Mythology Lesson Plans – ELA Activities for Middle School Kids

Looking for a complete set of mythology lesson plans? Try this free set to round out your current unit. As kids read The Lightning Thief, they learn about characters, point of view, patterns in literature, allusions, and argumentative writing.

Mr. Grow Develops Complete Mythology Lesson Plans

Our favorite fourth grade teacher, Ms. Sneed sat in the conference room with her former student teacher, who now taught at the local middle school. “Since we last met,” she said, “I found these free mythology lesson plans. As kids read The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, they learn more about myths and delve into ELA concepts.”

“This format is great for my students,” Mr. Grow responded. “And if we read the first book, I hope they’ll continue with the entire Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.”

Kids read The Lightning Thief from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. For each chapter, they use a one-page worksheet to learn about a mythological character, summarize, make inferences, and define vocabulary.

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Characters from Greek Mythology Banners

“In the first related activity,” Ms. Sneed continued, “they learn about gods, goddesses, heroes, and creatures.”

Mr. Grow pointed to the resource. “Nice, simple research project,” he said. “I like these banners for my middle schoolers. Not too cutesy. But creative.”

Each student conducts research on one character from Greek mythology. They list the information on these banners.
Allusions to Greek Mythology

“Next, you give them this list of 40 allusions. Using a slideshow, you introduce each term. At the end of the unit, they take a test on the term. Look here! Allusions are also built into the novel study.”

Mr. Grow nodded his approval. “Great for building vocabulary and cultural literacy,” he said.

Kids learn about 40 allusions to Greek mythology and take a test.
The Quest

“In the next set of activities, kids read myths about Perseus and Theseus. My favorite part is when they develop the definition of the quest themselves.”

Mr. Grow’s eyes widened. “Constructivism at its best. Critical thinking. This myth unit is getting better and better!”

Perspectives in Literature

“For the next few days, they read two pieces about Medusa. One is a humorous poem; the other is written as a serious narrative.”

Mr. Grow peered at the screen. “Kids compare the author’s point of view. And it looks like they can even write their own piece from a different perspective.”

Two sets of literary analysis activities ask middle school kids to explore Greek mythology. In the first, they read a humorous poem and a serious narrative about Medusa. Then they consider author's perspective. In the second, they read about Perseus and Theseus. Then they develop their own definition for the quest.
Argumentative Writing

“During the final week or so, kids write two argumentative pieces. First they explain which character from Greek mythology they’d invite to dinner. Then they persuade the audience to vote for another for president.”

“Five-paragraph essays!” exclaimed Mr. Grow. “Yahoo! My students need to scaffold to this skill. The organizers lay it out perfectly. And look at all of the strategies they’ll use to improve their writing.”

Kids use these templates to plan two five-paragraph argumentative essays. In the first, they write an opinion piece on which character from Greek mythology should be invited to dinner. In the second, they persuade others to vote for a god or goddess for president.

The younger teacher turned to his mentor. “You know, I could use these mythology lesson plans to develop some new materials myself. But I think it’s worth it to just buy the entire set. There’s more than enough for a complete unit. What a time saver.”

“You could even use different materials for different students in your class,” Ms. Sneed said.

Mr. Grow’s face lit up. “Yeah, my principal would love to see me differentiate instruction.”

Enjoy Teaching

Over the course of her career, Ms. Sneed realized that there were 6 steps to enjoy teaching. In order to survive, she had to organize, plan, and simplify. Then, to thrive, Ms. Sneed needed to learn, engage, and finally – dive in! Follow the Fabulous Teaching Adventures of Ms. Sneed and learn how you can enjoy teaching too.

Teach a complete 5-week mythology unit for fifth and sixth grade students. Novel, character banners, allusions, Medusa, the Quest, and opinion writing are included.
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