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Orphic and Homeric Creation Myths: Greek Mythology Series for Grades 8-10


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Teach Orphic and Homeric Myths of Creation Today!

Grade Level Grades 8-10
Resource Type Lesson Plan
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards

About This Lesson

What is a creation myth? How do matriarchal and patriarchal societies differ? Engage middle and high school students with myths of creation from Ancient Greek civilization. Explore the myth of the cosmic egg and learn how Eros was originally Phanes, a four-headed, double-sexed deity who was the motor and engine of the universe.

  • This resource is optimized for distance learning. The product includes a durable Google Apps link. Access and modify this resource for student-use on Google Classroom and other classroom management sites.

Use this Digital Download for a Three-day English Language Arts Lesson

Using my tested-in-the-classroom resources, your kids will want to discuss the primordial questions of existence, where we come from and where we are going, matriarchal versus patriarchal societies, and more! So I have loaded this resource with Nine reading cards and a set of TWENTY-SEVEN questions that will get your students talking, writing, and wondering!

Common Core Standards: This resource aligns well with the reading literature standard: "Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new."

This Resource Includes the Following Features:

  • 1 Teacher's Three-day Lesson Calendar
    • Follow the pacing calendar to stay organized. Start with background knowledge, places, and geography, engage students in group reading with custom-made reading cards, and quiz your class with trivia-style questions.
  • 9 Illustrated Reading Cards on the Orphic and Homeric Creation Myths
    • Included in this resource are four reading cards that include:
      • Definition of the Creation Myth
      • Orphic and Homeric Creation Myths
      • The Cosmic or World-Egg
      • Oceanus and Tethys
      • Nyx and Eros (Phanes)
      • Gaia and Uranus (Matriarchal)
      • Gaia and Uranus (Patriarchal)
      • Kronos
      • Rhea
  • 1 Key Characters and Places Worksheet
    • Orient your learners by identifying the story's key characters and geographical location.
  • A Bank of 27 Trivia-style Questions about the earliest Greek creation myth.
    • After your students engage in the reading cards, test their knowledge with a custom-made question set.
  • 3-Box Notetaking Template — Embed accountability into the lesson by having students annotate the text cards with notes, questions, and a summary of what they've read and comprehended.
  • Frayer Model Vocabulary Template (with student sample)
    • Frayer models are a way to get kids to think about vocabulary visually in a four-section square —- A square for meaning, one for examples, another for non-examples, and a sketch. It is amazing to see the work they produce. A great way to decorate your classroom to showcase your kids' vocabulary-in-text understanding.
      • Fill out the cards to contain terms, Greek and Latin roots, and challenging words (as well as contextual entries fit to the story).
  • Half-Sheet 3-2-1 Exit Ticket
    • Exit tickets are a way to get data about your students' understanding of the lesson right before the class is finished. Collect these exit tickets and quickly see what ideas your students took away from reading and discussing the myth.
  • Further Reading List
    • Don't disregard this further reading list if you think it is merely a bibliography. Share the list with your students or have them do projects based on the available research. Assign different sources to students and organize presentations where learning can go deeper into Ancient Greek cosmology.
  • Answer Keys for all student-facing documents
    • Teachers always ask for answer keys for my products, so I gave you plenty of guidance on what to expect from students in their written and oral responses.

I created this resource with secondary students in mind. It is designed for an English Language Arts Mythology unit —

  • For any myth-related unit!
  • On topics including — cosmology, creation myths (cosmogonic myths), myths of origins, and Ancient Greek history and society.
  • Use this resource as a stand-alone lesson or, pair it with a larger unit on Myth, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, The Theogony of HesiodRobert Graves's Greek Myths, or Edith Hamilton's Mythologyor Parallel Myths by J.F. Bierlein.

For resources similar to this one, see my:

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Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work (e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare).
Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new.
Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).


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