This unit uses Heracles—The Super Hero as an overall theme, concentrating on his Twelve Labors. These stories or myths reveal a great deal about the world of Ancient Greece, its geography, values, religion and customs. They are also adventure stories and are a good hook to connect students to a different time and place as well as being dramatic. Drama in the classroom is used to bring some children out and to channel others’ energy into useful forms. I hope to develop children’s ability to express themselves verbally and physically, to connect their thoughts and actions to others and to see larger connections to the culture and world around them. Discussing yourself, your thoughts and fears is difficult and too revealing for most of us, including children. Heracles and his life can be the cover for these thoughts and feelings. This unit contains a glossary of names and their pronunciation as well as a synopsis of the Twelve Labors. The bibliography lists books for teachers and students about both Heracles and Ancient Greek culture. The lesson plans give sample lessons for three different levels.
(Recommended for English, Social Studies, and Drama classes, grades 1 through 12)