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I hope to see students find a new hero in Prometheus as they encounter this Titan in the magical world of Greek Mythology. Prometheus is truly a hero whom children can admire. Prometheus was viewed by the ancient Greeks from many angles, sometimes as a hero and sometimes as a thief. I think that by looking back from a modern point of view we can see Prometheus as a mythical father of man as well as a hero who risked all to help a race weaker and more helpless than himself. Prometheus could foresee his fate,to be chained to a rock with an eagle tearing at his liver for an eternity, yet this did not hinder him in his course of action. He knew his role and he played it out, stealing fire from Olympus in a fennel stalk and in saving Man he fell from grace. Whether Prometheus was a thief only out to anger Zeus or whether his motives were nobler can be the fuel for a stimulating project as students trace Prometheus through the ages and through his varied myths.
This teaching unit is designed to use the myths of Prometheus in a theatre curriculum. I would strongly encourage English and Language Arts teachers though to add this project to any study they may attempt of Greek and Roman Mythology. The Theatre techniques described in the following pages will enhance the classroom study of this classic literature by giving students in the middle and high school classrooms new opportunities and learning experiences. Playing theatre games, dramatizing the myths, making masks and studying the Greek theatre will allow teachers to use a creative, “hands on” approach to the study of ancient Greek Mythology that I feel students of all ages will not be able to resist.
Today children seem to have few heroes, too few people they respect. Children are often confused about moral issues and how to act in difficult situations. They need to analyze and understand human behavior. They need to discuss choices that can be made and when possible to empathize with others through dramatic role playing. Most importantly they need heroes to emulate and admire.
My students tend to identify with fantasy heroes more readily than with those people alive and accessible to them. There is little fantasy in the daily lives of the children Z teach and, as I see it, there is sometimes too much reality. Children even at the middle and high school levels need to escape and travel into worlds of the imagination. Here they can attempt to find the hero in themselves. These children need Prometheus to bring some “fire” into their lives,
My task as a theatre teacher is to guide my students in becoming aware of the inner self, in opening up to others and in feeling the “fire” everyone carries with him from birth. This is usually difficult. Middle school students are just entering adolescence. Their instinct is to close up. to become private, to be afraid of what others will think of them and to do anything to become part of the “group”. Peer pressure is a force to be reckoned with. The last thing most of these children want to do is perform in front of the class or to be the center of attention. Z am always looking for material that will capture their interests and take them out of themselves. I feel the myths of Prometheus and the theatre unit I am planning will accomplish this goal. These myths are dramatic, sometimes heroic and full of gripping action.
I think adolescents will identify with Prometheus and his rebellion and unwillingness to stray from his course of action. When my students are attached to something (a principle, an idea, a friend) for the moment that attachment is everything and, in acting emotionally, they sometimes leave reason behind. Students will appreciate Prometheus for his unbending principles and his sacrifices. I hope to explore with my classes the broader issues behind the choices Prometheus made and to discover their opinions on how he might have acted and how they would have behaved had they been Prometheus.
I feel students will also get caught up in the world of the Greek Gods with its monsters, magic places and the heroes with all of their magical doings. The myths of Prometheus will give students a chance to enter this new world and to find the fantasy I feel is lacking in their lives. I also hope these myths will motivate them to read and write with less resistance as they enter the classroom world of theatre.
Studying theatre has already helped the students at Conte School to find and then get in touch with that inner “fire”. Using theatre techniques, I work with children in grades 5-8 developing their minds and bodies as well as their imaginations. Communications skills are stressed. Stories are shared and new worlds created within the realm of the classroom. Students work together in pairs, small groups, as individuals and as members of the larger whole, problem solving while playing theatre games. Improvisation is the main tool and with it I guide students in confronting the realities of their lives as well as in creating worlds of fantasy to inhabit temporarily.
