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Children's Lessons on the Greek Parthenon

by Zora Hughes

With all of its contributions to modern civilization, ancient Greece is both a fascinating and important topic to teach your child about. When it comes to Greek architecture, the Parthenon temple is arguably one of the most important. Introducing your child to ancient Greek culture, and the goddess who inspired the temple, can help her better understand the significance of the Parthenon to Greece.

Learn About Ancient Greece

Read age-appropriate books with your child about ancient Greece and the Parthenon temple in Athens, the capital of Greece. For kids ages 5 and older, "The Best Book of Ancient Greece," by Melinda Weber, introduces children to the ancient Greek civilization, mythology and its famous temples in a kid-friendly manner. For kids ages 7 and older, "If I Were a Kid in Ancient Greece," from Cobblestone Publishing, provides a fascinating look at the way children lived during ancient Greek times, including how they were educated, home life and athletics.

All About Athena

The Parthenon temple was built in the center of the Acropolis, which was once the home of the kings of Greece and later exclusively a center of worship to the Greek gods. It was built to worship Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, war and crafts. Read age-appropriate Greek mythology stories about Athena to your child. The book, "Athena: Goddess of Wisdom, War, and Crafts," by Teri Temple, for kids 8 and older, features simplified mythological stories about Athena, as well as related gods. Show your child various interpretations of Athena' image, then have your child draw her own picture of Athena. Another idea is to have your child write her own short story myth about Athena based on what she learned.

Parthenon Architecture

Discuss the architecture of the Parthenon with older children and look at books with illustrations and photographs of it when it was built and in its present form. The book "The Parthenon: The Height of Greek Civilization," by Elizabeth Mann, for kids ages 9 and older, has vivid illustrations of how the Parthenon was built and how it was used for worship. Many modern structures are modeled after Greek temples such as the Parthenon. If possible, take your child to buildings in your area, such as courthouses, libraries, government buildings or museums that have that same style, known as neoclassical architecture. If you don't have neoclassical-style buildings in your area, you can show her pictures of many buildings in Washington, D.C., such as the U.S. Supreme Court building.

Ancient Greek Food

Explore the food of ancient Greece with your child and compare it to modern Greek food. According to History for Kids, the ancient Greek diet consisted primarily of bread, cheese, olive oil, wine, honey, figs and fish. Modern Greek food is similar. Bring your child into the kitchen to prepare some simple Greek snacks based on these foods. Your child can drizzle honey over a cup of Greek yogurt. Quarter and bake figs in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes, and spoon the soft figs into the yogurt. Another idea is to get a loaf of crusty bread and show your child how to dip bread chunks into high-quality olive oil and feta cheese. Pour her a glass of grape juice and talk about what she's learned about Greece and the Parthenon.

Resources

  • The Best Book of Ancient Greece; Melinda Weber
  • If I Were a Kid in Ancient Greece; Cobblestone Publishing
  • Athena: Goddess of Wisdom, War, and Crafts; Teri Temple
  • The Parthenon: The Height of Greek Civilization; Elizabeth Mann

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.

Photo Credits

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