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Unit Title: Greek Mythology and The Role of Stories in Building Culture

Lindsey Belle Grade: 8th Grade English


Subject: English Time: 15 in-class days (about 6 weeks)

Stage 1: Desired Results

Unit Overview: This unit is designed for an 8th grade English class and should be implemented sometime in the middle of the
school year. The goal of this unit is to not only teach students about Greek culture and mythology, but to help them develop an
awareness about the importance of stories and storytelling within all cultures. Throughout the unit plan, they will be engaging in
activities that will help them improve their close reading and annotation skills, their reading comprehension and analysis skills, their
writing process skills, and also crucial interpersonal skills through small group assignments and presentations.

This lesson follows the UbD- Understanding by Design- method and is based on concepts to provide students with meaningful,
transferable learning. Some of the concepts explored throughout this unit include, storytelling, formation of culture, relationships,
and author’s purpose. In order to achieve an understanding of these concepts, students will need a foundation on which to build.
The unit begins with an introduction to Greek culture and mythology, highlighting the basics of Greek culture and researching major
heros, gods, goddesses, monsters and creatures. We will then move into modeling good annotation practices when reading as well
as a review of general literary terminology such as theme, symbolism, and plot structure.

Through the study of Greek myths and origin stories, students will work to answer the following essential questions: How can
stories help to create a culture? and Why is it so important to read and write stories? These essential questions tie in to transfer
goals that will allow students to use the knowledge gained from this unit in other disciplines and in future, real-world scenarios.

The learning plan and individual learning experiences are scaffolded in a purposeful way so that students are building upon their
knowledge and gaining the skills they need to complete the outlined performance tasks with minimal teacher intervention.
Knowledge is discovered together as a class through direct instruction, student-led inquiry, small group assignments, and
individual research. Difficult skills are modeled before students are expected to carry out a task on their own. Formative
assessments are included for each learning experience and two major summative assessments remain focus on the big picture of
the lesson and will help to assess student understanding of the concepts.

The lessons are designed to be taught within 90 minute blocks that meet every other school day. There are 53 class days included
in the sequence plan, which will make this unit span over the course of 5.5 weeks. The learning activities are designed for 8th
grade students in class sizes of about 20. Desks in the classroom are arranged in small learning groups of 3-4, but can be easily
shifted and moved into different patterns as needed. All lessons provide options for differentiation and should also be approached
with flexibility in order to meet student and teacher needs.

Established Goals (Common Core Reading, Writing, and Speaking & Listening)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to
the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze
the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.9
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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and
well-structured event sequences.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.A

Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters;
organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.B

Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or
characters.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.C

Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to
another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.D

Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey
experiences and events.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.E

Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and
audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.5

With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising,
editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for
conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 8 here.)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7

Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources
and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.8

Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and
accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and
following a standard format for citation.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on
grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1.A
Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by
referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1.B

Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define
individual roles as needed.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1.C

Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others' questions and comments with relevant
evidence, observations, and ideas.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1.D

Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the
evidence presented.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.4

Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid
reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.5

Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add
interest.

Stage 1: Unit Goals

Transfer Goals:
Students will be able to independently use their learning to…
1. Read, annotate, and analyze a text to uncover any symbolism and figurative language while also using context clues and
research inquiry to make predictions and uncover the deeper meaning behind the text.
2. Follow a writing process in order to plan, outline, draft, revise, and edit original compositions of varying types with a
particular purpose and for an intended audience.
3. Display strong interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with classmates and confidently present in front of small and
large groups of peers.

Meaning: Understandings
Students will understand that…
1. Legends and myths can help civilizations make sense of their world and can provide individuals with a standard set of
beliefs and customs.
2. Stories that are passed on orally through generations can evolve and will ultimately help shape one’s culture and identity.
3. Following the writing process helps us stay organized when writing fiction or nonfiction pieces.
4. While it is challenging to present in front of peers, it plays an important part in the teaching of crucial life skills.

Meaning: Essential Questions


1. How can stories help to create a culture?
2. How can annotating a text help us gain a deeper understanding?
3. Why is it so important to read and write stories?

Acquisition: Know
Students will know…
1. The qualities and traits of Greek figures, monsters and creatures, as well as the relationships between the different Greek
heroes and gods and goddesses in order to understand the stories (factual knowledge)
2. The Ancient Greeks passed their stories down through generations orally so it is possible for the plot and characters to
shift over time (conceptual knowledge)
3. That origin stories were one way the Ancient Greeks made sense of their world and they served as a sort of religion within
their culture (factual knowledge)
4. That annotating is an important skill that they will use across all disciplines and into their careers as a way to make sense
of a text (conceptual knowledge)
5. That reading deeply into symbolism and figurative language used within a story can uncover hidden meanings and truths
(conceptual knowledge)
6. That the incorporation of a symbol within a story is intentional and can help us make sense of what we are reading
(conceptual knowledge)
7. The three different types of Greek myths that were told in Ancient Greece- Aetiological, Historical and Psychological
(factual knowledge)
8. How to uncover the deeper meaning behind a symbol and relate it back to the story’s overall theme or purpose (procedural
knowledge)
9. How to read an origin story closely and conduct research on the characters and symbols in order to uncover the meaning
(procedural knowledge)
10. It may be necessary to peel back the layers of symbols within a text to find its true hidden meaning (metacognitive
knowledge)
11. How to follow an authentic process in order to write an original origin story (procedural knowledge)
12. How to create an engaging multimedia presentation of their origin story to share with the class (procedural knowledge)