I plan to teach this unit to my 7th and 8th grade core class students. A core class meets only one period a week. This unit will last most of the school year because of this scheduling. Students attend a theatre core class in their homeroom groups. This is not an elective class as is Arts Choice, which meets four times a week. In teaching a core class my goals are very general. Not all of the children find theatre their “thing”. They have to be persuaded; so I try to plan fun, exciting and different activities. I try to plan units that will emphasize a number of theatre basics. I like to introduce dramatic literature at this grade level and I work often with scripted materials. I also try to connect to the academic program, especially in the area of Language Arts. Though, as previously mentioned, much of the material in this unit is specifically related to theatre and its teaching techniques, I think that English or Language Arts teachers will find it useful and will be able to implement it with only a few, if any, changes.
I chose my 7th and 8th grade students to study the myths of Prometheus because reading assignments will be a vital part of my lesson plans and some of the material is too difficult for the average 5th or 6th grader. The reading materials are sophisticated and for this reason some high school teachers may choose to use this course of study. The reading materials range from the ancient works of Hesiod and Aeschylus to modern retellings of the Prometheus myth. The drama activities would be enjoyed by students at any grade level, 5-12.
I selected the myths of Prometheus for this project over other Greek myths because Prometheus is a character who can be found in the ancient narrative literature as well as in a play or dramatic form. I found this true of few other mythical figures. Heracles is one and I hope to teach a follow-up unit using other dramatic mythical figures.
In teaching Middle School children I follow a theatre process where all drama begins organically and improvisationally. Beginning with storytelling and simple movement, I guide my students through activities which culminate in working with scripted dramatic literature. The Prometheus mythology can be used very easily in this process, starting with the ancient narratives of Hesiod and moving to the play, Prometheus Bound.
Having done a mini-unit on Greek and Roman mythology two years ago, I know my students love these stories and are motivated to explore them in theatre. I am pleased that the myths of Prometheus are so dramatic, fitting smoothly into the creative dramatics theatre process. The study of Greek mythology will broaden the 7th and 8th grade core theatre program. 5th and 6th graders work with theatre games and improvisational drama. Now the 7th and 8th graders will build on those skills, dramatizing the Greek myths as well as studying Greek theatre and its origins. I think that the hero, Prometheus, will excite my 7th and 8th grade core students and his myths will prove to be the kind of material that is vital if this type of class is to be stimulating, educational and unique.
My objectives in teaching this unit on Greek mythology are as follows:
My strategies in achieving my objectives will be varied though I will teach basically using the Creative Dramatics approach to theatre. This style of teaching relies heavily on the use of theatre games and improvisational acting. Teachers not familiar with Creative Dramatics should refer to this unit’s bibliography for a list of books that I feel can be used by both the novice and expert.
- 1. To expose students to “classical”literature , narrative and dramatic.
- 2. To use the myths of Prometheus to take students through an organic and graduating theatre process. eg. storytelling—theatre games—creative movement—story theatre/playmaking—playwrighting—reading of scripted plays—dramatization of scripted plays.
- 3. To introduce the theatre craft of mask making.
- 4. To introduce theatre history beginning with the ancient Greek theatre.
- 5. To integrate such academic Language Arts skills as reading, creative writing, listening and dramatic speaking into the theatre curriculum.
- 6. To introduce students to the oral tradition of storytelling behind all “classic” literature.
- 7. To explore the larger world of Greek mythology by enabling the students to meet and study briefly each of the Gods.
- 8. To explore the visual world of Greek mythology in ancient art and architecture.
- 9. To create original playlets based on authentic myths through creative writing exercise.
- 10. To enjoy studying the myths of Prometheus and to have fun learning about Greek mythology.
I believe that in working with children theatre should be taught not in the rigid “read a play” style but that children should experience theatre through the organic process of Creative Dramatics. I teach theatre using techniques that draw the children out so that the drama comes directly from them. I teach theatre not just as an art form but for its value as a learning process. I will attempt to describe this process.
