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Greek Mythology: A Multimedia Bibliography

This bibliography is designed for 4th or 5th grade teachers who wish to teach a lesson or a unit on Greek Mythology. I reviewed items from ALSC’s list of Great Websites for Kids, and also used general search techniques to find a number of resources from museums, universities, and trusted publications like National Geographic.

Podcasts:

Riordan, Rick. “Episode for Families: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.” Interview by Sean Hemingway. MetMuseum. Web. http://www.metmuseum.org/metmedia/audio/kids/068-episode-for-families-percy-jackson–the-olympians-the-lightning-thief-at-the-met

This podcast is a recording of Sean Hemingway, an Associate Curator at the Metropolitan Museum of art, interviewing Rick Riordan, the author of Percy Jackson & the Olympians. The interview covers Riordan’s interest in Greek mythology and the how his readings of Greek mythology affected his books. The podcast is both informational and entertaining, and gives listeners a chance to connect to a popular YA novelist as well as learn about how Greek mythology can be seen and understood in our modern lives.


Websites:

ODYSSEY Online. Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester and Dallas Museum of Art. Web. http://carlos.emory.edu/ODYSSEY/GREECE/home.html

This interactive website allows users to explore many different ancient cultures. Of particular interest to this bibliography is the sites section on ancient Greece and Greek mythology. This section of the site allows users to interact with Greek myths, Gods and Goddesses and teaches users about the concept of myths and their importance to ancient Greek society. The site uses visuals like constellations and photos of statuary to represent the Gods and Goddesses, which helps users to connect mythology to art and astronomy.

Windows 2 the Universe. National Earth Sciences Teachers Association. Web. http://www.windows2universe.org/

This website allows users to explore many aspects of our planet and and solar system. Included in this broad scope is information on myth and mythology, especially in terms of myths about the planet or natural phenomenons.

“Hercules: Greece’s Greatest Hero.” Perseus Digital Library. Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Web. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Herakles/index.html

This online exhibit features materials about the hero Hercules, and discusses his life, labors, and travels. Images such as photos of Greek artwork, illustrated maps, and images of Greece add depth to the site and provide readers with information that helps them contextualize the text.

“Bulfinch’s Mythology.” Sacred-texts. Web. http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/bulf/

This site provides the full text to Thomas Bulfinch’s Bulfinch’s Mythology: The age of fable, or stories of gods and heroes. Included in this collection are many popular Greek myths, including the stories of Echo and Narcissus, Hercules, and Niobe.

“Greco-Roman Origin Myths.” NGA Classroom. National Gallery of Art. Web. http://www.nga.gov/education/classroom/origin_myths/art_phaeton.shtm

This webpage introduces readers to the myth of Helios and also shows an illustration of Helios. The image of the painting is interactive, and students can roll over the painting to learn more about the images within it. The site also provides discussion questions to use with students.

“Vases with category: Divinities.” Art and Archaeology Artifact Browser. Gregory C. Crane. Web. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/artifactBrowser?object=Vase&field=Keyword&keyclass=Divinities

This section of the Art and Archaeology Artifact Brower allows users to look through images and descriptions of vases that feature images of gods and goddesses. Using this site, students can examine the various ways that Greek mythology was represented on vases.

Winged Sandals. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Web. http://www.abc.net.au/arts/wingedsandals/

This amazing site allows users to explore Greek mythology through an interactive map. Each region links to different stories, which are presented with a cast of characters and narrated cartoons that illustrate the stories.

“Coming of age in Ancient Greece.” The J. Paul Getty Museum. The J. Paul Getty Trust. Web. http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/coming_of_age/myth.html

This webpage displays vases that depict myths of mysterious birth. Users can hover over the figures on the vase to read descriptions of the figure and the scene. Users can also hear the pronunciation of some of the names.

“Mount Olympus and the Twelve Olympians: Ancient Greek Gods for Kids.” Web. http://greece.mrdonn.org/greekgods/mountolympus.html

This website lists the twelve main Greek gods and goddesses, and has easy to read descriptions and cute clipart images for each god and goddess. The site also provides a number of links to other resources and sites.

“Ancient Greeks: Gods and Heroes.” BBC Primary History. BBC. Web. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/ancient_greeks/gods_and_heroes/

Students can browse through this rich website that provides fun facts, photos, summaries of myths, descriptions of god and goddesses, and much more. Roll over text with descriptions and pronunciation guides makes this site very user friendly, and a great place for kids to explore and learn.


Quizzes:

“Greek Mythology Quiz.” Exploring Ancient World Cultures. Web. http://eawc.evansville.edu/quizzes/greekmyth.htm

This online quiz allows students to test their knowledge about Greek mythology and various Greco-Roman gods and goddesses.

