Greek mythology is a wonderful block. These stories have lent so many expressions into Western Culture and much like expressions from the Bible, a student will be at a disadvantage to not know these stories, to be familiar with these expressions, and to later understand Greek civilization and how that has impacted our own history in the United States.
You can see the resources we used in my previous post regarding Ancient Mythology and Civilizations. Our projects this block included a lot of drawing, including a large picture of Artemis as chosen by my daughter as her favorite to draw, modeling of columns and vases in clay (see the Christopherus Fifth Grade syllabus), drawing of columns, freehand map drawing, learning the Greek alphabet and writing a few simple phrases, and memory and recitation of poetry.
We started in the land of mythology with the book of Greek Myths from D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths and then leading into the wonderful stories of Perseus, Heracles, and Theseus. Here is a scene my fifth grader drew from the story of Perseus:
I used Dorothy Harrer’s “Chapters In Ancient History” as an aid in contrasting life in Sparta and Athens, talking about the landscape of Greece, the school boy in Athens, and many of the biographical sketches.
We finished with the history of Ancient Greece, and Charles Kovacs’ “Ancient Greece”, did an excellent job in terms of making Greek History and Alexander the Great accessible, understandable and memorable. I cried at the end of telling the story of the Battle Of Marathon.
One note about Ancient Greek History: many Waldorf homeschoolers put this off until sixth grade. My fifth grader was eleven for the entire school year, and close to turning twelve by the end of the school year, so I chose to go ahead and include it, but if you have a younger fifth grader you might want to place this in sixth grade.
More next time,