

21

Assessment

Common Core Standards

Core Standards

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L.4.1

L.4.1.d

L.4.2

L.4.3

L.4.3.a

RL.4.2

RL.4.3

RL.4.5

RL.4.6

RL.4.7

RL.4.9

SL.4.1

SL.4.1.c

SL.4.1.d

SL.4.3

W.4.1

W.4.3

W.4.3.a

W.4.3.b

W.4.3.d

W.4.3.e

Spiral Standards

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L.4.1.b

L.4.1.f

L.4.1.g

L.4.2.a

L.4.2.b

L.4.2.c

L.4.2.d

L.4.4

L.4.4.b

RF.4.3

RF.4.4

RL.4.1

RL.4.10

RL.4.4

SL.4.5

SL.4.6

W.4.10

W.4.4

W.4.5

W.4.6

W.4.9