Greek God Family Tree
A family tree is a chart that shows the relationship between people or deities in a family over many generations. If you were creating a family tree of your own family, you might want to start with your parents. So the first row would be your two parents. Let's pretend that you had brothers and sisters. The next row down, under your parents, would be your brothers and sisters and you - your parents' kids. Then, let's pretend that some of your brothers and sisters got married and had kids of their own. Those kids, your nieces and nephews, would go on the next row down, under your brothers and sisters. That's only three generations, and already your chart is getting crowded.
Now, imagine that you were immortal and could live forever. That's what immortal means - live forever. According to the ancient Greek myths, the ancient Greek gods were immortal. They had lots of time to get married and divorced and have kids and grandkids and great-grandkids and more kids! It can get pretty confusing trying to figure out who is related to whom in the ancient Greek mythical world. For example, Hercules and Perseus were half-brothers. Their father was the mighty Zeus, king of all the gods, an immortal. Their mothers, however, were Greek women and not gods at all. But, according to some storytellers, Hercules was also the great-grandson of Perseus. So Hercules was the son of Zeus and the great-grandson/half-brother of Perseus who was also the son of Zeus. Try to chart that one!
There are many Greek god family tree charts online. Most are far more complicated than we need for our purposes. The chart below lists Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Hermes, Ares, Apollo, Artemis, Athena, and Aphrodite. These students did a great job!
The ancient Greek women would want to include Hestia, Zeus' sister, the Goddess of Hearth and Home, because Hestia was very important to them. Demeter, Zeus' sister and Goddess of the Harvest, is very important as well. It's not easy selecting which gods to include on your Greek God Family Tree! Lots of gods and goddesses in the ancient Greek mythical world had very important jobs to do. But, for our purposes in 5th and 6th grade, if you start with Zeus, you want to include important and powerful gods and goddesses that are related to Zeus, but you don't need to include all his family members or your chart is going to be way too big!