Acquisition: Do (Learning Experiences)


Students will be skilled at…
1. Determining the basic characteristics of popular Ancient Greek characters
2. Building a web that connect all of the individuals through relationships and stories.
3. Uncovering the meaning of popular Greek myths by reading closely and annotating the texts
4. Analyzing the symbols and figurative language within each story to uncover the deeper meaning
5. Conducting research on symbols and characters in order to uncover the meaning of popular Greek myths
6. Engaging in jigsaw-style group work and discussions with peers concerning the overall meaning of their group’s assigned
myth
7. Determining whether a myth is Aetiological, Historical or Psychological in style and content
8. Preparing a brief presentation to share their assigned myth within small jigsaw groups to teach classmates about the
different elements (plot, theme, setting, characters/key players, symbols)
9. Following the writing process to plan, draft, revise, and edit their own, original origin story
10. Creating a multimedia presentation
11. Presenting their finalized origin stories to the class through their created multimedia presentation
Stage 2: Evidence

Performance Tasks:
Students will demonstrate their understandings through…
A. Reading- Students will read a myth independently and demonstrate proper annotation techniques and work on outlining
the plot, analyzing symbols and theme, and making connections between characters and key figures.
B. Writing- Students will follow the writing process and use their knowledge of Greek culture, myths and origin stories to
create their own, original story.
C. Inquiry- Students will work in jigsaw groups to share and compare their annotations, conduct necessary research, discuss
themes and symbols, and create a short presentation on their assigned myth to share with the class.
D. Presentation- Students will share their group presentations during round 2 of the jigsaw lesson. Students will also share
their finalized version of an original origin story through a multimedia presentation.

Performance Task- Evaluative Criteria Performance Task- Assessment Evidence and Justification

Students will read and annotate a text and annotations will be Reading Task
checked for all criteria and guidelines outlined in Lesson Plan - Students will be assigned a popular Greek myth to read
2. closely
- Read the text closely and annotate according to criteria
Content and accuracy of group presentations will be evaluated and guidelines outlined in Learning Experience 2
based on the criteria and guidelines outlined in Lesson Plan 2.
Justification
- The process of close reading and annotating are
important skills that will transfer into students’ lives
throughout high school, college, and the real world

All steps of the writing process will be collected along with the Writing Task
final origin story and will be evaluated according to the rubric - Students will plan, organize, draft, and revise their
provided in Lesson Plan 4. original origin stories according to the guidelines and
criteria outlined in Learning Experience 4
Students will need to adhere to specific guidelines and - Students will write for a particular audience and fulfill
requirements when writing their origin stories to ensure that requirements that show knowledge of Greek culture,
they are using knowledge of Greek culture and the gods and symbolism, and story-telling techniques
goddesses as well as incorporating symbolism correctly into - Students will engage in peer reviews of their stories
their work. These guidelines and requirements are outlined in
Lesson Plan 4. Justification
- Following a writing process and understanding their
The peer review process will be evaluated for thorough audience and purpose is an interdisciplinary skill that
completion. will transfer into any other subject.
- Fulfilling requirements and adhering to guidelines and
directions is a crucial life skill
- Engaging in peer review provides good practice in the
area of interpersonal skills

All jigsaw groups will be evaluated on their ability to properly Inquiry Task
research their story to uncover any hidden symbols or - Compare annotations from reading task within a small
meanings. jigsaw group
- Conduct brief research inquiries to research the
meaning behind associate symbols and characters
All jigsaw groups will be evaluated on their ability to cooperate - With group, create a brief presentation that can be used
and work effectively to compare notes, solve any discrepancies to teach classmates who have not read it about their
and complete the assigned presentation within the allotted assigned myth
class time with minimal teacher interference.
Justification
- Collaborating with peers on a common goal is a crucial
interpersonal skills that will benefit students greatly and
transfer into many facets of their lives

Peers will evaluate each other on the amount of detail included Presentation Task #1
in their presentation and their classmate’s ability to effectively - Students will rotate into round two of the jigsaw groups
deliver the presentation. and will deliver their presentation to a new group of
students who has not read their assigned myth.
Content and accuracy of group presentations will be evaluated - Students will take notes on their classmates
based on the criteria and guidelines outlined in Lesson Plan 2. presentation and ask any questions
- Presenters will be prepared to answer peer questions
Delivery and overall effectiveness of presentation will be
evaluated by peers. Justification
- Presenting to peers in smaller groups helps build strong
interpersonal skills
- Small group presentations replicate what many students
will need to be able to do in the real world (become an
expert on a topic and share findings within a small
group)
- Ability to answer questions and provide elaboration on
the spot is a strong transfer skill for building confidence.

