Greco-Roman Origin Myths

Mythology is a powerful vehicle for teaching students about symbols and the ways people have sought to explain their relationships to nature and to each other. Teachers can use these lessons and works of art to introduce or examine the role of myths in explaining human customs, mysteries about nature, or the reasons why things exist in the world.

Pandora's Box
Grade Level: 5–8

Students will be introduced to the Greek myth of Pandora by critically analyzing Odilon Redon’s painting Pandora. They will then create their own box with both two- and three-dimensional symbols that represent an emotion to be contained inside of the box and then released to the world.

Apollo Pursuing Daphne
Grade Level: 5–8

Students will be introduced to the Greek myth of Apollo and Daphne by critically analyzing the painting Apollo Pursuing Daphne by Tiepolo. They will then design a coat of arms with symbols that best represent their personality and interests. As a class, students will play a guessing game to figure out who created each design based on these symbols.

Diana and Endymion
Grade Level: 5–8

Students will be introduced to the Greco-Roman myth of Diana and Endymion by critically analyzing a painting by Fragonard. They will then write and illustrate their own myth to describe a natural phenomenon or social custom.

The Fall of Phaeton
Grade Level: 5–8

Students will be introduced to the Greco-Roman myth of Phaeton and how he created the Milky Way galaxy by critically analyzing The Fall of Phaeton by Rubens. They will then create their own constellation to be displayed in a classroom galaxy.

The Corinthian Maid
Grade Level: 5–8

Students will be introduced to the Greco-Roman myth of Dibutades and the creation of the first relief sculpture by critically analyzing Joseph Wright’s painting The Corinthian Maid. They will then mimic the artistic process presented in this myth by drawing an outline of their classmate to use as the basis for the own relief sculpture in clay.

Related Resources

Test your knowledge of gods and goddesses by playing the matching game "Ancient Arcade"

Borrow the teaching packet Art&

Download or borrow the teaching packet Classical Mythology in European Art

Contact

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