Beyond IQ

Beyond Percy Jackson:
Greek Mythology in Context

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Instructor: Dr. Sabrina Weiss
5-10 students
Suggested Age Ranges: 9-12
Meets: Thursdays at 10:00 am - 11:00 am Pacific time

DESCRIPTION

Mythologies are an important part of cultures and help us to better understand their history, values, and society, as well as their impact on us today.

Each week we will discuss a different aspect of Greco-Roman life, history and myth. The assigned reading for each week is to prepare for the following week's discussion. For example, Week 1's reading is to be completed by Week 2. Most weeks the assigned reading will be from the D'Aulaires' text, with supplementary recommended reading listed for further engagement. We will also have a mini-project that will discuss and evaluate a piece of modern media that retells a Greek myth.

At the end of the course, each student will present a retelling of a myth of his or her choice. The method of retelling the myth is open and up to them, and can include such approaches as:

  • Comic
  • Art piece
  • Interpretive dance
  • Dramatic retelling
  • Poem
  • Lego construction
  • Minecraft storytelling

In the last session of class, each student will have time to share their creation, including why they chose that particular myth and how they see the story as still relevant in modern life. Details for the final project will be shared later in the course.

Primary Texts:

D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d'Aulaire and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan

SUPPLEMENTARY TEXTS (optional, parent-approval):

The Iliad by Homer
The Odyssey by Homer
Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Circe by Madeline Miller

ADDITIONAL MEDIA:

Later in the course, we will discuss current retellings of Greek mythology and learn to evaluate transformative/derivative works for accuracy, artistic merit, and cultural relevance.  Please be ready to read, view, or otherwise engage with one appropriate work for our discussion. 

Suggested Works: (parental discretion, if you would like to do something not on this list, ask!)

Books:

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (series, pick one book)

Song of Achilles (linked above)

Circe (linked above)

Movies:
Disney’s Hercules

The Clash of the Titans (1981 or 2010)

Jason and the Argonauts

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (2010 movie)

Prerequisites: None

SYLLABUS

Week 1: Introduction; Myth as Metaphor 
Week 2: The Greek Origin Story 
Week 3: The Greek Pantheon: God/desses Part 1
Week 4: The Greek Pantheon: God/desses Part 2
Week 5: The Greek Pantheon: Minor Gods
Week 6: Retellings and Reimaginings: Greek myths in modern works
Week 7: BREAK (Homework: Prepare analysis of modern retelling
Week 8: Discussion of modern retellings
Week 9: Greek Heroes Part 1
Week 10: Greek Heroes Part 2
Week 11: The Iliad: War and the Greeks
Week 12: The Odyssey: Odysseus and his Adventures
Week 13: Greek Society and Values
Week 14: Before the Greeks…
Week 15: Since the Greeks…
Week 16: Class Presentations


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