Teaching Ancient Civilizations with Children’s Literature: Ancient Greek Children

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Introduction and Summary:

Ancient Greek Children, by Richard Tames, provides a wealth of information about how it was for children growing up in Ancient Greece.  This book reviews information regarding caring for children, slavery, education, sports, and beliefs and behaviors.  This text reviews that Ancient Greece is the origin of the Western Civilization.  “Greeks invented democracy, drama, and trial by jury.”  In addition, many of the words we use today are of Greek origin.  This resource describes that young girls were treated as “pure and innocent,” while boys were taught to be “tough and competitive.”  A woman’s job was to “have children, bring them up, and organize the household.”  Women had a much shorter life span, as childbirth was risky in those times and many women died by the age of 40.  Families preferred to have boys so that they could carry on the family name.  Until the age of 6 all children spent their time in the women’s quarters of the home.  Most Greek children did not learn to read or write.    This text contains a glossary and index for students easy reference.

Curriculum Connections:

This resource would be appropriate for a third grade classroom. Given the amount of information in the text it may be useful to read  sections to the class at different times and have open discussions regarding the information.  This text would be useful in explaining how the contributions of ancient Greece have influenced the present world in terms of democracy and sports (VA SOL History 3.1).

Additional Resources:

This resource provides information on the Ancient Greek Olympics and describes the differences between the Olympians from Sparta, Athens, Corinth, Angos, and Megora.  This provides further support of the importance of sports in Greece.

This resource provides an activity that asks children to draw on a vase what is happening in the 21st century, as people in ancient Greece often drew what was happening in their world on vases to share about their history.

This resource provides a video clip of what life was like in Ancient Greece.

General Information:

Book:   Ancient Greek Children
Author: Richard Tames
Illustrator: Tinstar
Publisher: Heinemann Library
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 1-48
Grade Range: 3-5
ISBN: 1-58810-639-X