1st Grade Trophy Links
Vermilion Parish Schools
Activity 3: The Legacy of the Greeks: Democracy, Philosophy, Literature, Architecture, and the Olympics (GLEs: 11, 36, 38)

Materials:  source materials (articles, websites, textbooks, pictures, etc.) for classroom stations, Greek music, certificates (or mock olive wreaths)

Set up five stations around the classroom, each with articles, pictures, websites, textbooks, or other sources depicting five spheres of Greek legacy – direct democracy, philosophy, literature (especially epic poems and plays), architecture, and the Olympics.  Tell students that they are going to visit each station for about eight minutes to learn about the classical influences of Greece on later civilizations, including that of America.  Their mission is to learn as much as they can and to write down at least five new facts they learned at each station.  Divide the class into groups and use Greek music to indicate when the groups move from one station to another.  Tell students that, when they hear the music, they are to silently move to the next station and cannot begin talking with their group again until the music ceases.  When all groups have visited all stations, go over the facts as a class.

The next part of this activity will have to be done over a two-day period of time.  On the first day, host a mock ancient Olympics.  Divide the class into four or five city-states: Athens, Sparta, Thebes, Corinth, and Delphi.  Have “citizens” from each city-state sign up for: wrestling (do arm wrestling instead of body wrestling), chariot races (simulate these by doing the human wheelbarrow race), footraces, javelin throwing (use a long piece of light plastic or other lightweight object), boxing (do a thumb wrestle for this), discus throwing (use a Frisbee), and jumping (do a standing broad jump).  Host the Olympics and hand out certificates or improvised olive wreaths as prizes.

The next day, write “A sound mind in a sound body” on the board and tell students that this was an adage from ancient Greece.  Ask them what they think it means and if they find it true in their own lives.  Analyze yesterday’s ancient Olympics and, as a class, do a Venn diagram comparing today’s Olympics to the ancient games.  Give students time to update their learning logs.



Additional Information

6th Grade Social Studies Site

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