Ancient Greece

Students read about the daily routines, structures, and rituals of ancient Greece, and are challenged to draw conclusions about what the civilization valued and how that compares to today's society.

Unit Summary

A note from our team: As part of the upgrade to Fishtank Plus, this unit will be revised this year. Some texts, materials, and questions may change as part of the revision.

In this unit students explore ancient Greece. Over the course of the unit students learn and explore different characteristics of ancient Greece and its values. Through learning about the daily routines, structures, and rituals of ancient Greece, students will be challenged to draw conclusions about what the civilization valued and how those values compare to society today. Students will also learn about many different gods and analyze the role gods played in ancient Greek society. At the end of the unit students will be challenged to compare and contrast the role of the Olympics in ancient Greek society with the modern-day Olympics. It is our hope that this unit, in conjunction with others in the sequence, will help students understand early influences in the world.

The mentor text for this unit, Ancient Greece and the Olympics, allows students to practice multiple informational reading strategies independently and in partners. Over the course of the unit students will practice the spiraling strategies of determining the main topic and details, using context clues to figure out unknown words, analyzing illustrations, and using text features to deepen understanding of a text. An additional focus of this unit is on describing how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text. Over the entire unit students should be challenged to think critically about the reasons authors include in a text to support a particular point and why those reasons support the point. Another focus of this unit is on comparing and contrasting the most important points presented across two texts on the same topic. It is important to note that in order for students to successfully analyze authors’ use of reasons and to compare and contrast across texts, students must be able to determine key details. Plan small-group remediation or reteach for students who are still struggling with this concept.

 

Subscribe to Fishtank Plus to unlock access to additional resources for this unit, including:

  • Enhanced Lesson Plans
  • Student Handout Editor
  • Google Classroom Integration
  • Vocabulary Package
  • Fluency Package
  • Data Analysis Package
 

Texts and Materials

Some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you click and make a purchase, we receive a small portion of the proceeds, which supports our non-profit mission.

Core Materials

See Text Selection Rationale

Assessment

This assessment accompanies this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Intellectual Prep

?

Build Background Knowledge

  • Research and learn about ancient Greece.
  • Research and learn about Greek gods and the importance of Greek gods in ancient Greece.
  • Research and learn about ancient Greek pottery and how vases were used to tell stories and represent things that the Greeks valued. 
  • Research and learn about the modern-day Olympics in comparison to the first Olympics in ancient Greece.

Internalize the Text and Standards

  • Read unit texts and notice evidence of unit priority standards and essential questions.
  • Take unit assessment and notice evidence of key standards.
  • Unpack unit standards in order to determine focus teaching points. What does a good reader need to know or be able to do in order to access the texts in this unit?
    • RI2.8 – What does it mean to “describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text”?
    • RI2.9 – What does it mean to “compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic”?
  • Plan for students to create “All about Greece” books over the course of the unit. All informational writing should be done in these books so at the end of the unit they have a complete book representing what they know and have learned about ancient Greece.
  • Determine a habits of discussion focus based on targeted speaking and listening standards. Create a plan for how to introduce and reinforce the focus over the course of the unit. 
  • Determine a fluency focus for shared reading based on targeted foundational reading strategies. Create a plan for how to introduce and reinforce the focus over the course of the unit.

Essential Questions

?

  • How did ancient Greece influence and contribute to society today?
  • Why were the gods an important part of ancient Greek society?
  • Why were the Olympic Games an important part of ancient Greek society?
  • How do the daily routines, structures, and rituals of a civilization show what it values?
  • What was daily life like in ancient Greece? How is it different from daily life today?

Writing Focus Areas

?

Informational Writing Focus Areas

  • uses paragraphs to group ideas and information
  • uses paragraphs with topics sentences, details, and clsoing 

Writing-About-Reading Focus Areas

  • Correctly answers question
  • Selects and explains best evidence 
  • Uses effective organization 

The writing about reading focus area in this unit is on answering the question correctly and selecting and explaining details. In this unit, students work on using the best evidence, particularly in lessons that push students to notice what the author is trying to teach. This does not mean that students should be quoting from the text or that students should be told to always include two details. Instead, students should learn how to include details that help answer the question correctly. Most often those details should be in their own words. Student work should be scored using our Short Answer Rubric.

Vocabulary

?

Literary Terms

compare, contrast

Text-based

rule, citizen, rival, democracy, worship, please, resist, stored, gather, seldom, sacrifices, attached, inspect, occasion, culture, inspire, admire, oath, philosophy, vase, artifact, honor, compete, obey, truce, sacrifice, javelin, discus, long jump, wrestling, brutal, tense, modern, devote, athletes

Idioms and Cultural References

“getting even”

Content Knowledge and Connections

?

  • Describe the city-state of Sparta.
  • Describe Athens and the beginnings of democracy.
  • Describe what daily life was like in ancient Greece and the way it was different from daily life today.
  • Explain how the first Olympic Games started and what they represented.
  • Explain why the Greeks worshiped gods and goddesses.
  • Identify and name three or four of the most popular gods and goddesses (Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Artemis, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Demeter, Ares, Hermes, Athena, Hades)

Lesson Map

1

  • Ancient Greece and... — Chapter 1

    RI.2.2

Describe Athens and Sparta and what was similar and different about the two city-states by identifying the main focus of specific paragraphs within a text.

2

  • Ancient Greece and... pp. 21 – 25

    RI.2.8

Identify and explain the evidence an author uses to support the idea that “religion was a big part of Greek life” by identifying and describing how reasons support particular points the author makes in a text.

