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.

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ELA

Unit 3

4th Grade

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. 

Students will also focus on 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. When discussing the text, students continue to work on engaging with the thinking of others by building on, and paraphrasing ideas to understand, and questioning and clarifying. At this point in the sequence, students should be able to write fluently in response to the daily Target Tasks in order to show understanding of the text.

In this unit, students return to working on writing strong literary analysis and opinion paragraphs, building on work done in previous units on topic sentences, supporting details, and strategies for elaboration. Across the entire unit, students also use narrative writing as a way to deepen their understanding of the myths and point of view, by rewriting each myth from a different character's point of view. 

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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.

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

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

Reading Focus Areas

  • Summarizing a text helps the reader build a deeper understanding of the story.

  • Poems, drama, and prose all contain different structural elements to help the reader better understand the text.

  • Comparing and contrasting the point of view from which stories are told helps readers understand the impact point of view has on a story.

Writing Focus Areas

Opinion Writing

  • Write strong topic sentences that clearly state an opinion.

  • Provide reasons and evidence to support a particular opinion.

  • Link opinions and reasons using words and phrases.

Narrative Writing

  • Use relevant text details or background knowledge from the text to develop characters, ideas, or situations.

  • Rewrite a narrative from a different point of view.

  • Brainstorm and draft a story with a logical sequence of events that unfolds naturally.

  • Use dialogue, concrete words and phrases, and sensory details to develop experiences.

  • Provide a sense of closure.

Speaking and Listening Focus Areas

  • Build on to partner's ideas. Seek to genuinely understand what peers are saying, and then build on.

  • Paraphrase to make meaning. Paraphrase what others are saying in order to keep track of key ideas in a discussion.

  • Question and clarify. Seek to clarify a particular point a peer makes by asking follow-up questions.

Vocabulary

Text-based

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

Root/Affix

-ful -tion in-

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 3, view our 4th 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

Lesson Map


Common Core Standards


Core Standards

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.4.1.a
W.4.1.b
W.4.3
W.4.3.a
W.4.3.b
W.4.3.d
W.4.3.e
W.4.5

Supporting Standards

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.4.4
RL.4.10
SL.4.5
SL.4.6
W.4.4
W.4.6
W.4.9
W.4.10
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Unit 2

Preparing for the Worst: Natural Disasters

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Unit 4

Examining Our History: American Revolution

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