This summative assessment will be graded by the teacher Presentation Task #2


based on the criteria in the rubric included in Lesson Plan 5. - After completing their origin story, students will create
multimedia presentations of their story to deliver to the
Teacher will grade presentations not only on content, but on entire class
delivery and presentation skills as well.
Justification
- Presenting to peers is a great way to practice important
interpersonal skills
- Students need a lot of practice delivering to an audience
to foster crucial life skills

Other Evidence:
- Activity to gauge student knowledge of Greek culture and mythology (pre-assessment)
- Notes check on in-class discussions of key Greek heroes, gods and goddess, monsters, creatures, etc. (formative
assessment)
- Occasional exit tickets to gauge understanding of content (formative assessment)
- Short quizzes on ancient Greek culture, major gods and goddess, monsters and creatures
- In-class discussions on annotation purposes/techniques and review of key literary terms
- Practice of annotation techniques and strategies (formative assessment)
- Evaluation of cooperation and communication during jigsaw group work
- Evaluating each step of the writing process including the ability to following directions/adhere to feedback (formative
assessment)
- Peer review process (formative assessment)
- Open notes assessment (short answer format) at the end of unit (summative assessment)
Stage 3: Learning Plan

Learning Plan Sequence: The plan below is tentative and flexible and should be changed if needed based on student needs and
teacher discretion as students move throughout the unit.

The plan below is based on a schedule with 90 minute blocks that meet every other day for a class size of about 20 students.

Day Overview of Class Activities and Homework

1 Class Activities
- Pre -assessment
- Read and discuss as a class-- Greek Mythology
- Think-pair-share activity
- Exit Ticket- One thing from the article that was surprising to you.
No Homework

1 Class Activities
- Mini research assignment on assigned hero/heroine, god/goddess and creature/monster
Homework
- Complete mini research assignment

2 Class Activities
- Work as a class to complete an accurate “web” based on research conducted on their gods, goddesses,
monsters, and creatures
- Note-taking
Homework
- Review notes for quiz

3 Class Activities
- Quiz on Greek figures (web may be used for quiz)
- Review of important literary terms (plot structure, setting, theme, symbolism, etc.)
- Discussion of annotation techniques and close reading skills
- Entire class reading and annotating --
- Exit Ticket- Why do we annotate?
Homework
- Read and annotate assigned Greek myth in preparation for jigsaw group activity

4 Class Activities
- Gather into jigsaw group
- Compare notes and annotations on assigned myth

5 Class Activities
- Finish group jigsaw presentations
- Practice presenting within group

6 Class Activities
- Present group presentations in round 2 of jigsaw activity
- Peer evaluation of presentations
- Exit ticket-
7 Class Activities
- Review of the writing process
- Overview of original myth assignment
- Begin working on planning phase and outline
Homework
- Complete planning phase and outline for original myth

8 Class Activities
- In- class drafting day, Students will be encouraged to bring forward any questions or concerns about the
assignment and their writing.
Homework
- Finish first rough draft and bring hard copy to class

9 Class Activities
- Peer review of first rough draft
- Begin revisions
Homework-
- Complete revisions and editing

10-13 Class Activities


- Two class days will be designated to work on extending their writing into a multimedia presentation.
Students should troubleshoot and ask any questions they may have in this time period.
- Two or more days will be designated to listening and evaluating peer presentations
Homework-
- Work on finalizing multimedia presentation/practice delivering the presentation

14-15 Class Activities


- Reflect on presentations
- Make connections between Greek mythology and our world today- how has Greek culture and their
stories influenced our pop culture through literature, movies, and media?
- Reflect on the unit Essential Questions and wrap up discussions

Stage 3: Lesson Plans (outlined in more detail in the next section)

Five Learning Experiences:

Lesson One: Students will complete a brief, individual research assignment and then the entire class will combine notes and
findings to create a relationship web between the key figures in Greek mythology- heroes, gods, goddess, monsters and
creatures.
Lesson Two: Students will review key literary terms and will then participate in a class reading of a myth in order to practice
annotation skills and literary analysis.

Lesson Three: Students will be assigned a myth to read and annotate on their own and will then be placed into jigsaw groups with
the goal of creating a group presentation to teach their myth to their peers during round two of the jigsaw activity.

Lesson Four: Students will review the writing process and will being to plan, outline and draft their original myth writing piece.

Lesson Five: Students will translate their original myth into a multimedia presentation to present formally with the class.

Lesson One
“Greek Mythology: It’s all Relative!”

Brief Overview: This lesson will be introduced to students after the pre assessment which gauges their
overall knowledge base of Greek culture and mythology in general. Students will be assigned one
hero/heroine, one god/goddess and one creature/monster of Greek Mythology. They will be tasked with
researching the general characteristics and qualities of their individuals. The entire class will then
collaborate to build a giant web that connects their individuals to one another through relationships,
symbols, and stories.
Prior Knowledge Required:
- Students should have a general understanding of how important storytelling is
- Students should at least have a very basic understanding of the Greek gods and goddesses.

