Teacher's Guide for DIG TM Children in Ancient GreeceApril 2004
Teacher Guide prepared by: Chaddie Kruger, who has taught Latin and Classical Civilization at university and secondary levels for over twenty-five years.
- Read "The Early Years" on pages 6-7. Then answer:
- The baby bottle here looks like a great toy. What shape is it? (pig)
- Out of what material was the bottle made? (clay)
- The maker of this bottle was clever! Why was its spout so narrow? (to keep the child from swallowing too much too fast)
- Why was there a small hole in the bottle? (to hang the bottle from the cradle)
- Who took care of Greek children other than their mothers? (live-in nurses, many times slave women)
- Who made the piece of pottery that shows a mother and baby here? (Sotades)
- What city was that potter from? (Athens)
- Read "Playtime" on pages 8-10.
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY #1: Be an ancient Greek child and write a diary entry! Tell about going to a friend's house, explain how you played the following games, and other details below:
passe-boule (Pass a ball through a hole in a plank to a player on the other side.)
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY #2: Be an ancient Greek toy-seller! Set up your own toy stall between two columns in the Agora (Greek marketplace). Display and advertise your toys, explaining how each one is used and other details for your selling campaign. (See list and details under Suggested Activity #1.)
knucklebones (Throw the bones and try to knock other players' knucklebones outside the playing field.)
dice - Answer these questions in your diary entry.
- What did ancient Greeks call dice? (astragaloi)
- What is YOUR favorite ancient Greek material for dice? (sheep/goat ankle bones or clay or metal)
- HOORAY! At your friend's house, you got the best throw in which each number appears on the dice. What is that called? (throw of Venus)
- Your friend was in a bad mood. All four of his dice showed a one. What is that throw called? (Chian)
When it was almost time to go home, what toy did you choose to play with before you left? (tops, marbles, wagons, clay figurines)
- Read "School Days" on pages 12-14.
- Fill in the blanks about children in Athens:
- Children stayed home until ____ or _____ years old. (6 or 7)
- Boys went to school but girls stayed at home. Name two skills girls learned at home: ____________ and ________________ (cooking, weaving, also sewing)
- Name three subjects young boys studied: _______, ______, ______
(arithmetic, reading, writing, reciting and memorizing great works, music, physical education)
- Most boys stopped school at the age of _____. (14)
- Wealthy boys continued their education by studying __________________ or _________________ (rhetoric, philosophy)
- "Decode" the past! Unscramble these Greek words and tell what they mean:
TCRYAH (chytra - kettle for heating water and soup)
SLUOA (aulos - flute)
GOSPAGODAI (paidagogos - tutor/guardian, usually an older slave)
SSETITHIKAR (kitharistes - music teacher)
BIESRTAIPDO (paidotribes - physical education teacher)
MATESGRITMAS (grammatistes - reading, writing, arithmetic teacher)
TAPLARAIS (palaistra - gymnasium)
- Answer the questions about children in Sparta:
- Sparta was the main rival of __________________. (Athens)
- Boys in Sparta started school at age ____________. (six)
- The educational system was called the ___________. (agoge)
- Their training was like our ____________ schools. (military)
- True or False? Spartan girls did not attend school. (False)
- Read "Home Sweet Home" on pages 16-19.
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY: Be an ancient Greek architect! Using cardboard or posterboard, make a typical ancient Greek house, like the Dema House. Include the following:
- Show where the courtyard is. (open and in the center)
- Label the material you are using to make:
- the walls of the house (mud brick, plastered or painted, often with fabric hangings or wall paintings)
- the door frames (stone)
- the floor (packed earth or stone or mosaic)
- the roof tiles (terra-cotta/baked clay)
- What color will you choose for the interior walls? (white, red, yellow, black) Show the color by gluing construction paper to the cardboard walls or by coloring them with markers.
- Read "Gym Class" on pages 20-24.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Ancient Greeks believed in many gods. Gods and goddesses (mentioned in this article or elsewhere in the issue) and their realms are:
||god of the sun, prophecy, music and the arts, medicine
|NOTE: Apollo's games at Delphi were called the PYTHIAN GAMES.
||goddess of war, arts and crafts, and wisdom
||goddess of grain and fertility (p. 29)
||queen of the gods, wife of Zeus (p. 23)
||messenger god; invented the lyre (p. 6 + end page)
||queen of the Underworld, daughter of Demeter (p. 29)
||god of the sea, brother of Zeus
|NOTE: Poseidon's games at Isthmia were called the ISTHMIAN GAMES.
||king of the gods, husband of Hera
|NOTE: Zeus' games at Nemea were called the NEMEAN GAMES.
Consult pages 20-24 and the background information above, and fill in the chart below:
||(2 sets of games!!!)
