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Echoes from Mount Olympus: Cluster 1

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1 Echoes from Mount Olympus: Cluster 1
Greek Mythology Echoes from Mount Olympus: Cluster 1

2 “Zeus & Hera” What prophecy worried Cronos?
Why do you think that the gods sometimes married their own brother or sister? Why do you think Greek mythology begins with stories of overcoming gods overcoming other gods?

3 “Zeus & Hera” The Pantheons
Many early cultures were polytheistic. They believed in more than one deity, each with his or her own personality and relationships with other deities such as the sun, ocean, storms, wind, war, or love The major gods and goddesses formed a pantheon. The Greek pantheon had 12 members who lived on Mount Olympus, and two who lived on Earth.

4 “Zeus & Hera” Activity Make a family tree of the gods/goddesses, starting with the Titans. Be sure to include the areas each supervises Are there any differences in the areas that gods supervise in contrast to those supervised by goddesses? Were all Greek deities equal in strength? In intelligence? What details from the story convey this equality or inequality?

5 “The Firebringer” Describe the early human races that Zeus created.
Why do you think Prometheus was forbidden to take anything from heaven? Why do you think that Prometheus took the forbidden fire? What is a central theme in this story, and how is it developed as the story unfolds?

6 “The Firebringer” Special Focus: Fire
Why is fire essential to civilization? What other elements are essential to civilization? Which do you think is most important to civilization: Earth, water, air, fire? Explain why

7 “The Firebringer” Prometheus taught people not only how to use fire, but also how to tame wild things, how to farm, and how to build shelters. If a new hero appeared today, what might we need to learn from him or her?

8 “Pandora” Why does Pandora’s wedding gifts present a problem?
What happens when Pandora does open the box? Why do you think that Hope was in the box with the bad things? Why might Hope have been kept in the box when the others escaped?

9 “Pandora” Story Telling
How does the storyteller draw us into the story? What other words and phrases imply someone is talking?

10 “Pandora” Multi-media Homework
Go find paintings/picture representations of Pandora See Dante Charles Gabriel Rosset, John William Waterhouse, and Giovanni Battista Rosso Florentino Which is most expressive? Choose the one you like the most and be prepared to share with the class why.

11 “The Wise Goddess: Athena”
Why is Athena’s miracle considered better than the one Poseidon performs? What valuable contributions did Athena make? How is Athena different from the war god, Ares? Do you think that Athena or Ares would provide the best leadership for our own time? Why?

12 “The Wise Goddess: Athena”
Conflict: the opposition of people or forces that gives rise to dramatic action. What incidents and relationships in this myth show conflict between two or more parties? Can a story be interesting without conflict? Why or why not? DO you think conflict between people is good, bad, or merely human? What are some potentially healthy ways to resolve conflict? Destructive ways?

13 “Apollo & Artemis” Greek gods often have contradictions in their personalities. Did you notice any contradictions in this selection? Any new generalizations about the gods and goddesses? Apollo established the oracle at Delphi to fortell the future. Why do many humans today continue to seek predictions of their own future through fortune tellers, horoscopes, and tarot readings. Do they really want to know what the future hold for them? Would you?

14 “Apollo & Artemis” Summarize the events that led to Zeto having such a hard time giving birth to the twins. How did Aesculapius become a doctor? Which do you think became the more interesting deity, Apollo or Artemis? Why? What basic differences in Greek and Roman attitudes are revealed by their worship of Apollo?

15 “Apollo & Artemis” Special Focus: Child Heroes
In what ways do the children in this story give evidence of unusual gifts? What current books, television shows or movies feature an unusual child as a hero? Why do humans seem to have a fascination about children with adult abilities? Under what circumstances might being markedly different from peers be a blessing? An curse?

16 “Big Baby Hermes” Discussion Questions (To be addressed orally in class) Analyze the chronology of the story How does it affect the story’s meaning and impact? The story of the day Hermes was born and his trial are framed by comments on the eternally 17-year-old Hermes Describe the Tone of this story, referring to specific words, phrases, and sentences in the text. What occupations might Hermes be suited for today?

17 “Big Baby Hermes” Review the vocabulary words provided on the Cluster 1 Vocabulary Sheet What does baby Hermes invent? Why does Hermes take Apollo’s cows? How does Hermes manage to get by with his deeds? What career does Zeus assign to Hermes?

18 “Big Baby Hermes” Character & Plot Development
To analyze how Character and Plot development go hand in hand, make the following two-column chart: Plot Points/Episodes Characterization List the major plot points and episodes from the story in this column. For each episode, write down the details and dialogue that characterize each character.

19 “Big Baby Hermes” Special Focus: Tricksters
Mythology is often enlivened by characters referred to as tricksters. They are practical jokers and clowns and are sometimes tricked by others. They represent the idea that a certain amount of disorder is healthy for a culture. Why do you think the other gods respond so well to Hermes’ tricks? How might tricksters be helpful to a culture? Can you identify and tricksters from today’s pop-culture or other time periods?

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