Estimated Time: two 90 minute class periods

Resources Needed for Lesson:


- Research resources (books and encyclopedias)
- Access to computers or tablets for at least ½ the students
- Access to Encyclopedia Britannica database
- Printer
- String and tape

Essential Questions Addressed:


- How can stories help to create a culture?

Common Core Standards Addressed:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text,
including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and
connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including
analogies or allusions to other texts.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.9
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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7

Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question),


drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for
multiple avenues of exploration.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.8

Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively;
assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and
conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

KUDs Accomplished:
- K1: The qualities and traits of Greek figures, monsters and creatures, as well as the relationships
between the different Greek heroes and gods and goddesses in order to understand the stories
(factual knowledge)
- K2:The Ancient Greeks passed their stories down through generations orally so it is possible for
the plot and characters to shift over time (conceptual knowledge) (Intro. reading)
- K3: That origin stories were one way the Ancient Greeks made sense of their world and they
served as a sort of religion within their culture (factual knowledge) (Intro. reading)
- U1: Legends and myths can help civilizations make sense of their world and can provide
individuals with a standard set of beliefs and customs. (Intro reading)
- D1:Determining the basic characteristics of popular Ancient Greek characters
- D2: Building a web that connect all of the individuals through relationships and stories

Opportunities for Differentiation:


1. When reviewing the students’ pre assessment, it will be easy to see who has a strong base
knowledge of Greek Mythology already. Some students may be extremely knowledgeable while
others may recognize just a few of the key figures. When assigning students their hero, god, and
monster the teacher should be mindful of their knowledge base. Students who do not have much
background knowledge should be given more well-known figures such as Zeus, Odysseus, and
Medusa, while students who already know about these figures can be given more obscure figures
such as Hebe, Ajax, and Echidna.
2. If students have a strong interest in a particular figure that they want to pursue, they can choose
their characters as long as they fit parameters set by the teacher.
3. When researching using Encyclopedia Britannica, the students will be encouraged to use the
“High School” reading level articles as these provide more detailed and rich information.
However, if a student is struggling with the content, they can be told discretely to try the “Middle
School” reading level.

Learning Sequence:

Day Procedures

Day 1 Assign each student* their figure, god, and monster based on the following choices:

Heros and Heroines: Achilles, Agamemnon, Ajax, Hector, Hecuba, Helen of Troy, Jason, Medea, Narcissus,
Odysseus, Oedipus, Pandora, Perseus, Paris, Theseus

Gods and goddesses: Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Hera, Dionysus, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Apollo, Area,
Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Hermes, Persephone, Nike, Iris, Hecate, Hypnos

Creatures and monsters: Cerberus, Medusa, Echidna, The Furies, The Fates, Siren, Minotaur, Scylla and
Charybdis, Sphinx, Chimera, Pegasus, Cyclops, Gryphon, Phoenix, Manticore

*Some students will have duplicate individuals which is fine

Day 1 Begin Research- students will use the text resources or Encyclopedia Britannica database to find the following
information for their 3 figures:
- Relationships
- Defining characteristics (physical features and personality traits)
- Myths in which they play a role
- Other notable accomplishments or roles
- A symbol to represent them
Notes can be taken digitally or by hand in whatever format the student chooses (these can be collected for a
formative assessment)

*Any research not finished can be done for homework and added to the web during the next class period.
Day 1 Begin Class Web- students will collaborate to create a giant wall-sized web in order to see how all the
individuals link together through relationships and stories. The teacher can provide some guidance here, but
this should be mainly a student-led activity*. If students get stuck, teacher should guide them back to their
resources to do more research.
- Students should print out an image of their figure
- Students should place an index card next to the figure’s image that contains key statistics and
characteristics about their figure
- When a relationship is discovered (for example, Zeus and Hera were husband and wife) a string
should be cut and taped between those two on the wall with a descriptor stating “married”

*This may look like a lot of organized chaos and several students may step into a leadership role to try and
organize everyone. Let this happen naturally, but be sure to engage and encourage quiet students who may
be hesitant to participate.

*Remind students that they can use this web when taking their quiz the next class period. The more thorough
and detailed their web is, the better chance they have of being successful on their individual quiz!

Day 2 Finish class collaborative web


Check for student understanding and accuracy
Assessment- quiz on basic figures and their role in Ancient Greece culture and myths. Students can use the
class web on this assessment.

Lesson Two
“Review of Annotation Practices and Literary Terms”

Brief Overview: This lesson will follow the brief quiz students will take on basic knowledge of Greek
Mythology figures. We will read and annotate a myth together as a class in order to model and practice
proper annotation techniques. Students will also participate in a brief review activity of literary terminology

Prior Knowledge Required:


- Basic understanding of why and how we annotate
- Basic understanding of literary terms and devices (theme, plot, setting, symbolism,
foreshadowing, allusion, imagery, irony, metaphor, simile, personification)
Estimated Time: one 90 minute class period

Resources Needed for Lesson:


- Literary term matching activity
- SMARTBoard presentation of literary term definitions
- SMARTBoard to display myth and model proper annotation techniques
- Copies of myth for each student- Pandora's Box
- Copies of annotation requirements and techniques
- Highlighters, pencils
- Timer

Essential Questions Addressed:


- How can annotating a text help us gain a deeper understanding?
- Why is it so important to read and write stories?

