Big Rich Mt. Olympus: Legendary Drama!

The Task:
"You've moved to the upscale neighborhood of Mt. Olympus, rubbing elbows with the big shots, the wealthy, the divine - yes the Greek Gods. To fit in you better know who your neighbors are! This playlist will help you find out all about their habits, attitudes, and yes...their powers!"

During testing season we have a challenge to support student research with limited access to our computer labs and mobile labs. So, teaming with my 7th grade English teachers, we've re-worked our usual Greek Mythology research unit & adding a Reality TV hook for engagement. (Confession: 2 of my 3 seventh grade English teachers & I are also all huge Bravo fans & and our shared guilty pleasure is the Real Housewives franchise) Since we didn't want to do "Real Housewives of Mt. Olympus" for fear that our guy students would be turned off by that, we thought Big Rich would do the trick! PS. This lesson also would work for our good friends in the Social Studies Department! (Hellooo NCSS!)
Horrible Histories: a Video Engagement Hook!
Let's also combine the fun of the BBC Horrible Histories & Rotten Romans to inspire the kiddos and start them to see the gods & goddesses with individual personalities!

Challenge: Limited Technology, Time, & Maximize Engagement
A simple shared library book cart loaded with World Book Encyclopedias, pulled mythology books, a MentorMob playlist (embedded below),  a Wikipspaces page, and a few MacBooks can  = meaningful mythology research!
A MentorMob playlist helps students focus their research without being distracted (hopefully!) by unrelated links. The playlist includes curated and vetted web pages that are specific to the task at hand and guide them through the steps completing the research phase of the project. A MentorMob Playlist is also perfect if you want to FLIP the Classroom & have students go through the steps at home! (But please, being mindful of our digital divide - always provide classroom time for those students who might have no access to the Interwebs at home)
Students will be choosing their god or goddess through a random drawing (they will have 30 seconds to switch & trade) then they will research their divine being!
Check out our:
Big Rich Mt. Olympus: A Legendary Playlist

Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!
Mt. Olympus Problems - Brainstorm!
Before they start the project and after they've had time to do some research their god or goddess - have a Mt. Olympus Problems - Brainstorming session with your kiddos about what they could be! (see & feel free to use my included graphics for inspiration)

The Big Rich Mt. Olympus Product
We will be giving studetnts a variety of projects to choose from including a Fakebook Page, a Wanted Sign, a PSA, and a Weebly web page. 
A Fakebook page is a project that combines social media engagement with creativity but can be low tech in execution.  Whether the kids choose the PPT template by Nick Provenzano - The Nerdy Teacher or the updated one Facebook Template from Lindsay Cesari’s blog, No Shhing Here (downloadable on my Wikispaces page), the Google Docs Preso version by Meghen Ehrich (Go to FILE > Make a Copy for yourself!)  or the online version, or my adapted & transformed downloadable "old skool" pencil & paper version. Whichever mode you decide, each encourages students to think of the gods & goddesses as real people with, personalities, character traits, flaws, habits, attitudes, and abilities and combines them with the engagement of social media.  
Make is Social! 
Let kids randomly or in small groups "be" their divine being & write on other peoples walls AS their god or goddess. (Make sure they initial content for attribution & ownership) Have them trade "papers" or walls to make blog comments, join groups, draw pictures, etc. Do a gallery walk at the culminating class to "grade" with post it notes or score pads giving out points for those whose additions were the most creative, fun, amusing, & accurate. Talk about which god or goddess would you rather be friends with,  (or enemies!) and why!

Wikispaces Research Page
Also feel free to check out my Mythology Research Wikispaces page! Copy the whole page if you like including the graphics (remove captions)  - Take, Use, Share - just please make sure to give attribution.
What other products do you use with your kids researching Mythology and Gods & Goddesses? 

When technology is limited, how do you transform high tech options into low tech products?
As always, your comments are invited, appreciated, & celebrated! YAY! 

I added Big Rich Mt. Olympus: Legendary Drama! to My Myths page:

How to Create Links
How to make a website using //weebly/
Mrs. Cullison's Mythology Weebly pages examples

We were mentioned! NCSS Smart Brief: How to conduct a research project with limited computer time   Super thanks for that kind shout out from our NCSS & Social Studies friends!


  1. Hi Gwyneth! I've given your playlist some twitter love since you first shared it, but I'll say it again, this idea is FANTASTIC. I love the connection to Reality TV and am excited to hear how students interact with your playlist.

    Shoot me a tweet tweet if you need anything from us as your kids begin learning! Looking forward to hearing more about it and THANK YOU for inspiring your fellow MentorMob Community Members :)

    Chat soon,


    1. Thanks so much Erin!
      Honestly, I am SO impressed that your MentorMob team is so responsive to us education bloggers & Tweeters!

      Thank you for your encouragement and support! (and your comment!) Whoohoo!

  2. I love the focus on thinking outside of the box & creating meaningful learning opportunities using what you already have! While not a perfect fit, the heart of your project could be adapted to meet the requirements of the EngageNY Common Core 6th Grade Module 1, "Hero's Journey", which requires students to explore Greek Myths using "The Lightning Thief" and write a myth of their own. You can find the module description here: Using your project as a guide could add some oomph to this module's required writing assignment.

    1. Hey Nicole!
      Thanks for your comment & I LOVE the idea & the link! I think writing a myth of your own couched as a Reality Show treatment or screenplay would be cool, too!

  3. I love this idea! Our 7th graders will be studying Greek Mythology in May, and we are going to give this a try. I also have a Skype in the Classroom post looking for schools to join us in a Greek Mythology Trivia Challenge:
    We would love to have other schools join us!

  4. As a school librarian at a school with little to no access to technology I often look at your blog with a wishful sign and dream about "some day." This is a great idea because it uses technology without really using much technology and utilizes social media which is something I wish our school addressed more. Thanks for the inspiration!


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