The director/teacher should begin the unit telling a narrative story. The students can work on listening skills. Storytelling is then used to direct the children in simple movement so that they may act out the story in pantomime. Children next act out the story improvisationally adding dialogue. The teacher or a confident child acts as narrator. The children attempt to write dialogue for the story. An already scripted play is then read out loud by the group and finally this piece is acted out. This process must be very flexible. Certain steps may have to be repeated several times using the same story or introducing new ones until the students are ready for the next step. The key is to take things slowly and the teacher should use her inner judgement as to when it is time to advance. The growth seen in students will be gradual but by the end of the process great changes will be noticeable. Students will be more confident, poised and verbal.
The unit should always begin with storytelling. Greek myths were originally oral and they really come alive when told. If a teacher is really uncomfortable memorizing and telling a story I would suggest that she find a good modern retelling and read it out loud as dramatically as possible. I will use my skills as a storyteller not only to entertain the children but also to show how these myths grew out of an oral tradition.
I use this creative dramatics approach to storytelling and then movement dramatization to begin any unit I teach. My theories of teaching theatre are based on those of Viola Spolin (Improvisation for the Theater) and others like her, Dorothy Heathcote and Winifred Ward. Drama for children should be creative and based on a child’s natural play. Games should be stressed and early playmaking should be handled by the director much as children handle it themselves when they play act alone.
I like to begin a unit telling the story because the children are then immediately swept up into it. Seeing me perform they are less reticent about performing themselves and, as the storyteller, I can also help direct and guide the action until the children are ready to do it themselves.
I will begin the Prometheus project with the Greek myth of The Creation. Prometheus is so tied into Zeus’ ascent to power that I feel this background is essential. I also want to stress how the myths are presented in ancient sources as one long narrative. Myths are woven into other myths and this is especially true of the Prometheus stories. I plan to expose my students at this time to portions of the Theogony so that they can also get a sense of the poetry in ancient narrative.
The version I will tell of The Creation has been culled from Hesiod’s Theogony and the modern version by Barbara Drake in Myths, Fables and Folktales. I will move from this storytelling session to work with theatre games (see lesson plans) and creative movement.
I want the myth to come alive for the children, and when movement is added I hope to catch a sense of the choral drama and dances the early Greeks performed as ritual. This creative dramatics process fits neatly the drama patterns of the early Greeks, because their theatre was movement oriented and grew out of an inner desire to become more involved with the Gods and their religion,
In working with creative movement and the dramatization of stories, pantomime is a strategy to use when teaching middle school children. Often they feel elf-conscious speaking but with everyone moving together in a room, a person can lose his self-consciousness. Moving as part of the whole, children feel freer and more confident and therefore they let go and begin to act.
Drama for children should begin with large group activities. Every child should be involved. Later, children can break into smaller groups to act out a scene or into pairs to write dialogue.
We will move from this style of drama to pieces that rely less on narrative and more on dialogue, character portrayal and character development. Story theatre is the next step. Story theatre is a very important style of theatre for use with young people. It is a middle ground between the total improvisation of theatre games or creative movement and the more structured, disciplined world of the playwright and scripted dramas.
A myth is told to the children in narrative style and then broken down into workable scenes. These scenes are acted out improvisationally with the use of dialogue. A narrator guides the action, sticking to the basic plot, while the actors improvise the blocking, stage movement, and their speeches. This activity involves several children as performers while the rest of the class practices being members of an audience.
As children work at dramatizing myths in a story theatre style, they get a sense of dramatic structure. This enables them to move onto simple playwrighting, eg. monologues, dialogues, pieces of plays. Students will better understand a scripted play when they confront it after creating their own playlets through theatre activities.