Common Core Standards Addressed:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text,
including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and
connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including
analogies or allusions to other texts.

KUDs Accomplished:
- K4: That reading deeply into symbolism and figurative language used within a story can uncover
hidden meanings and truths (conceptual knowledge)
- K5: That the incorporation of a symbol within a story is intentional and can help us make sense of
what we are reading (conceptual knowledge)
- K6: How to uncover the deeper meaning behind a symbol and relate it back to the story’s overall
theme or purpose (procedural knowledge)
D3: Uncovering the meaning of popular Greek myths by reading closely and annotating the texts
- D4: Analyzing the symbols and figurative language within each story to uncover the deeper
meaning

Opportunities for Differentiation:


1. Provide a print out of literary terms and definitions for students who may have trouble getting all
the notes down.
2. When assigning the myths and forming Jigsaw groups, the teacher can decide if they want to
form the groups based on students’ reading and analysis level. More difficult texts can be
assigned to the higher level students.

Learning Sequence:

Day Procedures
Day 3 Literary Terms Matching Activity- Appendix A
- Provide half the class with a term card
- Provide the other half of the class with the term’s definition
- Set a timer for 1 minute and instruct students to find their matching classmate
- Once they find their match, instruct them to sit down together and brainstorm an example of their
term. Metaphors and similes can be creatively thought of. Themes, symbols, and allusions can be
pulled from prior readings throughout the year.
- Pairs will then come to the front and present their definition and example
- Teacher will have definitions and terms to display up on the board in a presentation
- Students should take notes on each definition and term so they can refer to them when annotating

Day 3 Review of Annotation


- Teacher will lead class in a discussion on annotating
- Teacher will scribe responses on the board to brainstorm together
- The following questions can be discussed:
1. Why do we annotate? What is the point?
2. For what do we annotate?
3. How can annotating help us to understand a text?
4. How can our annotations help us when reviewing for a test or writing an essay?
5. Why is annotating important in all disciplines, not just English class?
Provide students with the guidelines and requirements for annotating- Appendix B

Day 3 Reading of Myth- Pandora's Box


- While reading, stop after each paragraph in the beginning to model annotation practices
- Encourage students to follow along with highlighter and pencil in hand
- After modeling several paragraphs on the board for them using a think-aloud strategy, instruct them to
try the next paragraph on their own and then quickly compare their annotations with a classmate
- Instruct them to read the next paragraph on their own and annotate it while you make rounds
throughout the classroom to check for understanding and accuracy
- Discuss their annotations together as a class, asking for students volunteers
- Read the remainder of the story together, pausing periodically to discuss their annotations and model
them on the board.

Day 3 Assign Group Myths for Jigsaw Activity


(Homework) - Assign students their myths.
- Myth choices include:
1. The Trojan Horse
2. Arachne and Achidna
3. Daedalus and Icarus
4. Persephone and the Pomegranate
5. Theseus and the Minotaur

- Be sure they have a thorough understanding of the expectations and requirements regarding
annotation
- Students should come to the next class prepared with their annotated myth for the jigsaw activity
Lesson Three
“Greek Myth Jigsaw Activity”

Brief Overview: This lesson will take place in class after students have read and annotated their
individual myth assignment. Students will bring their annotated copies to class and immediately find their
group based on who read the same myth. After students compare annotations, they will work with their
group members to prepare a brief presentation to share with their peers when the jigsaw groups shift.

Prior Knowledge Required:


- Annotation techniques and requirements established in Lesson two
- Creating a presentation through Google Slides, Prezi, Powerpoint or some other software

Estimated Time: Two 90 minute class periods

Resources Needed for Lesson:


- Jigsaw group assignments
- Student annotated copies of the myth
- At least one tablet or computer per group

Essential Questions Addressed:


- How can stories help to create a culture?
- How can annotating a text help us gain a deeper understanding?

Common Core Standards Addressed:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text,
including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and
connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including
analogies or allusions to other texts.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7

Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question),


drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for
multiple avenues of exploration.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.8

Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively;
assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and
conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with
diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their
own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1.A

Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on
that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas
under discussion.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1.B

Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals
and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1.C

Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others' questions and
comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1.D
Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their
own views in light of the evidence presented.

