Ancient Greece Free Activities and Projects for Kids and Teachers
These are activity and project ideas for kids and teachers to use in your unit study of ancient Greece. These activities can be adjusted for any grade. We hope you'll find some ideas you can use.
Greek Olympics: Ancient Greek Olympics for the Classroom 3-4 days mini-unit with student role handouts and games. This is a great group activity, and really helps the kids understand the concept of city-states and the fierce competition that existed in ancient Greece between them. I usually use this early in the unit because it's so much fun, and so very Greek.
Greek Geography Activity: Working in small groups, be real estate agents. Sell your site. Use real location names. If its a sea, name it. Give reasons why anyone should settle down in such a mountainous area. Remind students that the Greeks were independent. Their culture developed from villages that grew into unique and independent city-states. Have groups create a "For Sale" brochure or sign.
The Greek Dark Ages: Minoans, Mycenaeans, Dorians, & the Greek Dark Ages - group activity
A Slightly Different Approach to the Greek Gods Family Tree - I used felt. Felt sticks to felt and it's colorful. I created the tree, a green tree with two tiers of branches and a brown tree trunk and secured that to a wall in my classroom. To one side, I had rectangles with Greek gods names, but they were not on the tree or in any particular order or angle. You can post them up any old way, or stash them a box. This was ready to use before the kids came to class. Then I used the myths. From the myths, as a class, we could figure out from clues in the myth who was who in the ancient Greek world, including Hera and Zeus. Down at the bottom of the tree, on the trunk, I placed the demi-gods - half mortals, and the monsters. It worked very well. The kids filled the tree quite rapidly. They also ran into deities that I had not prepared. They prepared them and added them to our very cluttered tree. Somewhere in there, I remind the kids now that: "The Greeks had over 2,000 gods. I don't think we're going to get them all up on our wall. But we can certainly get up a few." If you have multiple classes as I did, leave your tree up with gods posted, and have the kids check if the other classes were correct. Mix up the myths - different myths for different classes. That way, every class has a chance to add to the family tree. I left the tree up during our entire ancient Greek unit.
Working in Small Groups, two approaches to writing their own myths: For new teachers: Whenever you assign fictional writing in any subject, make it a small group activity. Some kids are not fictional writers, but they might be fact checkers. Some kids have artistic talents, and can illustrate or storyboard. Some are uncomfortable with public speaking, but can write a great essay. If you force kids, they'll hate you and they'll hate school, and that is the opposite of what we, as teachers, wish to accomplish. You might think, well, they have to learn. To write an essay, yes. Everything else, it depends. I had been teaching for many years when I had something startling happen. I was not reaching one of my students. I knew that. He did the least amount of work with the most amount of disinterest until one day, in his small group, he was chosen to be the narrator of the myth they created. It was his only participation and he was incredible. He was all the characters. His voice changed for each. His body adjusted for each. At the end of his presentation of the group's very short original myth, instead of clapping, there was dead silence in the classroom. Thank goodness for one little girl who said - that was incredible! Then everybody clapped. For real. From then on, he came alive. Word spread. People were talking about him for days much to his embarrassment and delight. Years ago, someone told me, when I was a new teacher, fictional writing needs to be a small group activity. And she was so right.
Monster Myths: Small Group Activity. I especially like having the kids write their own monster myths, complete with Greek God villain and/or hero/heroine and a happy ending, early in the unit. First, have your students read some additional Greek Myths if time permits as a review the Greek gods. Point out especially for this lesson the myth of King Tantalus (beware mere mortals who think they can lie about the gods or use the gods for their own purposes.) Working in small groups, have kids write a short made up myth. As kids read their myth aloud, by giving parts to various group members or by selecting a narrator, the rest of the class has to ooh and ah and cheer because that's how things were done when the Ancient Greek storytellers told their tales. It was the myths. legends, and heroes that gave the early Greeks the unity and confidence they needed to escape the rule of the hated Dorians.
The Hercules Detective Agency. Small Group Activity. Have your kids read some Case Files from the Hercules Detective Agency, then, working in small groups, have them write a case file of their own.
Note: If you decide to post your student case files or original myths online, on your own site, please let us know so we can link from our sites to yours. Thank you.
