Teaching The Lightning Thief – Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan motivates kids to read. What’s more? You can teach mythology, summarizing, inferences, and vocabulary. Check it out!

Ms. Sneed Plans to Teach The Lightning Thief

Our favorite fourth grade teacher clicked away on her laptop. “What are you looking for?” asked her teaching partner, Mr. Frank.

“See that set of novels on the shelf?” She pointed to 30 brand-new copies of The Lightning Thief. “I’ve had those for two years, but I’ve never used them. So I’m looking for some great activities for my high readers.”

Mr. Frank hunched over the laptop. “Click on that novel study. It’s got a free sample for Chapter 1.”

When Ms. Sneed opened the preview, she knew she had a winner.

Background Information

“Look at this background information,” Mr. Frank commented. “These five pages teach kids about the Olympians, as well as their battle with Kronos.”

“That will tie into my myth unit perfectly,” Ms. Sneed responded.

Before reading The Lightning Thief, kids explore background information pages to learn about Greek mythology.

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References to Mythology in The Lightning Thief

Ms. Sneed flipped ahead. “I like these worksheets. Just one page for each chapter,” she said. “Each is arranged in four panes. The first gives information about one character from Greek mythology.”

“That’s perfect!” Mr Frank exclaimed. “That way, they will understand the references.”

Single-page chapter worksheets for The Lightning Thief have four panes. In the first pane, kids learn about a featured character from Greek mythology.
Summarizing

“In the second pane,” Ms. Sneed continued, “they explain the chapter title. For example, the first chapter is called ‘I Accidentally Vaporize My Algebra Teacher.’ When kids explain, they are actually summarizing the chapter.”

“Aha,” said her co-teacher. “That will tell you if they’ve read – and understood.”

Single-page chapter worksheets for The Lightning Thief have four panes. In the second pane, kids summarize the chapter by explaining the title.
Making Inferences

“Then this box asks them to answer a question.” Ms. Sneed’s eyes were gleaming. “What great variety of activities!”

Single-page chapter worksheets for The Lightning Thief have four panes. In the third pane, kids learn answer questions and make inferences.
Vocabulary

“And the final section has key vocabulary terms,” said Mr. Frank.

“For my kids, I think I’ll discuss these before they read. That way, they’ll understand the chapter better.”

Single-page chapter worksheets for The Lightning Thief have four panes. In the fourth pane, kids learn key vocabulary.

Ms. Sneed grinned. “This is going to be a piece of cake.”

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.

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