Ancient Voices Curriculum Connections

Greece palace

Classroom Projects

Showcase: Hollow Hills Elementary
Greek Kylix Project
Greek Amphora Project
 

Projects:

 
             

1. Bring the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece to life!

The ancient Greeks portrayed the lives of their gods, goddesses and heroes on stage in masked performances. Each student could create and wear the mask and costume of a favorite Greek god or goddess, presenting to the class a related myth from the point of view of the god or goddess portrayed.

Alternatively, a round of mythological "Who Am I" could be played, with each costumed, masked student presenting clues to the identity of the god, goddess or hero represented.

Groups of students could work together to dramatize a particular myth, creating masks and costumes for each of the characters portrayed. The resulting dramas could be presented to the class in either live performance or video form.

The ancient Greeks loved poetry and revered the spoken word. They were extremely competitive and turned everything into a contest, including the reciting of poetry. Our modern "poetry slam" with its emphasis on performance has its roots in these ancient Greek poetry competitions. Students could participate in a Greek-style poetry slam, performing their original, mythological-based work either individually or in groups. Small prizes could be awarded in a variety of categories, and the judging either formal (a pre-designated panel of teachers or peers) or informal (applause).

View Applicable California Standards for this project



          

2. Greek Kylix Project:

(Estimated time: Two Class Sessions)

Materials:

1. Prepared (wedged) clay (both slabs and precut circles for the base)
2. Mold for stemless kylix (see note)
3. Brushes/sponges and water
4. Glazes-orange and black only
5. Implements for trimming the clay slab and scoring the handles
6. Access to kiln for firing

Note on Molds:
The kylix was an elegant, stemmed drinking cup used widely in ancient Greece. The stemless version reproduced here resembles a shallow bowl with handles. "We used wooden bowls purchased through a restaurant supply store for this project," says sixth grade educator Caroline Hardeman. "They are approximately ten inches in diameter and are pre-sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to prevent any clay from adhering to the bowl."

Instructions:
Session I-Forming the Kylix
Roll wedged clay into 14" x 14" slabs approximately 1" in thickness, taking care to remove any air bubbles. Precut 3" circles from extra slabs of clay to form the bases.

Gently lay each slab over a prepared bowl/mold and press the clay around the bowl to create the shape. The excess clay should be carefully trimmed away and the edges smoothed with a slightly damp sponge.

Put some extra clay in a small amount of water and mix together until it reaches a thick, soup-like consistency. Called "slip," this mixture will be used as a glue to attach handles and bases to the unfired vessels.

Roll palm-sized amounts of clay into balls and flatten them slightly on a table. Pressing down with the fingers of both hands, roll the flattened balls back and forth until they begin to resemble long, thin, snakes. Continue rolling until each snake-like "coil" is the width of a small finger. Cut the coils into 6" lengths, form each piece into the desired handle shape and allow to dry. Attach handles to the sides of each kylix using a scoring implement and slip. Do the same with the base.

Allow to dry for at least 48 hours. Remove all the vessels from their molds and check for cracks before replacing them for further drying. Drying times vary, but there is no rush. "Due mainly to scheduling, we may wait two weeks between forming the bowls and glazing them," says Caroline. Once they are thoroughly dry, they are loaded into a kiln and fired before any glaze is applied.

Session II-Glazing
Sponge the entire kylix with a thin coat of water. Using brushes of varying sizes, apply black and orange glaze. After the base coat has dried, take a small brush and outline the chosen design on the interior of each kylix. "Students were allowed to choose either red or black figure pottery as their model and had pre-sketched their designs on paper plates," says Caroline. After glaze is applied, the vessels are loaded back into the kiln for a second firing.

View Show Case Kylix Project with images
View Applicable California Standards for this project
Download Print Version of this Project [Adobe PDF] Size: 98kb
Download Project Print Version & Applicable Ca Standards [Adobe PDF]



          

3. Ancient Greek Amphora Project:

(Estimated time: Two Class Sessions)

Materials:

1. A roll of natural-colored bulletin board paper (brown mailing paper may also be used, or pieces cut from grocery-weight paper bags)
2. Tempera craft paint: orange, yellow, brown and black
3. Brushes
4. Fine point and ultra-fine point black Sharpie markers
5. Implements for trimming the clay slab and scoring the handles
6. Template of Greek Amphora (see note)

Note on templates:
Many styles of ancient Greek urns can be found online and copied free of charge. Sixth grade educator Holly Dye chose the amphora for this project because of its historical significance and visual impact. "I shared with the class the actual size of the amphora, which would be close to a slightly younger child's height," Holly explains. "A vessel of this type would be filled olive oil--the liquid gold of our time. It was the top prize for winning an Olympic event."

Instructions:
Session I-Cutting Out and Painting Templates
After cutting out the templates, mix a small amount of orange into the yellow tempera and paint half of each vase vertically-this, the lightest color, is painted first, representing the way natural light would strike the amphora.