Business Cards: Tell the kids the gods are really getting upset. People are coming to the temples asking them to do everything. They don't do everything. They have jobs. People need a reminder of what jobs each god can do. In frustration, the gods have come to you to fix this. You need to create for them some business cards that they can use to advertise what they do best. (Example: Apollo, Want a sun tan? See Apollo. Or Hera: Wedding Consultant. Aphrodite: Love Advice for the Lonely. Work in groups. If you have multiple classes, work in large groups. Give each class different gods. That way, when they are all posted on the wall, the kids in each class can enjoy them. Assign groups the gods they will be helping. Give them some time. Have each class them share their business cards ideas with the class. Collect the card so can make a montage of all the cards from all classes on your wall.
Greek Gods activity: Zeus is retiring - Apply for his job.
Daily Life Activity: This is an interesting approach for a small group daily life activity: interesting lesson idea. Tell your students: Imagine you are a famous architect and you have just discovered the ruins of an ancient Greek home. Go through each room, carefully piecing together the clues. Each group in your class is assigned a room. The group creates clues (pieces of the past) for that room and its purpose in ancient Greece. Then, each group's room becomes an exploration station. Set up your stations around your classroom and allow students to explore each station and create a list of "discoveries" that tell us about daily life in ancient Greece. Then open class discussion. Although this is fictional writing, it is also technical writing as the assignment requires the discovery of artifacts and clues. We teach multiple classes. Some of our groups during this two-day activity chose to add to existing rooms. Some created nearby businesses. Some created neighbors. I had two groups, actually, who challenged the findings of two different discovery stations. One group was clearly, based on their presentation, seeking a grant to correct misinformation. Very fun. Our two-day activity became a four day one and I left the discovery stations up for about 10 days.
Daily Life Activity: Trading Market Simulation, barter in ancient Greece. Optional use: Students can create products that would be needed in ancient Greek daily life to barter. This can be as simple as a word on a piece of paper or a quick drawing.
Critical Thinking Activity: Question what you read on the web! - computer lab, small group activity
Famous Greeks Activities: The Great Greeks
The News, what's going on in the ancient Greek world: The Daily Athenian, newspaper project
Greek Bingo with printout Greek bingo card
Gift Wrapped Greeks - one of my personal favorites for teaching and reviewing inventions and achievements, but Mr. Donn never uses this one. He thinks it's too much trouble, but then, you should see how he wraps!
Conduct a Socrates Seminar, Socrates Seminar Classroom Activity
Greek government in different city-states: Determine how each government in ancient Greece would handle a convicted violent criminal
Famous People, Costumes: Lesson Ideas for Ancient Greece - Paper Columns, Make a Greek Chiton
Greek Pot Patterns - Printable Download - Greek Vases
Online Game Day: Ancient Greece - Games and Interactive Learning Sites for Kids - I set this activity to work by creating a scavenger hunt sheet of things for kids to find in the sites listed on their exploration sheet. The kids have to site the source for each scavenger find for verification.
My Ancient Greek Activity Book - Includes making business cards for the gods.
Greek Worksheets -
- Ancient Greece, alphabet worksheet, free download, school history)
- Ancient Greece, overview, lesson plans
- Ancient Greece, Olympics, lesson plan
- Ancient Greece, trade, including a trading game, lesson plan
- Ancient Greece, education, lesson plan
- Ancient Greece, home life
- Ancient Greece, Democracy, lesson plan
- The Hellenistic Period, lesson plan
- Parthenon Marbles, lesson plan, controversy
- History for Kids (I don't usually use worksheets, but these are very good and useful to assign for optional homework for a little boost in grade - does not count against, only counts for)
Choose Your Own Adventure from over 70 different classroom activities and possible assignments
Online Quiz: Interactive Quiz Questions with Answers about Ancient Greece for Kids and Teachers
Concluding Activity: Fifth and Sixth Grade Greek Fair
New teachers: Easy desk arrangements for the classroom - I move my desks around all the time, depending upon the activities I'm doing that day. It took me forever to realize I can have the kids move their desks, after I mark the spots with masking tape. You don't want to have the kids moving into formations all the time, but occasionally it's a smart thing to do. Tell them you need their help prior to movement. It's a team building activity. It's not your classroom that way, it's "our" classroom. They will want to help you.
See Also: Lesson Plans for Ancient Greece