KUDs Accomplished:
- K4: That reading deeply into symbolism and figurative language used within a story can uncover
hidden meanings and truths (conceptual knowledge)
- K5: That the incorporation of a symbol within a story is intentional and can help us make sense of
what we are reading (conceptual knowledge)
- K6: How to uncover the deeper meaning behind a symbol and relate it back to the story’s overall
theme or purpose (procedural knowledge)
- K7: The three different types of Greek myths that were told in Ancient Greece- Aetiological,
Historical and Psychological (factual knowledge)
- K8: How to read an origin story closely and conduct research on the characters and symbols in
order to uncover the meaning (procedural knowledge)
- K9: It may be necessary to peel back the layers of symbols within a text to find its true hidden
meaning (metacognitive knowledge)
- U1: Legends and myths can help civilizations make sense of their world and can provide
individuals with a standard set of beliefs and customs.
- U2: Stories that are passed on orally through generations can evolve and will ultimately help
shape one’s culture and identity.
- D3: Uncovering the meaning of popular Greek myths by reading closely and annotating the texts
- D4: Analyzing the symbols and figurative language within each story to uncover the deeper
meaning
- D5: Uncovering meaning of popular Greek myths by conducting research on each symbol and
character within the myth
- D6: Engaging in jigsaw-style group work and discussions with peers concerning the overall
meaning of their group’s assigned myth
- D7: Determining whether a myth is Aetiological, Historical or Psychological in style and content
- D8: Preparing a brief presentation to share their assigned myth within small jigsaw groups to
teach classmates about the different elements (plot, theme, setting, characters/key players,
symbols)

Opportunities for Differentiation:


- Allow students to decide within their group what method they want to use for their presentation.
- Allow students to take notes on each presentation however they wish- digitally or by hand in chart
format.
- Provide several different blank templates that students can use to take notes on if they wish.

Learning Sequence:

Day Procedures

Day 4 Jigsaw Groups


- Compare annotations and notes with group members
- Begin creating presentation based on criteria in Appendix C

Day 5 Continue work on Presentation


- Complete presentation and submit to teacher
- Practice delivering your presentation to your group members

Day 6 Jigsaw Groups- Round 2


- Students will be tasked with teaching their myths in round 2 of the jigsaw activity. They should have
their presentations ready and should be able to deliver it with confidence and answer any questions
their classmates may have.
- Students should take notes on each others presentations so they have a comprehensive
understanding of each of the assigned myths.
- Students should be reminded that they are responsible for knowing and understanding each myth, not
just their original assignment.

Lesson Four
“Writing Your Own Myth”

Brief Overview: After the jigsaw presentations, students will be assigned the writing assessment for the
unit. They will be tasked with writing their own myth and using their knowledge of Greek mythology to
help tell their story.

Prior Knowledge Required:


- Knowledge of and practice with the 5- step writing process
- Knowledge of Greek figures and access to information on the different figures
- Middle- school appropriate knowledge of sentence structure, grammar and punctuation use in
compositions

Estimated Time: Three to four 90 minute class periods

Resources Needed for Lesson:


- Brief presentation on review of the 5-step writing process
- Planning templates
- Peer review guidelines
- 1:1 computers and/or devices for myth typing
Essential Questions Addressed:
- How can stories help to create a culture?
- Why is it so important to read and write stories?

Common Core Standards Addressed:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant
descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.A

Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a
narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.B

Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop
experiences, events, and/or characters.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.C

Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one
time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.D

Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the
action and convey experiences and events.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.E

Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are
appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are
defined in standards 1-3 above.)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.5

With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as
needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well
purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate
command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 8 here.)

KUDs Accomplished:
- K7: The three different types of Greek myths that were told in Ancient Greece- Aetiological,
Historical and Psychological (factual knowledge)
- K11: How to follow an authentic process in order to write an original origin story (procedural
knowledge)
- U3: Following the writing process helps us stay organized when writing fiction or nonfiction
pieces.
- D7: Determining whether a myth is Aetiological, Historical or Psychological in style and content
- D9: Following the writing process to plan, draft, revise, and edit their own, original origin story

Opportunities for Differentiation:


- All students should be presented with several different ways to plan their essay. They can choose
from different planning templates, outlining, or mind maps
- Students will be able to choose which Greek figures they would like to include in their story
based on interest.
- Instructor should offer to conference with students (on an optional basis) to provide feedback as
students are working on drafts

Learning Sequence:

Day Procedures

Day 7 Review of the writing process- Appendix D


- Review 5-step writing process
- Provide students with planning templates
Overview of the Myth assignment- Appendix E
- Begin drafting

Day 8 Drafting day


- Optional teacher conferences/check ins
Homework: Print a copy of the entire rough draft and bring to class for peer review

Day 9 Peer Review Day


- Students will conduct a peer review using the questionnaire- Appendix F
Homework: Final Myth due at the beginning of next class period.
Lesson Five
“Extending to a Multimedia Presentation”

Brief Overview: Students will be tasked with turning their original myth into a multimedia presentation to
share with the class. Students will have to provide a brief oral description of their project before sharing
with the class. Students will reflect on their performance and will gain valuable real-world skills while
creating their project and presenting it (transfer goals).

Prior Knowledge Required:


- Experience with digital content creation

Estimated Time: Three 90 minute class periods

Resources Needed for Lesson:


- Access to final copy of written myth
- 1:1 access to devices, computers, iPads

Essential Questions Addressed:


- Why is it so important to read and write stories?