Mix a small amount of brown into the orange tempera and apply vertically to the urn's mid section, taking care to "feather" the darker color into the lighter orange-yellow section. Feathering is a technique that uses a dry brush (stroking left to right) to blend darker painted areas into lighter ones.

Add more brown tempera to the second mixture and paint the last vertical third of the urn, taking care to blend the darker color into the urn's mid-section, using the feathering technique. No lines of color should be visible if the feathering technique is correctly used. The final color mixture can also be dry-brushed over random sections of the amphora to give it an aged appearance.

To diminish curling, either press the dried templates between books or iron them without steam on the unpainted side. Note that heavier paper curls less-something to keep in mind when selecting your materials.

Session II-Adding Decorative Elements
Use an ultra-fine Sharpie marker to outline the chosen design, then fill in as needed with a thicker marker. Authentic designs can be selected from online resources (for example, typing the keywords "Greek Black Figure Vase Painting" and selecting Google Images), or students can make up their own designs based on a favorite Greek myth.

View Show Case Greek Amphora Project with images
View Applicable California Standards for this project
Download Print Version of this Project [Adobe PDF] Size: 24kb
Download Project Print Version & Applicable Ca Standards [Adobe PDF]



             

Applicable California Standards:

Bring the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece to life!

Grade Six

6.4 World History and Geography: Ancient Civilizations
3.4 Reading: Narrative Analysis
3.6 Reading: Narrative Analysis
3.7 Reading: Narrative Analysis
1.0 Visual Arts, Theater: Artistic Perception
2.0 Visual Arts, Theater: Creative Expression
2.1 Visual Arts, Theater: Development of Theatrical Skills
2.2 Visual Arts, Theater: Creation / Invention
2.3 Visual Arts, Theater: Creation / Invention
3.0 Visual Arts, Theater: Historical and Cultural Context
3.1 Visual Arts, Theater: Role and Cultural Significance
3.2 Visual Arts, Theater: History
5.3 Visual Arts: Connections and Applications

Grade Seven

1.6 Listening and Speaking: Organization and Delivery of Oral Communication
3.0 Visual Arts, Theater: Historical and Cultural Context
3.1 Visual Arts, Theater: Role and Cultural Significance
3.2 Visual Arts, Theater: History

Grade Eight

2.5 Reading: Speaking Applications
3.0 Visual Arts, Theater: Historical and Cultural Context

Grade Nine

1.3 Reading: Word Analysis, Fluency and Systematic Vocabulary Development


          

Applicable California Standards:

Below is a list of California Department of Education and Common Core Standards that apply to both the Greek Kylix and Greek Amphora projects:
 

CA History Social Science Standards, Sixth Grade

6.0 WORLD HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY: ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS
 
Students expand their understanding of history by studying the people and events that ushered in the dawn of the major Western and non-Western ancient civilizations.
6.4.4 Explain the significance of Greek mythology to the everyday life of people in the region and how Greek literature continues to permeate our literature and language today, drawing from Greek mythology and epics, such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, and from Aesop's Fables.
 

CA Visual Arts Standards

2.0 CREATIVE EXPRESSION
Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Visual Arts
Students apply artistic processes and skills, using a variety of media to communicate meaning and intent in original works of art.
 
Skills, Processes, Materials, and Tools
2.1 Use various observational drawing skills to depict a variety of subject matter.
2.2 Apply the rules of two-point perspective in creating a thematic work of art.
2.3 Create a drawing, using varying tints, shades, and intensities.
 
Communication and Expression Through Original Works of Art
2.4 Create increasingly complex original works of art reflecting personal choices and increased technical skill.
 
3.0 HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXT
Understanding the Historical Contributions and Cultural Dimensions of the Visual Arts
Students analyze the role and development of the visual arts in past and present cultures throughout the world, noting human diversity as it relates to the visual arts and artists.
 
Role and Development of the Visual Arts
3.1 Research and discuss the role of the visual arts in selected variety of resources (both print and electronic).
 

CA Common Core Curriculum Writing Standards, Sixth Grade
(Applicable if a brief written or oral report is added to the art project)

 
Integration of knowledge of ideas
7. Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
 
Text types and purposes
2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
 
Production and distribution of writing
3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)
5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 6.)
6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.
7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
 
Speaking and Listening Standards, Sixth Grade
 
Comprehension and collaboration
1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
2. Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
 
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
4. Present claims and findings (e.g., argument, narrative, informative, response to literature presentations), sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details and nonverbal elements to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
5. Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.
 
Conventions of Standard English
1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
 
Knowledge of Language
3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
 
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
6. Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
 
Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Sciences and Technical Subjects
 
Text types and purposes
1. Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
2. Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
 
Production and distribution of writing
4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed
6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.
 
Research to build and present knowledge
7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources (primary and secondary), using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

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