Icarus And Daedalus Critical Thinking Questions For Preschoolers

  • Copies of the following Greek myths: "Daedalus and Icarus," "Bellerophon and Pegasus," and "Helios and Phaethon." These myths can be found in some of the books in my Books for Teaching Ancient Greece and Mythology book list or in your library.
  • Overlapping Concepts Graphic Organizer printable
  • Whiteboard or chart paper and markers
  • Pencil
  • Writing paper
  1. Prior to this lesson, you may want to divide the class into three groups (or whatever configuration works for your classroom). Each group will read a different myth and act it out for the class.
  2. Gather enough copies of each myth for each student to have a copy of the myth his/her group is reading.
  3. Make a class set of the Overlapping Concepts Graphic Organizer printable.
  4. Write the following journal prompt (or a variation) on the whiteboard or chart paper:

Write about a time when you were too prideful to respect your parents or elders or someone else in your life. What happened? Is pride a positive or negative characteristic? When is it positive and when is it negative? Give an example to support your position.

Part I: Introductory Set

Step 1: Begin this lesson with a discussion about the concepts of "honoring thy mother and father" and "respecting one's elders." Ask students how they respect and honor their parents/guardians and elders.

Step 2: Ask students about a time when they did not and what were the consequences. Discuss the negative behaviors they acted out at that time; pride, arrogance, overconfidence, etc.

Step 3: Have students respond to the following prompt in their journals:

Write about a time when you were too prideful to respect your parents or elders or someone else in your life. What happened? Is pride a positive or negative characteristic? When is it positive and when is it negative? Give an example to support your position.

Step 4: When students are finished writing, randomly call on students (or volunteers) to share their experiences and ideas on "pride."

Part II: Reading the Myths

Step 1: Explain that students will be reading read three more myths today, all focusing on the effects of having too much pride and how that impacts the relationship between parents and children.

Step 2: Divide students into three groups. Explain that each group will:

  1. Be given a different myth from the following options: "Daedalus and Icarus," "Bellerophon and Pegasus," and "Helios and Phaethon"
  2. Read and discuss their group's myth
  3. Organize a skit portraying the myth
  4. Create a theme song for the myths
  5. Practice performing the skit and theme song in 10 minutes
  6. Perform their skit and parody theme song for the other students

Step 3: Distribute the myths and allow time for the groups to complete tasks 1–5.

Note: Plan to use a full class period for the skit performances and discussion.

Part III: Curtain Call!

Step 1: Share with students that, after much preparation, they will be performing their skits and theme songs for the class today. While listening to each skit, students in the audience must listen carefully for specific information about each myth.

Step 2: Explain to students that they will be comparing each myth as they listen to each skit and song. Distribute the Overlapping Concepts Graphic Organizer printable and explain that the diagram is helpful when we compare ideas and objects. Have students label each circle with the name of each of the three myths.

Step 3: Explain the significance of each section of the diagram and point out how two myths can have similarities, how all three myths can have similarities, and how each myth can have exclusive elements not shared by the others, as well as where these elements would go in the diagram.

Step 4: Allow each group to perform their skit. Students should make notes on the Overlapping Concepts Graphic Organizer during each presentation.

Step 5: After all of the groups have performed their skit and song, review the graphic organizer, discussing each myth's similarities and differences. You can discuss as a class or in the three groups. If students discuss in groups, walk around the room to observe students' responses on the graphic organizers, assisting when necessary.

Step 6: Close the lesson by discussing how these three myths revealed the nature of relationships between parents and children. Generate a brief discussion about the similarities between these ancient myths and students' real-life relationships with their parents.

The needs of all students should be met at some point in this lesson as it is driven by the theory of multiple intelligences. For example, creatively inclined students should experience success during the dramatic reenactment of the myths, while students who enjoy writing and analyzing literature will excel with the journal writing and parody writing activities.

  • Have students research other Greek myths that deal with children of the gods.
  • Have students research Leonardo da Vinci's experiments with human flight to possibly compare them to Daedalus's wings.
  • Have students research the signs of the zodiac, since several are mentioned in the story about Phaethon and Helios.
  • Students often ask about the different between Helios and Apollo as both are proclaimed as being "the" sun god. Have students research the difference between the two deities.

Invite students to write a double-entry journal, one written with a line down the middle of the page. On one side, have students write a story about a time they learned a lesson from a parent. Then have students ask a family member to use the other side to write about a time when the family member was younger and he or she learned a lesson from the student's grandparent or another adult.

  • Complete the journal entry
  • Complete the Overlapping Concepts Graphic Organizer
  • Perform the skits and the parodies in a group

You may decide to grade any of the written work: the journal entry, the worksheet, or the lyrics of the parody.

Critical Thinking Questions1. Early in this unit, you read the story of Daedalus and Icarus. There are at least two lessons to be learned from this myth. What might those be?The two lessons I learned from Daedalus and Icarus are listen to others/think before you do, the other lesson is be humble just because you may be able to do something (escape in this case) doesn't mean you are the best.2. Which do you believe is more meaningful reading, mythology or folklore? Why do you think this is so?I believe that folklore is more meaningful because it is supposed to outline a traditions in a culture. 3. We look to the past for stories of legendary figures. Future readers will oneday be looking to our time for legendary figures as well. Who are some current-day figures who might be considered legendary figures in the future? What characteristics make them befitting of a legend?It is hard to think of a legend since these are names that we hear on the news but if I had to pick a couple of legends maybe Barack Obama since he was the first African-American president as well as Lebron James who recently just won Cleveland's first championship in any sport in 68 years making Lebron one of thetop five players of all time. 4. Suppose you were going to write a current-day morality tale. What are some ofthe dangerous situations or cultural taboos about which you might warn your reader?I would probably reference the first Thor movie and have the main character get recorded doing something weird causing the video to go “viral”.Which would be anattempt to warn the reader that social media is a blessing and a curse, with anything you do or say could end up being a online forever.5. Why do you think that fairy tales always end with "happily ever after"?I think fairy tales always end with “happily ever after” to leave the reader on a good feeling, since they are mostly meant to be for children.

Leave a Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *