Books for Teaching Ancient Greece and Mythology
- Grades: 6–8
From Unit Plan: Learning Myths, Writing Myths
In addition to the teacher resources listed below, I have included student resources to use as a suggestion for further reading as inspired by student interest or classroom reading instruction as a source for the different myths and legends.
These Are Professional Resources:
15 Greek Myth Mini-Books: Adorable Reproducible Patterns With Engaging Writing Prompts by Sherry Girard
WOW! This book includes every Greek myth I've ever thought about teaching to my 6th-grade students. Not only does this book give the students short, non-intimidating presentations of the myth, but it also includes vocabulary words to study with each one and suggestions of class activities to be used with each story.
Classroom Tip: To cut down on the number of copies needed for the unit, I create a class set of the myths I intend to teach. Students not only use the stories for ideas with journal writing, but also explore grade-appropriate vocabulary with each myth. These myths as a collection are used as an example of universal themes like bravery, loyalty, and trust.
25 Mini-Plays: World History by Erin Fry
This book contains plays that teach about ancient cultures like ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and more.
Classroom Tip: This book contains two plays of interest: one about an Athens trial that explores the government of the times, and one about Socrates. We use these plays as a springboard for a debate of the ancient Greek legal system and as a basis for a mock trial of Socrates. Students then act as the jury and decide whether or not Socrates deserved to be put to death.
Ancient Greece: A Complete Resource by Sean Stewart Price
This is a must-have for any interdisciplinary unit on Greece as it includes meaningful exploration activities, which transport the students back in time.
Classroom Tip: First, the book includes a map of ancient Greece that can be used in a bulletin board display of the different city-states. Also, there are many ideas for attire, food, and games for a Greek Festival to be held as a culminating activity for the unit. There are also helpful handouts for teaching some of the basics of the culture which can easily be photocopied for your students.
The Big Book of Reproducible Graphic Organizers by Jennifer Jacobson & Dottie Raymer
Need a new idea for a graphic organizer? Looking for an attractive way to present the strategy without having students copy the image from the board? This is the book you need because it includes 50 templates, all of which can be modified for different content areas or different literary analyses.
Classroom Tip: This resource is full of organizers that can support a study of mythology. This book is useful for ANY unit of study!
Fluency Formula Workbook - Grade 6
This source is wonderful for nonfiction reading and an exploration of genres as it presents stories, plays, and articles on a variety of topics. Each reading includes a sheet of objective questions that students can complete so that a teacher can easily check a student's progress with comprehension at different intervals throughout the school year.
Classroom Tip: We read the story of Prometheus and Pandora as a supplemental myth in this unit. Students complete the worksheet for either classwork or homework. This basic activity acts as a springboard to a debate about Pandora's box.
Quick & Easy Internet Activities for the One-Computer Classroom: Ancient Civilizations by Edie Evans
This book truly is a must-have for any teacher trying to lead a unit on ancient Greece who only has one or two computers in his/her classroom. Not only does this book have great ideas for Internet research and technology integration, but it also includes activities for students to do while waiting for a turn at the computer. While some classrooms try and catch up with the modern world of education, resources like this one can be used to level the playing field for our students.
Classroom Tip: The lesson on Greek gods and goddesses is wonderful for introducing kids to the idea of mythology. Not only do I use this lesson at the beginning of my unit, but I also use the Greek chronology with the help of my social studies team teacher to add a nonfiction lesson to the study of Greek history.
These Are Good Student Resources
Gods, Goddesses, and Monsters: An Encyclopedia of World Mythology
This is a wonderful resource for researching the characters of mythology to prepare for a lesson and a great book to have in your classroom library for students who want to learn more!
Classroom Tip: Place this treasure on your shelf in your class library or use it as a read-aloud selection.
Pandora of Athens, 399 B.C. by Barry Denenberg
This book will someday be a classic novel used in any integrated unit on Ancient Greece. Students will be transported back in time while reliving the Greek culture through the eyes of this tormented heroine.
Classroom Tip: This is another great novel to keep on your shelf for the learner who wants more!
Greek Mythology Grades 7-9: 5 Books
This collection of stories is the main resource for differentiated instruction in my unit for ancient Greece. The reading levels are accommodated on a lower level with Top Ten Greek Legends, which is told in somewhat of a comic book format, and on an upper level with Heroes & Monsters of Greek Myth, which is told in a chapter-book format.
Classroom Tip: I use these books for literature circle instruction with my students. I also use the books The Adventures of Ulysses and The Trojan War for an independent study for my advanced students when the rest of us are studying a simpler version of the stories. This collection is perfect for differentiated instruction.