Ancient Greece for Kids and Teachers! Illustration

Ancient Greece
for Kids

 
 

Over two thousand five hundred (2,500+) years ago, ancient Greece was made up of hundreds of city-states, grouped together at the southern end of a very large peninsula that jutted out from Europe into the Mediterranean Sea. Smaller peninsulas stuck out from the main Greek peninsula, forming a great deal of natural coastline and many natural harbors. It's no wonder the Greeks were great sailors and fishermen!

The ancient Greeks believed in thousands of gods, goddesses, and magical creatures. They built temples to honor their gods. They prayed at home. They prayed all the time. Honoring their gods was part of their daily life and part of just about everything they did. That's because they believed their gods controlled the heavens and earth, and could interact with humans and cause all kinds of trouble!

A huge mountain range ran down the middle of the Greek peninsula. The people believed that the ancient Greek mystical world was ruled by a small group of powerful gods called the 12 Olympians, who lived at the top of the highest mountain, Mount Olympus. You could try to get to the top, but you'd never make it. The top of Mount Olympus was hidden in fog and snow and magic. When things had to be decided in the mythical world, the council met on Mount Olympus to discuss things, which was a very Greek thing to do - talk it over first, then go to war or get even!

The Greeks told wonderful myths about their gods. Poseidon, lord of the sea, could raise his hand and a new island would appear! Apollo brought up the sun every day, and his twin sister Artemis brought up the moon. Most of the gods avoided Ares. Nobody liked him much, but he was the god of war, so you had to keep him on your side if you could. The mighty Zeus, king of all the gods, probably caused more trouble than any of them, even more than Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The Greeks did not limit their myths to stories about the 12 Olympians. They told stories about nearly all the magical, mythical creatures in which they believed.

Many of their mythical beings looked like people, but some looked like monsters, because, well .. they were! Fortunately, the ancient Greeks found a way to beat monsters with trickery and cleverness, two skills that were greatly admired by the ancient Greeks.  

Ancient Greece was not a country. It was not an empire. It was a collection of independent city-states, each with its own government and its own way of doing things. Some city-states, like ancient Corinth, were ruled by kings. Some, like the warrior city-state of Sparta, were ruled by council. Ancient Athens, the jewel of the ancient Greek city-states, experimented with an early form of democracy.

The Greek city-states did, on occasion, team up against a common foe. They also went to war with each other, unless the Olympic Games were in progress. The Greeks invented the Olympics, and took the event quite seriously. Nearly all the ancient Greek city-states sent teams to participate. If two or more Greek city-states happen to be at war with each other when the game date arrived, war was halted for the duration of the games. The Greek Olympics were not the only games in ancient Greece - the Greeks loved competition of all sorts - but the Olympics were the most important. Every city-state wanted to brag that their athletics (their statues, their theatre, their fabrics) were the best!

The Greeks loved to brag. But then, they had a great deal to brag about. The Greeks gave us so many gifts - gifts like the Olympics, democracy, the theatre, comedy, tragedy, the wheelbarrow, the alphabet, advances in medicine and science, architectural wonders like the ancient Greek columns, incredible myths, and tales of legends, heroes, and fables, to name a few. Theirs was a culture envied and copied by many people.

Learn how the brave Greek hero Theseus escaped the maze, a trick you might find handy some day. Discover how the king of Corinth tricked the god of the underworld and got away with it! Meet Apollo's Oracle, where things are not always as they seem. Read Aesop's fables. Argue with Socrates, the great teacher. Join Hercules on 12 dangerous missions, battling evil monsters.

Come meet the clever, creative, ancient Greeks, and enter a world of competition, trickery and myth. 

For Kids

Geography

Maps of Ancient Greece

Interactive Timelines of Ancient Greece

Minoans - Myth: The monster in the maze

Mycenaeans - very early Greece

Dorians - the hated invaders

Greek Dark Ages

What is a civilization?

What is a city-state?

Rise of City-States

Types of Government

Roots of Democracy in Athens

Athens

Sparta

Corinth

Argos

Megara

The Ancient Greek Olympics

Greek Alphabet

Daily Life

Greek Men

Greek Women

Greek Kids

Greek Slaves

Pets & Toys

Houses

Food

Clothing

Hair Styles

Education, School

Religion, Gods

Greek Dance

Wedding Customs

Greek Theatre

Greek Architecture & Art

Greek Vases Tell a Story

Greek Columns

Elgin Marbles

The Trojan War and the
Legend of the Trojan Horse

Greek Ships

Greek Warriors

Greek Wars

Persian Wars

The Delian League

Peloponnesian War

Famous Greeks - Archimedes, Hippocrates, more

Pericles Funeral Oration

Greek Philosophies

Aristotle

Socrates - the great teacher

Aesop's Fables

Homer's Iliad

Homer's Odyssey

Alexander the Great

The League of Corinth

Hellenistic Greece

The Decline and Fall of Ancient Greece

 

 


Ancient Greek Gods & Goddesses

Ancient Greek Mythical Monsters

Ancient Greek Myths

Zeus, Hera, and Little Io

The Competition, Athena and Poseidon

Theseus, the Minotaur, and the Maze

Dionysus and Ariadne

Hades, Zeus, and the King of Corinth

Icarus and Daedalus, Wings

Baby Hercules &
The 12 Labors of Hercules

Demeter and Persephone, Reason for the Seasons

Apollo's Oracle at Delphi

Apollo and Cassandra

The Magic Rocks - a myth about Ares, the god of war

Perseus, Andromeda, and the sea god, Poseidon

Orpheus and Eurydice

Eros & Psyche

Aphrodite and the Trojan War

Prometheus and the Gift of Fire

Pandora's Box

Zeus and the Great Flood

Zeus, Helios & Phaethon

Three Tales of Echo - Hera, Narcissus, and Pan

King Midas and the Golden Touch

King Midas and the Donkey Ears

Story of the Just Plain Rotten King Tantalus

Artemis and the Deer Hunter

Hermes & Apollo (cartoon PowerPoint, how Apollo got his lyre)

Hades and the River Styx

Greek Monster Myths

Perseus and Medusa

The Cyclops Cave & The Sirens

The Truth About Myths

Ancient Greek Gods by name and powers

Worship, Temples, Sacred Sites

Acropolis & Parthenon

Greek Legends

Greek Fables

Gifts from the Greeks:

Interactive Games for Ancient Greece

PowerPoints about Ancient Greece

Jeopardy Games

Ancient Greece Glossary for Kids

Mr. Donn's Interactive Quizzes with answers - TEST YOURSELF

For Teachers

Lesson Plans and Units for Teachers

Ancient Greece Activities and Projects

Investigate Real Life Artifacts