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Up on Mount Olympus

About this Daily Classroom Special:
This worksheet is part of the Daily Classroom Special Up on Mount Olympus—A Study of Greek Mythology by Lisa Kihn


Writing Greek Mythology Plays


As a culminating event at the conclusion of the Greek Mythology Unit, I teach my students how to write and perform plays. We then stage short one-act Greek myths for students in other classes.

I first find published plays and make overhead transparencies of the text. I point out the differences between the textual format of a play versus other kinds of narrative writing. We practice writing brief scripts in groups so that students understand that what the character says is more important that the action. I also show them how action can be described in short, succinct language and is usually put in parenthesis before the spoken text.

After they are comfortable writing scripts, I then have them choose a Greek myth that they would like to convert into a play. I provide the stories by using the book Greek Mythology by Evslin and Evslin or mythology picture books.

I next encourage a group of students to read the myth aloud and act it out as someone is reading it from the book. In this way, the students get a visual idea of how the story may be acted out. Then I ask them to start rewriting the story in the form of a script.

Once the script is written, students choose the parts they would like to perform. If there is time, they may want to hold auditions to pick the best actor for a specific part. The teacher can also assign students parts. Then the class needs to spend some time practicing. The writers of the script should be sure the parts are being acted correctly and should be very involved in the directing of the play. I require that students memorize their parts. Allow enough time for this in your lesson plans.

After the actors and actresses are chosen and they are practicing, begin working on the costumes and set design. I try to have as many Greek history and geography books available as possible in my room so that students can get an idea of what the Greek attire and climate was like. I have students take responsibility for creating their own costumes. We also look at the environment and architecture so that they can paint large backdrops as scenery to display on the stage.

Once everything is completed, invite parents and other students to be your audience as your class performs their masterpieces! This is a great way to get students excited about learning and a fun way to end the Greek mythology unit.

 

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