Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Mythology and Ancient Civilizations

Shirley Godbold
Walton County Schools


Students learn about ancient world civilizations and the mythologies they created to explain natural phenomena, as well as the writers and poets who wrote about the mythologies.


The student understands ways in which cultural characteristics have been transmitted from one society to another (e.g., through art, architecture, language, other artifacts, traditions, beliefs, values, and behaviors).


-Gather a collection of the great works of poets and writers such as Homer and Hesiod.
-Social Studies textbooks
-Language Arts Literature book with a mythology section
-Internet connected computers
-Copy paper
-Pages in the associated file: Mythology and Ancient Civilization Chart, Rubric/Checklist and Assignment


1. Gather:
-Rulers to make the charts
-Colored markers
-Social studies and language arts textbooks
-Copies of texts of the great writers of the world
Duplicat the file pages.


1 - Ask the students if they know where some of the names of the planets came from and how some of the days of the week got their names. Point out after they answer that a lot of the planet names and some of the names of the days of the week come from characters in ancient mythologies.

2-Tell students that they are going to examine ancient world civilizations such as the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Aztecs, the Mayas, etc. to discover how each created mythologies to explain natural phenomena.

3- Discuss with the students the chart they will create using the following titles:
-Ancient World Civilizations (A list of civilizations is provided in the associated file.)
-Natural phenomena
-Gods, goddesses and heroes
-Poets and Writers who wrote about these gods, goddesses and heroes.
(A sample chart is provided in the associated file.)

4 - Direct the students to use the Internet, encyclopedias, social studies and language arts textbooks and the great works of writers to complete the chart.

5- Explain to the students that through this chart they will discover the importance of the gods and goddesses to the civilization and historical literature and discuss the criteria for the writing assignment with them before they start this project.

6 - Conduct a discussion at the end of the research about the fact that there are many similarities among the ancient myths. Create a chart to record the similarities. This could be a Venn diagram but it needs to be available so that students may use it for the writing assignment.

7-Have students research the importance of one of the gods, goddesses or heroes of an ancient civilization and identify the importance of the god, goddess or hero in our culture today. For instance, in ancient Greek mythology, Atlas carried the world. An atlas today is a map of the world or a part of it. Atlas tires go 'all over the world.'

8 -Students will choose one ancient civilization and a god, goddess or hero from that civilization and in a paragraph discuss the of the importance of the character to the civilization and historic literature from that civilization.


Formatively assess the student's writing using the criteria found in the associated file.


Charts can be done as group work, allowing for other students to help ESE students or students that are ESOL. Gifted students might want to explore further into other gods, goddesses, or heroes.

Web Links

Suggested for the teacher's use.

Suggested for the teacher's use.
Mythology and Folklore

Attached Files

Mythology and Ancient Civilizations Chart and Rubric     File Extension: pdf

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