Ideas for teaching Ancient Greece in third-grade

Teaching Ancient Greece in third-grade

In third-grade, we study ancient civilizations. Specifically, Ancient Greece, Rome, China, and Egypt. These are so much fun and the kids love learning about them! I notice that every year, Ancient Greece is the favorite. Here are some ways that we study and learn about it, and that may work in your classroom as well!

1. Reading LOTS of myths! 

I think my number one way to get my kids excited for Ancient Greece involves reading myths. Third-graders cannot get enough of myths! They are fascinated and intrigued by the gods and goddesses. The Uborne "Greek Myths" book is my favorite for myths for the kids. The myths are short, so you can easily sneak in one or two a day. Also, YouTube is perfect for any extra 5-10 minutes you may have during the day. I generally type in "Greek myths" and lots of cartoons pop up or read alouds. If your school has access to MyOn, they definitely have some perfect picks as well.

2. Ancient Greece interactive notebook

Activities for teaching Ancient Greece in third-gradeThis is my first year doing this Ancient Greece interactive notebook in my classroom. Interactive notebooks teach students how to synthesize and organize thoughts. They accommodate multiple learning styles and serve as a portfolio for teachers to track growth over time. They allow students to take ownership of learning through color and creativity.
How cute are these notebooks?? Some of my girls opt to work on these things at resource... coloring them and making them beautiful! I get so excited to see them eager and curious about the material we are learning about. The information is visual and simple to understand- perfect to condense such a rich topic.
Activities for teaching Ancient Greece in third-grade

Activities for teaching Ancient Greece in third-grade
TIP: I cannot stand paper clutter, so a little tip for reducing the amount of loose papers with these interactive notebooks is to make an initial packet of ALL the interactive notebook pieces that the kids will need. Print out the papers you need, then copy them ONE-SIDED and stapled. Each student gets a packet. Each lesson, say "tear out the first page, "or "first two pages." Then the kids can keep the packet in a folder while tearing out the pages to cut and glue.
Activities for teaching Ancient Greece in third-grade

Activities for teaching Ancient Greece in third-grade

3. Greek gods/goddesses booklet

I also sell this gods & goddesses booklet. My favorite thing to do with this is use it as a literacy center, I have a group of Greek myths that I checked out from the school library. The kids read a myth, then fill out information in their booklet. My kids are big Rick Riordan fans, so they can also get information from there. The kids are always so psyched about Greek gods/goddesses, many of them go home and fill this out on their own! Kids doing non-required research always makes me thrilled :-)
Activities for teaching Ancient Greece in third-grade

4. Greek brochures

Activities for teaching Ancient Greece in third-gradeAfter the end of every ancient civilization unit, the kids create brochures. The brochures are a way to sum up the unit. The kids put down all the key information down on their brochure. Each unit, my kids say this is one of their favorite parts and beg to make more!

5. Ancient Greece Facebook page

My coworker came up with this great idea with a template that she found on TPT. Each student picked a god/goddess to create a Facebook page for. How fun is this? The students filled out the Greek god/goddess of their choice page, with family members, friends, and likes. The students applied their content knowledge to infer which Greek gods would be friends, what they might like, and what one might choose for their cover photo.

6. Ancient Greece pottery

I made a fun display with these babies! Each kid received a tan piece of paper, a black piece of paper, and a Sharpie. They created  Greek vase shape (I put all the different kinds up on the SmartBoard), then cut it out and decorated with a Sharpie. Finally, we glued the pots onto a black piece of paper and put them on display in the hallway. I LOVE this! The kids really got into it and did all kinds of decorations. Some chose to make pictures of daily life, while others chose to make geometric patterns that are often seen in Ancient Greek pottery. I thought it was funny seeing how small some of the kids made their vases... I gave them a massive piece of paper! A couple kids decided to make two mini-pots after thinking that their black pieces of paper looked awkwardly big with the teeny, tiny vase on it.
Ancient Greece pottery craft activity


What do you do for Ancient Greece? Do you have any fun ideas- I'd love to know all about them! My team and I are always looking for new ways to engage our students in this unit :-)

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