(Answers for this chart are below Suggested Activity #1.)
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY #1: STAGE YOUR OWN GAMES! Using the article, choose from the games listed above, and put on your OWN set of games! State what Greek god or goddess they are honoring, the name of the games, where they will take place, what events you are competing in, and what prizes will be offered.
||Olympic Games at Olympia
||wreath of olive leaves
|Nemean Games at Nemea
||wreath of celery leaves
||Pythian Games at Delphi
||wreath of laurel leaves
||Panathenaia at Athens
||beautifully decorated clay jars filled with olive oil
||Isthmian Games at Isthmia
||wreath of pine leaves
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY #2: Look at all the pictures in this issue. List the god and goddess whose images are shown and the pages where these pictures are. (Athena, page 24: Notice helmet, shield, and spear as protecting goddess of war; Hermes, end page)
- Athletic Events:
- running contests, wrestling, boxing, pentathlon, pancration, horse racing, chariot racing
- Additional Events at the Pythian Games:
- lyre playing, singing contests
- Additional Events at the Panathenaia:
- torch race at night; chariot race in the Agora (marketplace); male beauty contest
TERMS TO KNOW: Define pentathlon, pancration, hippodrome, paidotribes, strigil
- Pentathlon - five-event competition: running, discus throwing, broad jump,
javelin throwing, wrestling
- Pancration - wrestling with anything but biting and gouging allowed
- Hippodrome - stadium for horse racing and chariot racing
- Paidotribes - athletic coach
- Strigil - long, curved, cleaning spatula used to scrape dirty oil off the
- Read "The Whaaaaat??!!" on page 25. Then answer:
- What device did ancient Greeks use so that all runners in a contest would start at the same time? (hysplex)
- What was found that made it possible to reconstruct this device? (Greek vase painted with runners)
- Name the place where an ancient stadium showed holes for this device along the starting line. (Nemea)
- What god did the Nemean Games honor? (See #5) What other games were held in honor of that god? (See #5) Who was the wife of that god? (See #5.)
- Read "Child Slaves" on page 27.
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY: Write an autobiography as a child slave in ancient Greece. Include:
- How did you become a slave? (born into slavery, captured in war,
kidnapped, sold by your parents)
- Are you a lucky slave? If so, what are your specific chores? (work
in master's house: carry water from the well, carry wine, serve guests at parties)
- Are you an unlucky slave? If so, what are your specific chores? (hard physical labor, work in the mines)
- How do you feel about your master and your work?
- Read "Whose Bones?" on pages 28-29.
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY: Based on information in the article, write a letter to a friend about this find as if YOU were the archaeologist. Include in your letter:
- what city you were in (Athens)
- what and where you were excavating (well near the Agora)
- what you expected to find (stones; mud; sheep, goat, and pig bones;
- your amazing discoveries (human bones - 450 newborn babies, one child
11 years old, one adult, and bones of 150 dogs)
- your theories about why the people may have died (epidemic, natural
causes, infanticide, accidental falling into the well, poor burial for an outcast)
- your theories about why the dog bones were there (discarded dead
bodies or religious sacrifice)
- how you feel: excited, stumped, certain you know the answers???
- Read "Sad but Beautiful" on page 30. Then answer:
- What was an ancient gravestone called? (stele)
- What material was Melisto's made out of? (Pentelic marble)
- What color was that material? (cream-colored)
- What other famous building was made out of that material? (Parthenon, temple to Athena in Athens)
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY: Using the details from the article and the gravestone, write a biography of Melisto. Tell who her father was, where he was from, how old she was, what she looked like, how she wore her hair, what her favorite toy was, what pets she liked, and any other detail you can detect from the grave marker. (Ktesikrates from Potamios near Athens; between six and eight years old; wavy hair with an ornament in it; doll; bird and dog)
- Read "Art-i-Facts: Crafty Painting" on page 33.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Ancient Greeks were master pottery makers and decorators. Artists produced and painted clay vessels in many shapes and sizes for holding liquids or grain; for drinking; for storing cosmetics; and for other purposes.
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY #1: Look at the captions throughout the entire issue. Find, tell the use of, and give the page number for:
- a pottery pig (explained in the article - page 7, baby bottle)
- a pyxis (pages 8-9, for cosmetics, incense, jewelry)
- an amphora (labeled on page 24, for olive oil; also pages 22 + 23)
- a pelike (page 33, for holding various items)
- a wine cup (page 29, for drinking wine)
Now look at more examples of pottery:
- What kind of vase do you think is on page 22? (amphora)
- What kind of container do you think is on page 13? (wine cup)
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY #2: Research project - Using reference books, look up other Greek pottery shapes. Draw them and label each one with its Greek name.