Common Core Standards Addressed:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.4
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant
evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate
volume, and clear pronunciation.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.5

Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and
evidence, and add interest.

KUDs Accomplished:
- K12: How to create an engaging multimedia presentation of their origin story to share with the
class (procedural knowledge)
- U4: While it is challenging to present in front of peers, it plays an important part in the teaching of
crucial interpersonal skills..
- D10: Creating a multimedia presentation
- D11: Presenting their finalized origin stories to the class through their created multimedia
presentation
-
Opportunities for Differentiation:
- Students can choose which method or program they wish to use when transferring their origin
story into a multimedia presentation

Learning Sequence:

Day Procedures

Day 10 Introduce Multimedia Assignment- Appendix G


- Allow time for plenty of questions
- Provide students with rubric- Appendix H

Homework: 300 word project proposal/Begin project

Day 11-13 In-Class Work Days


- Troubleshooting technology
- Optional teacher conferences and check-ins
- Brief review of proper presentation skills and appropriate audience behavior

Day 14-15 Presentation Days


- Students will present their stories via their multimedia projects (ask for volunteers to go first and then
decide at random after that)
- Students will critique each other
- Students will reflect on their own performance
Appendix A- Literary terms matching activity

PLOT - The main sequence of events in a story, play, or movie.


- Creates a structure that consists of an Exposition, Rising action, Climax,
Falling action, and Resolution

SETTING - The time a story takes place


- The place a story takes place
- The overall mood or atmosphere of a story

THEME - A timeless and universal statement of truth (anyone, anywhere, at


anytime can relate to it)
- A message or truth that is derived from a story
- Should be written as a complete sentence, void of character names or
other identifying terms from the story

SYMBOLISM - A natural object or item that actually holds a deeper meaning in a story
- A person, place, or thing that represents a larger idea with the context of
a story

FORESHADOWING - A warning or prediction of future events to come in a story plot


- Can be subtle or more obvious within a story
ALLUSION - A written or spoken phrase that is intended to make the reader think of
something else (a universally known person, place, or object)
- Can be subtle or more obvious expression

IMAGERY - Descriptive language that appeals to our senses


- Language that paints an image in our mind when read in a story

IRONY - Three types


- Situational Irony- When the unexpected occurs in a story due to a cruel
or bizarre twist of fate
- Dramatic Irony- When the reader of a story knows more than the
characters in the story
- Verbal Irony- sarcasm

METAPHOR - A comparison of two unlike things without using like or as

SIMILE - A Comparison of two unlike things by using like or as

PERSONIFICATION - Attributing human or living characteristics to an inanimate object.

Appendix B- requirements and guidelines for annotating

The following requirements and guidelines should be displayed for students on the board and reviewed as
a class. They should also be give to students to refer to while they are working on their own annotations for
their myth.

Practice for Annotation:


- Highlighter and sharpened pencil should be readily available when doing reading
- Get in the habit of having a writing utensil in hand while reading

Requirements for Annotation:


- Each paragraph should have AT LEAST one highlight and one notation in the margin
- Number the paragraphs for easy reference late on
- At the end of each page, write a brief statement or a couple bullet points to sum up the main plot
points of that page
- At least twice while reading, pause and make a plot prediction
- At the end of the text, write at least 1 or 2 theme statements

Guidelines for Annotation (what to look for):


- Highlight or circle important names of people and places
- Add a note in the margin for each important figure or place (a brief description)
- Highlight or circle any literary terms and label them with a brief description
- Search for symbols and allusions, label them, and briefly explain their meaning
- After reading, return to the start and label the 5 elements of the plot
- After reading, return to beginning and label any foreshadowing

Appendix C- Presentation requirements for Jigsaw groups

Students will be tasked with working together in a small group of classmates to build a presentation for the
assigned myth that will teach the myth to other classmates who have not read it.

The presentation can be built using any format the students wish- PowerPoint, Google Slides, Prezi,
Keynote, etc.

Requirements:
1. PLOT- complete the plot diagram for your story using descriptive detail
2. SETTING- describe the setting (use at least on quote as evidence)
3. CHARACTERS- EACH of the main figures noted in the story (hero, god, goddess, creature,
monster) should have their own slide in the presentation. Include their role, their characteristics
and attributes, their relationships, etc.
4. SYMBOLS and ALLUSIONS- provide an in-depth description of any symbols or allusions in the
story. Provide their deeper meaning and explain their role within the story.
5. LIT. TERMS- identify any devices used in the story (metaphor, simile, irony,foreshadowing etc.)
and include the direct quote or excerpt from the story in your presentation
6. IMAGERY- Choose one strong example of imagery and include the excerpt in your presentation
7. THEME- provide at least two strong theme statements. Explain why they work as a theme and
how they are timeless and universal.

