Even Gods Have Bad Hair Days...

Language Arts

Students will choose a Greek or Roman mythological character to research, then select a typical problem faced by middle school students today and write a descriptive narrative about how their hero or heroine would handle it.

What You Need

  • Gods, Goddesses, Heroes and Heroines list (PDF file print and copy)
  • List of middle school problems
  • Access to research materials, books, journals, periodicals, Encarta, etc.
  • Writing supplies

What to Do

  1. Explain to students that myths are traditional stories invented by early people to explain the mysteries of the universe, such as creation, changing seasons, day and night, etc. Often these stories had characters of superhuman qualities, strengths or talents. These characters usually had very human flaws and imperfections as well. This combination often made for interesting challenges and conflicts in their lives.

  2. Ask if students know about any gods, goddesses, heroes or heroines. List these on the board and discuss. Tell them that you will give them a list of deities for them to research. Ask what information would be helpful to know. Answers might include:
    • Where does the character come from?
    • What are the superhuman qualities, strengths or talents?
    • What are the personality quirks or flaws?
    • What is the area of domain or influence?

  3. When the research is complete, ask students to select one of the middle school problems from the list. Their assignment will be to write a descriptive narrative showing how their character might try to resolve the problem.

  4. Use the writing process to revise, edit, and publish papers. Students may share their stories in peer response groups.

Teaching Options

  • Students may enjoy dressing in togas and sharing their stories "in-role." Serving ambrosia would make this event truly worthy of Mt. Olympus!

  • Students may work in groups or pairs to share the research and writing tasks.

  • Students may compare how two different characters approach the same problem.


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