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A Grade 5 Journey Through Greek Mythology

Kat Diez Canseco
Grade 5 students are embarking on an adventure through Greek mythology under the guidance of their history teacher, Mr. Mike Willis. Mr. Willis created an exciting lesson that combines history, literature, and imagination to inspire his students and bring out their creativity.
The journey begins with a dive into the rich tapestry of Greek mythology. From the origin tale of Gaea and Uranus to the exploits of the 12 Olympians, students are being immersed into the mythical world of gods, goddesses, and heroes. They’re learning tales of Daedalus and Icarus soaring too close to the sun, Echo and Narcissus ensnared by their own reflections, and King Midas grappling with the consequences of his golden touch.

With their newfound knowledge and inspiration, students are ready to create their own mythical stories. They utilized organizers that map out setting, characters, plot, and moral lessons, setting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards) to create whimsical and profound tales. Some stories take readers back to ancient Greece, while others visit the future or unfold right here in the present at Graland.

For Mr. Willis, this lesson goes beyond telling stories. He wants students to dive deep into the creative process and discover the wisdom hidden within ancient mythology. They come to understand firsthand that arrogance can bring consequences, balance is crucial, and even the mightiest heroes face challenges similar to those they face in their own lives.

This project integrates English, history, and art, allowing students to draw connections between ancient civilizations and contemporary creative expression. As they craft their mythological stories, students discover similarities between Greek mythology and other cultural tales they’ve learned in the past.

Mr. Willis is amused by his students' enthusiasm as he watches them dive into the creative process. What started as a simple classroom activity quickly took on a life of its own, with students enthusiastically tackling homework assignments and even spending their weekends working on their mythical worlds. Some of their stories made it to 13 pages, demonstrating their new passion for storytelling. 

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 1927, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.