I plan to tell some of the stories centered around Prometheus but also the children will read myths in updated modern versions. Story theatre techniques and playwrighting will be used to bring these stories to life. We will work with the myths of Prometheus creating Man, the sacrifice that angered Zeus, Prometheus’ theft of fire from Olympus, Prometheus’ imprisonment and torture, and the story of Pandora. I plan to guide the students in some simple scripting of these myths and to introduce playwrighting skills. Improvisation will always be the main tool in the dramatization and study of these myths.
I plan to end the unit with work on the ancient play Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus. This is the version of the Prometheus story in which he is seen most clearly as a hero. I want my students at this point to compare the different ways they have seen Prometheus presented. Is he a hero or is he a common thief? Why was he viewed in such different ways by Hesiod and Aeschylus? What do they think of Prometheus and his actions? I would like each group to write a narrative showing the kind of creature they think Prometheus was. Prometheus as a dramatic character will be explored in depth.
In preparation for reading the play students will read “The Story of Io” as retold in Zeus, Lord of the Sky by Doris Gates. The play will then be read out loud with an emphasis on dramatic reading. I will lecture with slides on a brief history of the Greek theatre. Students will complete the unit on Greek mythology with a simple, staged and rehearsed presentation of scenes from Prometheus Bound. These scenes will be directed by students and will convey to an audience the students’ interpretation of Prometheus’s character.
In drama there must be conflict and no greater conflicts can be found than those in the ancient Greek myths and plays. There is the ultimate conflict of life against death in the myth of Prometheus. The quality of life for man as opposed to his total extinction is at the heart of this tale. This unit is intended to explore this dramatic conflict and the character of the creature who was pivotal in not only saving man but in giving him the means to live his life, “blind hope,” and not to know of his ultimate end. Prometheus, the Firebringer, will ask students to challenge the world around them as they dramatize his myths, accept his gifts, and enter the world of theatre.
- I. The Creation and Zeus’ Rise to Power
- A. Goals:
- 1. introduction of narrative myth
- 2. introduction of the Greek Gods and their lineage
- 3. introduction of storytelling and oral history
- B. Literature:
- 1. Theogony and Works and Days by Hesiod
- 2. The Creation, The Golden Age, The War in Heaven, The Reign of Zeus by Barbara Drake
- C. Activities:
- 1. listening to stories
- 2. creative movement enacting elements of creation, eg. chaos, stone, mud
- 3. pantomime dramatization of the story
- 4. theatre games: Journey, Big/Little
- 5. make a family tree of the Gods (bulletin board)
- II. Prometheus Creates Man
- A. Goals:
- 1. introduction of story theatre and improvisational dialogue
- B. Literature:
- 1. Prometheus Creates Man by Barbara Drake
- 2. D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths
- 3. The Golden Treasury of Myths and Legends by Anne Terry White
- C. Activities
- 1. acting the stories out improvisationally using dialogue
- 2. theatre games: Statues, Pass the Clay, Pleas
- III. Prometheus Gives Man the Gift of Fire
- A. Goals:
- 1. to introduce playmaking and playwrighting
- 2. to introduce class discussions regarding Prometheus’ choices
- B. Literature:
- 1. Tales of the Greek Heroes by Roger Lancelyn Green
- 2. Gods, Men & Monsters by Michael Gibson
- 3. Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths by Bernard Evalin
- C. Activities:
- 1. dramatization of the stories working improvisationally in small groups
- 2. breaking the stories into scenes as if in a play and dramatizing these scenes
- 3. in pairs, writing dialogue for a scene
- 4. using creative movement to enact the qualities of Fire
- 5. theatre games: Non-stop Argument, Two Sticks, What Am I Doing?