Remind students that they will be required to take notes on these presentations as their classmates are
presenting. They should be encouraged to ask questions and student presenters should be prepared to
answer questions.
Appendix D- Review of Writing Process

Prewriting
- Brainstorm Ideas
- Complete planning sheets
- Outline ideas
- Begin to plan how you will fulfill the requirements (the earlier you think about this, the easier it
becomes!)
Drafting
- Draft a rough copy
- Do not worry too much about organization or grammar
- Be sure to finish the ENTIRE draft (it’s hard to revise and edit when you don’t have much to work
with)

Revising
- Participate in peer review
- Check to be sure all requirements are fulfilled and revise accordingly
- Read through for organization or content and revise accordingly
- Participate in optional conference with teacher (come with specific questions in mind)

Editing
- Proofread multiple times for grammar and sentence structure/overall flow
- Participate in optional conferences with teacher (come with specific questions in mind; remember
you teacher is not your copy editor!)

Publishing
- Polish final copy, double space, indent paragraphs, center title, MLA heading etc. (adhere to
specific paper guidelines)
- For this specific project, you will be creating a multimedia presentation of your story to present (or
publish) for the class.
Appendix E- Requirements and Guidelines for Original Myth

Objective: Now that we have read several popular Greek myths, your task is to write your own original
myth in the style of the stories, legends, and origin tales told in Ancient Greece. You may choose to write
any of the three types of Greek Myths described for review below.

From our unit studies, we know there are 3 types of Greek Myths:
1. Aetiological Myths, or Origin Myths- these explain why something is the way it is today (Example=
Arachne and Achidna)
2. Historical Myths, or Legends- these tell about a historical event in order to keep the memory of
the event alive (example= Trojan Horse)
3. Psychological Myths- these explain elements of human nature or why humans act the way they
do. Usually they blame our behaviors on one of the gods. (example= Pandora’s Box)

Content Guidelines- In terms of content, your story must


- contain meaningful dialogue, properly punctuated and incorporated
- remain in the setting of Ancient Greece
- have at least 3 major Greek figures (heroes, monsters, gods, goddesses, creatures) that play a
large role in the story. Be creative in how these figures act and how they are tied together. I will
be looking to make sure you remain true to their characteristics and personalities!
- contain an instance of symbolism
- contain at least 2 literary devices (metaphor, similar, personification, etc.)
- reveal a theme at the end (work on revealing this in a subtle way instead of bluntly stating it)

Structure Requirements- Your story must follow these requirements in terms of structure:
- 600-1000 words in length
- Creative title
- Double spaced
- MLA heading
- BOLD FONT the symbolism and literary devices within the story

Appendix F- Peer Review

Before switching papers with a classmate, write two specific areas in which you’d like feedback, or two
specific questions you have regarding your story:

1.

2.

Now switch papers (along with this page) and complete the rest of the peer review to the best of your
ability. Complete all 3 pages before conferencing with your partner.

Author’s name ____________________________________

Your Name_______________________________________

1. Read through their entire story once without stopping and number each paragraph as your read

2. Now go back to the beginning and re-read each paragraph slowly. Write the main idea or a brief
plot summary for each paragraph in the space below:
3. Complete the following plot chart for your partner’s story. Be sure you can determine each of the 5 plot
points:

4. Which Greek figures play a role in their story? Which characteristics or attributes do they display based
on their story? Are these attributes remaining true to their personality type as far as you know based on
the research we conducted as a class?
5. Explain your classmate’s use of symbolism. What is the deeper meaning behind their symbol?

6. Write your partners literary devices in the space below. Are they correct?

7. Does the story remain in the setting of Ancient Greece?

8. In what verb tense is the story written? Does the tense remain consistent throughout the entire story?

9. Does the story contain at least one instance of dialogue and is it punctuated properly?

10. Address your classmates 2 questions at the beginning of this review:

11. What was your favorite aspect of the story? Why

12. Which area could use the most work? Why?


Lastly, conference with your partner and go over your peer reviews together. When you finish, you may
work on revising and editing. If you and your partner both are okay with it, you may edit each other’s
paper for grammar and sentence structure issues. Be sure to ASK before marking up their paper!

Be sure to return the copy of the story to its owner along with this sheet!
Appendix G- Multimedia Project Requirements and Guidelines

Objective: Now that you have written and finalized your original Greek myth, you will be transferring your
story into a multimedia format to present to the class. You may use any media format you wish-
PowerPoint, iMovie, Keynote, Google Slides, Prezi, Book Creator App. etc. There are MANY different
ways you could choose to tackle this assignment, so be creative! Here are some ideas:
- Presentation with audio voice overs reading the story along with corresponding audio and images
- Create a movie of your story using costumes and props
- Book Creator that tells your story along with corresponding audio and visual elements.

Requirements for Creation:


- Presentation must contain an introduction (1-2 minutes explanation of how you created the
project- can be included in presentation or done verbally in front of class)
- Presentation must cover entire story
- Technology troubleshooting should be done ahead of time! Do not wait until this last minute to
seek tech. help!

Guideline for Grading: You will be given a more detailed rubric before presenting, but the following
categories will be graded when you present:
1. Content of story
2. Relevant Images and Overall Aesthetics
3. Audio Quality
4. Overall Presentation Techniques