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The purpose of the programme was to design, develop and implement a thematic approach, so that children would develop an interest in Greek mythology; become familiar with the mythical figure of Hercules and his labours; reflect and give solutions to dilemmas and mythological problems and express themselves creatively through a variety of activities.
In the context of the action, team games and creative activities were organised, such as theater games, dramatisations and art related activities. At the same time, a set of rules were established concerning the general behaviour of children in the classroom, the relationships with each other, as well as the respect for the rules of dialogue and discussion.
The children, through free-association exercises, created a histogram in which their existing knowledge and experiences on the subject were recorded. They then learned to recognise the letter “H” from Hercules, wrote and learned his name and grouped words starting with “H”. Through pictograms they learned about the family of Hercules and about mount Olympus and its gods. With the use of a reference table they learned the gods’ names and found out their individual characteristics and symbols using a photo collage, the hangman game, word search puzzles and board games. They also voted for their favourite god by learning the use of a double-sided table. Finally, they searched for images of the gods on the internet, wrote their names on the computer and built a replica of mount Olympus with papier mache.
Then the children searched for printed material on mythology, Hercules and his labours. They visited the local library where they borrowed the books they would use in later phases of the programme. By reading these books and through a theatrical game they participated in, the children understood the story of Hercules and the reason he had to perform the 12 labours in order to earn the favour of the gods. Then they learned about the hero's adult life and through dramatization, filling of worksheets, role-playing as well as field visits and work, they got to know about Hercules’ labours.
Grades that participated in the activity: Nursery school, pre-school
Number of participating pupils: 32