- IV. Pandora
- A. Goals:
- 1. to introduce mask making and a visual sense of the theatre
- B. Literature:
- 1. D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths
- 2. Pandora’s Box by Barbara Drake
- C. Activities:
- 1. dramatize improvisationally the story of Pandora
- 2. write a simple script using the story of Pandora
- 3. make a paper mask choosing a character from the story
- 4. make a papier mache/ mask choosing a specific character from the story of Pandora
- 5. look at photos and slides of ancient Greek Art depicting Prometheus, Pandoa and the other characters in the Prometheus myths
- 6. take a tour of the Yale Art Gallery
- V. Prometheus Bound
- A. Goals:
- 1. to introduce scripted dramatic literature
- 2. to introduce the history of Greek theatre
- 3. to discuss and interpret the entire narrative of the Prometheus story
- 4. to make the unit culminate in a performance of mythic material dealing with Prometheus, both original and ancient
- B. Literature:
- 1. Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus
- 2. Zeus, Lord of the Sky by Doris Gates (The Story of Io)
- C. Activities:
- 1. a lecture on the Greek theatre using slides
- 2. silent and oral class readings of Prometheus Bound
- 3. class discussion of the different interpretations of Prometheus in myth
- 4. dramatization of scenes from Prometheus Bound
- 5. rehearsal and performance of original scenes and playlets based on the Prometheus stories
|Set-up||A large, clear space is necessary. Desks and chairs should be cleared away and pushed to the sides of the room. Students should feel they have an open space to work in which it is their job to fill. Each student should understand the concept of a “personal space” and be standing where he will not interfere with anyone else’s movement. This sense of a “personal space” should be kept even when students are moving. The class should always begin with a simple warm-up.|
|Warm-up||Involve the students in a physical warm-up, eg. stretching, running in place or moving around the room following directions such as, “Move slowly, quickly, like you’re small or very large.” This warm-up should last as long as the students need to settle down and focus on the movements the teacher is asking them to make. There should be no talking though making sounds should be encouraged. The teacher is always the leader and designates when to begin, change activity or end. The warm-up should last about five minutes.|
|Activity||This activity is pure and simple creative movement. It will be different every time it is led. There is no specific length of time for this activity though, at first twenty minutes is about right. As the students become used to this type of movement the time can run as long as a half hour or forty-five minutes.|
|Ask the students to begin in their “personal space” standing up. Ask them to close their eyes. The teacher will have already told or have read to the class the Greek myth of The Creation. Ask the students to think silently about this story and to see it in their minds. Using a tambourine as a guide ask the students to begin to move like an element in the story, eg. chaos. Now some controls are needed or the whole class will truly create chaos. Shake the tambourine as a signal for the students to freeze. Pause then change the element of movement. Side coach, (A theatre term which means to direct the activity with verbal commands by encouraging students to keep up with a good pattern of movement or to stop a negative one. Playing music can set just the mood you want and may help the students to concentrate.|
|I would begin to narrate the story after the warm-up and ask the students to become the inanimate elements, moving, making only sounds, not speaking. Students would move as chaos, then freeze. Side coaching could include: “Move as Night.” “Freeze.” “The sky and the earth come together.” “As a group come together. “What is the earth?” “Move like the earth.” “Move like mud.” “How does it feel to be mud” What sounds does mud make?” “Move like the creatures that live in mud.” “Move like the sea.” “Move like creatures that live in the sea.” And so on. Using this technique the teacher would direct the class in acting out the story and the elements of creation as well.|
|Conclusion||This activity is very free form and takes on any flavor that the teacher wants to give it. The children like this method of non-verbal expression. A firm hand is needed however to see that no child disturbs another or gets out of control. If that should happen simply stop the activity and allow the group to discuss why you stopped. Trust is very important here. After the movement activity is completed the group should discuss the experience. “What happened?” “How did people feel?”|
|Activity||Students are seated in a circle. One child is chosen to go into the center of the circle. This child pretends to be a lump of clay. He cannot move or speak. One by one the remaining children become sculptors. They may move the clay into one position then the next child may add to or change that position. As each child takes his turn many different statues will be seen. At any time the director may change the person pretending to be clay or freeze a sculptor so that there will be two pieces of clay to mold.|