“Quiz Your Noodle: Greek Myths.” National Geographic Kids. National Geographic Society. Web. http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/games/puzzlesquizzes/quizyournoodle-greek-myths/

This fun and interactive quiz from National Geographic Kids allows users to test their knowledge about Greek mythology. While the quiz uses the Rick Riordan’s book Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Theif to engage kids with the material, it is not necessary to read the book in order to take (or pass) the quiz. This quiz is especially nice because each answer prompts a paragraph of explanation, whether the user answered correctly or incorrectly. This helps reinforce facts the students already know, and fill in knowledge gaps when they don’t know the answer.

“Which Mythological Figure are You?” The Art Walters Museum. Web. http://thewalters.org/exhibitions/heroes/quiz/

This quiz asks users five questions that are relatable and fun, and uses the answers to determine which figure of Greek mythology the user would be. Each question is accompanied by a photo of a piece of mythology related art and an explanatory caption. This would be a fun and quick activity to do with students as an introduction to mythology.


Blog Posts:

“Treasury of Greek Mythology.” In Dogeared on National Geographic Kids. National Geographic Society. Web. http://kidsblogs.nationalgeographic.com/2011/10/13/treasury-of-greek-mythology/

This blog, written by kids for kids, reviews books. This particular post reviews Donna Jo Napoli’s Treasury of Greek Mythology. Hearing what other kids have to say about a topic like Greek mythology can help encourage interest in the topic. This blog post reviews Napoli’s book in a thoughtful way, and in language easily understood and appreciated by kids.


Videos:

Hercules. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. 2000. DVD.

This charming animated film follows Hercules as he attempts to become a hero so that he can be reunited with his family on Mt. Olympus. This movie gives viewers a simplified introduction to Greek Mythology and would be a good starting or ending point to a unit on mythology. Students could compare and contrast more authentic Hercules myths with the stories presented in the movie.


Games:

“Ancient Arcade.” NGA Classroom. National Gallery of Art. Web. http://www.nga.gov/education/classroom/interactive/arcade.htm

This online game challenges kids to match Greek figures like Athena with the items or symbol they are most often associated with. This is a fun way for students to learn about how symbols were used to represent the gods and goddesses, and the game provides hints and descriptions to make it more accessible to children.


Graphic Novels:

The Odyssey. Gareth Hinds. Published by Candlewick Press, 2010.

The pencil and watercolor illustrations of this graphic novel are strikingly detailed and bring Homer’s epic to life. The illustrations move the plot forward, but the novel is surprisingly dialogue heavy at parts, and provides readers with many opportunities to stretch their vocabularies and reading skills.


Books:

“Mediterranean Cultures: Greece, Rome.” The New York Public Library Amazing Mythology: A book of answers for kids. Brendan January. Published by The Stonesong Press, 2000.

This chapter of the New York Public Library’s book on mythology explores the Ancient Greeks and their gods and goddesses. It gives brief description of Greek society and then uses questions like “Who were the Titans?” and “What happened to the Titans?” to address Greek mythology. The text is accompanied by images of paintings with captions, trivia points in the margins, and asides that focus more closely on specific subjects.

World Mythology: Poseidon. B.A. Hoena. Published by Capstone Press, 2004.

This small book is a great introduction to both Greek mythology and nonfiction texts. Inside, kids will find a table of contents, maps, a glossary, an index, and resources for further reading. These elements are all concise and clearly labeled to help students learn about how nonfiction books are arranged and used. The content of the book all relates to Poseidon, and covers his background as well as describes some of the other notable Greek figures he interacts with. Greek names are followed by pronunciation guides, and every other page features a full color image with a detailed description. This book is part of the World Mythology series and is a great resource for children.

Greek Myths. Ann Turnbull, illustrated by Sarah Young. Published by Candlewick Press, 2010.

This is a collection of Greek myths as told by Ann Turnbull. Though Turnbull’s storytelling is wonderful, it is Sarah Young’s mixed media illustrations that really make this book something special. Her Grecian inspired art uses rich colors and imaginative lines to bring the tone and content of the stories to life. Children will love finding all the small details in her work and connecting the images to the stories of danger and daring.

Greek and Roman Mythology A to Z: Revised Edition. Kathleen N. Daly and Marian Rengel. Published by Facts on File, 2004.

This detailed and extensive book is a great reference book for children interested in Greek mythology. It contains over 500 entries that describe everything from Achelous to Zeus in alphabetical order. Minor gods and goddesses are briefly described, while the descriptions of the major gods and goddesses are much longer and include synopses of some of the myths they are involved in. The book also includes maps of Greece and Rome, a bibliography, and an index.

The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus. Aliki. Published by HarperCollins, 1994.

Written and illustrated by Aliki, this book describes the creation of Mount Olympus and then describes fifteen of the Greek gods and goddesses that reside there. The text is minimal and simple, and the emphasis of each two page spread is on the illustrations. Full of bright colors and flowing lines, Aliki’s illustrations are beautiful and pop off the page. Children of all ages would enjoy examining her art to find the details and symbols that correspond to specific myths or figures.

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