3

  • Ancient Greece and... pp. 26 – 37

    RI.2.2

    RI.2.8

Describe two gods and what made them unique by identifying and explaining details the author includes to support the main points in a text.

4

  • The Gods and Goddesses... — (pp. 18–40 selected gods)

    RI.2.2

    RI.2.6

    RI.2.9

Describe two gods and what made them unique by identifying and explaining details the author includes to support the main points in a text.

5

  • The Gods and Goddesses... — (pp. 18–40 selected gods)

    RI.2.2

    RI.2.6

    RI.2.9

Describe two gods and what made them unique by identifying and explaining details the author includes to support the main points in a text.

6

Writing

    RI.2.9

    W.2.2

    W.2.8

Write a biography of one of the Greek gods by using facts and details from the text to write an informational text with a strong introduction, details from the text, and a conclusion.

7

  • Ancient Greece and... — (Chapter 3, 39–46)

    RI.2.2

    RI.2.8

Analyze the evidence the author includes to support the statement “The ancient Greeks had busy lives” by identifying and describing how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.

8

  • Ancient Greece and... — (Chapter 3, 47–56)

    RI.2.2

    RI.2.8

Explain how ancient Greeks loved learning, fun, and beauty by identifying and describing how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.

9

  • Growing Up In... pp. 4 – 13

    RI.2.8

    RI.2.9

Analyze how the evidence from Growing Up in Ancient Greece builds on information from Ancient Greece and the Olympics by comparing the most important information presented by two texts on the same topic.

10

  • Growing Up In... pp. 16 – 25

    RI.2.8

    RI.2.9

Analyze how the evidence from Growing Up in Ancient Greece builds on information from Ancient Greece and the Olympics by comparing the most important information presented by two texts on the same topic.

11

Writing

    RI.2.9

    W.2.2

    W.2.8

    SL.2.1

Explain what life was like in ancient Greece by writing an informational text with a strong introduction, details from the text, and a conclusion.

12

Writing

    W.2.3

Write a journal entry describing what life would be like in ancient Greece by using a narrative structure to retell important events and ideas about life in ancient Greece.

13

  • Ancient Greece and... pp. 57 – 65

    RI.2.2

    RI.2.8

Explain the statement “The ancient Greeks left gifts for the whole world to enjoy” by identifying and describing how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.

14

Project

    RI.2.7

    SL.2.5

Using information from the video and book, recreate a Greek vase to show a detailed illustration of life in ancient Greece.

15

  • Ancient Greece and... pp. 69 – 80

    RI.2.2

    RI.2.8

Explain how and why the Olympics became the most popular festival in Greece by identifying the main topic and details within a text.

16

  • Ancient Greece and... pp. 81 – 87

    RI.2.6

    RI.2.8

Defend if the Olympics were important to everyone in ancient Greece by identifying the reasons an author states to support a point.

17

  • Ancient Greece and... pp. 89 – 99

    RI.2.2

Describe two different Olympic events by identifying the main focus of specific paragraphs and the key details within them.

18

Writing

    W.2.2

    W.2.8

Explain what took place during the Olympics in ancient Greece by writing an informational text with a strong introduction, details from the text, and conclusion.

19

Writing

    W.2.3

Describe what happens during an Olympic event by using a narrative structure to retell important events and ideas about the early Olympics.

20

  • Ancient Greece and... pp. 101 – 101

    RI.2.2

    RI.2.8

Explain why the author says, “When the winners returned home, they were greeted like heroes,” by analyzing and describing how reasons from the entire text support specific points the author makes in a text.

21

Project

    RI.2.7

    SL.2.5

Using information from the unit, recreate a Greek vase to show a detailed illustration of an Olympic event.

22

  • Ancient Greece and... pp. 105 – 109

    RI.2.8

Defend if the Olympic Games of today are exactly the same as the early Olympic Games by explaining the reasons an author gives to support a point in a text.

23

  • The Olympics pp. 1 – 9

    RI.2.9

Describe how the evidence in The Olympics: Past and Present builds on information from Ancient Greece and the Olympics by comparing and contrasting the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.

24

  • The Olympics pp. 10 – 17

    RI.2.3

    RI.2.9

Describe how the Olympic Games have changed over time by sequencing details and retelling the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.

25

Writing

    RI.2.9

    W.2.2

Describe how the Olympic Games have changed by writing an informational text with a strong introduction, details from the text, and a conclusion.

26

Writing

    W.2.2

    SL.2.1

    SL.2.6

    L.2.6

Debate and discuss unit essential questions by stating a claim and supporting it with evidence from the entire unit.

27

  • All unit vocabulary

    L.2.5

    L.2.6

Distinguish shades of meaning among closely related verbs and closely related adjectives by sorting and interacting with target unit vocabulary.

28

Assessment

29

4 days

Project

  • Project materials

    RI.2.10

    SL.2.3

    SL.2.5

    SL.2.6

Research and present on a specific aspect of Ancient Greek society.

Common Core Standards

Language Standards
  • L.2.1 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • L.2.2 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • L.2.5 — Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

  • L.2.6 — Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).

Reading Standards for Informational Text
  • RI.2.2 — Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.

  • RI.2.3 — Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.

  • RI.2.6 — Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.

  • RI.2.8 — Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.

  • RI.2.9 — Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.

  • RI.2.10 — By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 2—3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Reading Standards: Foundational Skills
  • RF.2.4 — Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Speaking and Listening Standards
  • SL.2.1 — Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

  • SL.2.2 — Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

  • SL.2.3 — Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.

  • SL.2.5 — Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

  • SL.2.6 — Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.

Writing Standards
  • W.2.2 — Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

  • W.2.3 — Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.

  • W.2.5 — With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.

  • W.2.8 — Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.