|There are many variations of Statues. A theme can be chosen and, taking turns enacting this theme,students freeze and transform themselves into statues. Emotions work well as themes and the children can build statues that express sadness, happiness etc.|
|Children can also work in pairs where one person is the clay and the other the sculptor. I think this would be an interesting way of looking at the Prometheus myth of the creation of man. Working in pairs, one child could be Pimetheus and the other the animals he created. Next the same pair could enact Prometheus creating Man from clay.|
|Conclusion||I think the game of Statues is a good way of illustrating to children the story of the creation of Man. Its many variations will keep the students interested and can be used to tie in with other stories such as Pandoa and her creation by the Gods. Also, Statues is a good trust-building exercise that teaches children to work together and to respect one another.|
|Set-up||The class should be divided so that the children are in pairs. Each pair will need one pencil and one piece of paper. Children should be spread throughout the room so that each pair has its “personal space” where it can work. This game is a good introduction to the art of writing dialogue. It would be the first playwrighting activity I give to a class but it can and should be repeated several times within the unit. The teacher should select a myth that will be turned into a scripted playlet (eg. Pandora) and from the story a specific scene (eg. Epimetheus telling Pandora never to open the jar.).|
|Activity||The Partners should decide among themselves who will begin. With the pencil and paper this person will write a sentence of dialogue. The partners should also decide who will be who. If the first person is Epimetheus then he writes a sentence that Epimetheus would conceivably speak. The second partner reads the sentence and then as Pandora writes a reply. Emimetheus answers back and so on until the pair feels their scene is complete. When finished, the scenes would be read out loud and then dramatized.|
|Conclusion||Partners is an activity that is a lot of fun for the students. It is so unpredictable that they love it. It requires concentratic and reinforces reading and writing. Children like being able to answer back one another. This game immediately gives them a sense of what dialogue is and also a sense of characterization or of stepping into another person’s shoes. After this activity has been played a few times students find it easier to sit down individually or in groups and to write a script. This game really is another form of improvisational acting; though the dialogue here is documented whereas usually once said it is lost. I think Partners should be played after the work with story theatre is completed, and any of the myths could be used.|
Bananas. For information: Pilot Arts Project, Center for Theatre Techniques in Education, 1850 Elm Street, Stratford, Ct. 06497 A source book written by artists that shares with the reader a variety of multi-arts activities. As one of the contributors I feel this book can be very helpful to teachers in adding creative games and a theatre techniques approach to their repertoire.
Bieber, Margarete. The History of the Greek and Roman Theater. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1961. An informative, comprehensive look at the history of the Greek theatre. I found the photographs in this book to be excellent. The book is well illustrated and the best source I found for a visual sense of the Greek Theatre.
Bowra, C.M. Classical Greece: The Great Ages of Man. Alexandria, Va.: Time-Life Books, 1965. A comprehensive look at ancient Greece and its culture. A good source of photographs with a nice section on the Theatre.
Burrows, David J., Lapides, Frederick R., and Shawcross, John T.; Editors. Myths and Motifs in Literature. New York: The Free Press, 1973. Not specifically relevant to the Prometheus myth but a good source book for English teachers on how the traces of myth can be seen in modern literature.
Arnott, Peter D. An Introduction to the Greek Theatre. London The Macmillan Press LTD., 1959. An easy to read and enjoyable look at the history of the Greek Theatre. Arnott is a theatre professor and I liked his approach to the subject.
Grant, Michael. Myths of the Greeks and Romans. New York: New American Library (Menter Books). 1962. An excellent book that interprets the Prometheus myth as seen in Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound. I found Grant’s views on Prometheus very enlightening and they served as a foundation for this unit.
Hamblin, Kay. Kime: A Playbook of Silent Fantasy. Garden City, NY: Dolphin Books, 1982 For the teacher who wants to work with pantomime as a technique as well as a method for dramatization. This is an excellent source book of games and exercises. It is illustrated with photos and is easy to understand.
