Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Greek Week

At the end of last school year, when the dreaded state standardized test was finished looming over us like a big, ugly cloud, my class had a great time with our Greek Week unit.  Around March, I had decided I wanted to do a big, over-the-top unit to end the school year with a bang!  I began a couple of different units, but, just wasn't satisfied.  
It was during this time my oldest son, Nathan, called me one evening from college.  During our conversation he told me a few stories about some of his events from Greek Week.  On a college campus, Greek Week is where fraternities and sororities participate and compete throughout the week in different events.  Nathan always has such a good time during these events.  
A few days later, as I was still searching for a really good end-of-year project, a light bulb went off in my head.  I could do a Greek Week!  I could create events and activities in keeping with Greek history, and it would be educational all at the same time!  So, that's just what I did!  
My kids and I had a blast with our Greek Weeks, (the unit can be longer than a week, if desired).
Even though we had our Greek Week at the end of the year, I know there are grade levels that study Greece throughout the year.  This unit would be an excellent source of activities for those who are studying the Greek customs and way of life.  There is an Classroom Olympics included too!   I call it the End of Year Unit or Anytime Unit. 

Below are some pictures of my kids creating and designing a Greek Vase.  My unit has an actual large vase template, but, I had my students draw it, since testing was over and we were not in any hurry.

Next, the kids colored the vase either red, orange, or a combination of both.  We chose these colors to represent the clay the ancient Greeks made their vases from.  They pressed down very hard on the crayon and left no spaces.

Notice how dark the vase is colored.  This is very a very important step in the creation.

Some of the designs were quite fancy and unique.

The next step was to color over the entire vase with a black crayon.  Again, the students had to bear down hard with the crayon and not leave any spaces uncolored.

Once all the hard work was over, my students were excited to move on to the final step.  Each student received a toothpick and drew a design on the vase. As they drew over the black crayon, the red/orange crayons from underneath begin to appear. 

The design had to keep the ancient Greek tradition of displaying daily life. They drew a picture, or a collage of pictures of their life.  One student drew her mom and her cooking supper.  Several students drew their hobbies or recreational events they participate in.

Here are a couple of finished vases!

 My students worked very
 hard on these vases and 
 were exceptionally proud
 of how they turned out.  
 More importantly, they 
 learned a bit of Greek   
 history that they want  

If you are interested in viewing more of the Greek Week unit in my TPT store, simply click on the picture below.

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