Greek Nature: A Journey into the myth
Research-Design-Implementation of the Educational Program: Panoraia Kalompratsou, Historian – Paleographer MA
Venue: J. & A. Diomedes Botanical Garden
Age of children: 8–12 years old
Duration: 2 hours
Number of children per program: 25-30
Participation fee: 4 euros per child
Theme of the program: Experiential contact with the world of nature through selected myths of ancient Greek mythology.
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM OBJECTIVES ANALYSIS
The philosophy of the program is to familiarize the participating students with the ancient Greek mythical tradition, through an experiential walking tour, which is directly related to the world of nature.
The educational program is aimed at primary school students and it is structuredbased on the age bracket of the Students, in line with their level of knowledge and in consonance with the Curriculum of the Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.At the same time, it is linked to a cross thematic curriculum framework for compulsory education and more specifially according to the educational material taught in Greek Schools, such as Modern Greek Language, History, Environmental Education (Physical Education), Religious, Music, Geography, Theatrical Education and Aesthetics / Visual Arts.
In particular, students, through their participation in the educational program, will cover a variety of objectives:
Through their participation in the program students will be able to:
- Discover that myth was the expression of the deeply rooted interest that the ancient man felt about every thing happening in nature.
- Understand that many plants owe their names to Gods or heroes of the ancient Greeks and are closely related to the Greek mythological tradition.
- Develop interest in Greek mythology and how it survived within language, literature, art.
- Comprehend the interaction between man and the environment, based on the values of environmental education.
- Develop their creative skills with group art activities, which will encourage the expression of ideas, experiences and emotions.
- Use dialogue as a way of expression to enliven narration.
- Develop ecological consciousness and awareness.
AESTHETIC / VISUAL OBJECTIVES
- Develop creative skills by encouraging the expression of ideas, experiences and feelings through their works.
- Comprehend that art is a great way of expression.
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL-SKILL ACQUIRING OBJECTIVES
- Feel the joy of creation and acquire the ability to present their artwork or express their opinion.
- Develop understanding of collective effort and cooperation by taking initiatives.
- Strengthen their self-esteem and self-confidence to dare to take action.
- Accept diversity within workgroups, through co-operation, role-taking and responsibilities, and exchange of thoughts and opinions.
- Cultivate empathy through the play and imitation of roles.
PARTS OF THE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
Welcoming the students, taking some time to get familiar with the area of the J. & A. Diomedes Botanical Garden and be informed of its rules of operation.Brief narration of plant myths using visual material and interactive discovery. Use of relevant photographic material of ancient, modern and postmodern times.
B. Conduct of research activity through observation in the J. & A. Diomedes Botanical Garden
Students are divided into three groups and directed to the site of Historic Plants accompanied by the program interpreters. Each group is invited to observe and discover selected plants, whose name is related to mythical tradition (eg olive, laurel, ivy, narthex). Each group presents the results of their research to the other.
C. Role Play
Students, while maintaining their groups, are called upon to dramatize the myths of the plants they have discovered. Each group distributes roles and performs, recites small dialogues as well as presents to their classmates a brief theatrical performance. Material and means (costumes, symbols of gods, clackets, etc.) are provided to the students for the best performance of theatrical activity.
Students express their conclusions about the close relationship that Ancient Greeks had with the world of plants, and their habit of creating myths to interpret what was strange happening in the world. In the end, the program interpreter distributes poems, songs, and stories about the natural world, and each group recites what is related to the plant they discovered.