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Grade 5: Re-telling Mythology

This month at Graland, Grade 5 students had the opportunity to create a collaborative project on Greek mythology in both their English and history classes with Mrs. Kimm Lucas and Mr. Mike Willis. “We were looking to bridge the humanities,” Mrs. Lucas said. “Mythology seemed like a natural place to do it.” 
The students prepared for this project by learning about Ancient Greece with history teacher Mike Willis a few weeks before the project began. “We did a short project in history where everyone was assigned a god and presented on them, and then we jumped into learning about the myths themselves,” Mr. Willis said. Mrs. Lucas added a creative twist to this initial assignment by teaching each student to write a resume and cover letter for their particular god or goddess and to imagine what job they might have had on Earth before becoming a deity. One student imagined Hades as a gravedigger before his time as the God of the Underworld, and another wrote a cover letter applying to a nanny agency as Hestia, the Goddess of the Hearth. “That led nicely into the creativity that they’re doing now,” Mrs. Lucas said. 

After the students researched their gods and goddesses and learned about the most famous myths, they began working on their big project. The assignment included a formal writing piece and an interpretive re-telling. “We gave them a lot of freedom to choose how they wanted to create a project,” Mr. Willis said, explaining that students could use whatever medium they wanted to re-tell their chosen myth and work in small groups or individually. “They often went with something where they could express themselves and tap into what they’re passionate about,” Mrs. Lucas said. Some of the projects ranged from illustrated journals from the perspective of a particular god or goddess to graphic novels and skits. One group even chose to deliver a “TED Talk” style presentation, posing as four professors narrating the story of the Odyssey. 

For Mr. Willis and Mrs. Lucas, the collaboration between the two subjects was among the most fulfilling aspects of the project. “I liked that the students saw the two teachers collaborating,” Mrs. Lucas said. “They need to realize how interdisciplinary English and history are.” Ultimately, working between two disciplines gave the students the opportunity to engage more deeply with their learning and work together to create thoroughly researched and innovative projects. Great job, Grade 5! 
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Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.