Lattimore, Richmond. Hesiod. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1959. A readable translation that includes Prometheus as seen in Works and Days and in the Theogony. This translation will be enjoyed by most students and I plan to use excerpts from it in teaching my unit.
Kerenyi, C. Prometheus: Archetypal Image of Human Existence. New York, N.Y.: Bollingen Foundation, 1963. A philisophical look at Prometheus as he appears throughout ancient and modern literature. Ideas from this book could serve as fuel for class discussions though it is too difficult for students to read.
Nicoll, Allardyce. The Development of the Theatre. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1966. My college text, with the first chapter given to the history of the Greek Theater. It is very readable. I think students might even enjoy it and there are excellent photos.
Nobleman, Roberta. 50 Projects for Creative Dramatics. Rowayton, Ct.: New Plays for Children, 1971. An activity book that is filled with exciting, easy to lead drama activities.
Pickard-Cambridge, Sir Arthur. The Dramatic Festivals of Athens. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968. A comprehensive, academic study of the Greek Theatre. I found this to be a very helpful resource.
Rose, H.J. A Handbook of Greek Mythology. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1959. This is the book that was most valuable to me in my research. Rose has cataloguedevery myth and notes the ancient sources it appears in. A fascinating and invaluable book.
Spolin, Viola. Improvisation for the Theater: A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques. Evanston, 11: Northwestern University Press, 1963. This is one of the best theatre books ever written. A novice could teach a theatre class in improvisation just reading this book and following Miss Spolin’s directions. I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre techniques in education.
D’Aulaire, Ingri and Edgar Parin. D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1962. A very popular book with children. The D’Aulaires have simply illustrated all of the major myths and tell them in a way true to the original narrative. I have seen this book really motivate students because they love the pictures and these modern retellings.
Evslin, Bernard. Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths. Toronte: Bantam Books, 1966. This book tells the story of each major character in a chapter or short story format. Not as true to the origins of the Prometheus myth as I would like but I think students will enjoy Evslin’s style. The material is at a junior high reading level.
Gates, Doris. Zeus: Lord of the Sky. New York: Penguin Books, 1972. Prometheus does not appear in this book under a separate chapter though his story is told in The Story of Io. I think this retelling is very interesting for students and connects well to the play, Prometheus Bound.
Gibson, Michael. Gods, Men & Monsters from the Greek Myths. New York: Schocken Books, 1982. The retelling of the myths in this book are fairly standard though the illustrations are exceptional. Children will love these paintings as they are very colorful and dramatic. The illustration of Prometheus is spectacular.
Green, Roger Lancelyn. Tales of the Greek Heroes. New York: Penguin Books, 1958. Roger Green tells the myths in one long narrative that though broken into chapters tells the stories in an authentic manner. I think students will love the rich retellings in this book. Green handles Prometheus in a comprehensive style as he appears throughout the book. I think the telling of Heracles and his struggles is the best section of the book, though. Children will love it!
Kitzhaber, Albert R. and Malarkey, Stoddard, Editors. Myths, Fables, and Folktales. New York: Holt, Reinhart and . Winston, Inc. 1974. This is an excellent classroom textbook. The Greek myths written by Barbara Drake are simple to read yet rich in their telling. Students and teachers will both benefit from use of this text. Helpful study questions are provided at the end of each tale. These questions are thought-provoking and will add to the enjoyment of the myths. I think this book offered the finest retellings for young people of any of the sources I found.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. School Picture Set: Greek Mytholoy. This small pocket book was produced by the Museum to highlight each of the major Greek Gods and Goddesses as they appear in the Met’s collection. This book is excellent and I only wish it were larger and more comprehensive.
Modern Knowledge Library. Ancient Greece. New York: Warwick Press, 1979. A simple encyclopedic look at ancient Greece which I think children will like. There are good illustrations and many pictures. Facts are presented clearly, and there is a solid sectian on Greek theatre.
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