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From Athena to Zeus: Digital Stories Through the Eyes of Greek Gods and Goddesses

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Keywords: Tool Factory, Books, Social Studies, Greece, Digital, God
Subject(s): Writing, Technology, Art, Photography, Social Studies, English/Language Arts
Grades 5 through 6
School: Innovations Public Charter Sch, Kailua Kona, HI
Planned By: Wrayna Fairchild
Original Author: Wrayna Fairchild, Kailua Kona
After spending several weeks focusing on Greek mythology within the classroom, the students will each select a Greek god or goddess to portray.

The students will create a digital "All About Me" book, focusing on their selected character's beliefs, hobbies, and daily life.

After reviewing the Digital Camera Basics workbook as a class and learning the proper handling care of a camera, and techniques to try, the students will utilize Olympus digital cameras to capture images of objects and situations that they deem as significant to the lives of their god/goddess and will transfer them to their virtual story pages, using Tool Factory software.

Each student's book will include key information about their god/goddess, including: name, symbol, marital status, children, hobbies, strength/weaknesses, and key events that take place. The "cover" of each student's book will include a picture of the student dressed as his/her character,shot with an Olympus digital camera.

The students blend their knowledge, photography, and creativity together while working with the Tool Factory Workshop program to create engaging and innovative digital workbooks that are meaningful to them.

After students have completed their books, they will be shown to family and friends during our class' "Back in Time: An Evening in Ancient Greece," an opportunity for loved ones join us in our classroom (which will display student art, writing, and other Ancient Greece themed projects) and feel like they have stepped back into time. Parents, school and district staff, and local community members will receive personalized Ancient Greece themed invitations created by students using the Tool Factory software, several weeks prior to the night of the event.

The classroom will be set-up as Mt Olympus, the home of the Greek god and goddesses. Displayed around the classroom will be various art projects, writing assignments, and other Greek-themed activities the students have completed. The students will wear their costume and will portray their Greek god or goddess. The highlight of the night will be continually running presentation of the student-created books, put together using MultiMedia Lab V, shown on our classroom television. I will also put together a photo montage of the digital book creating process, which will highlight the students "at work" using the Olympus digital camera and the MultiMedia Lab V software.

As a gift to the students for their extreme efforts, and to the parents for supporting their research and endeavors, I will present each student with a copy of their digital book, on a cd-rw, to take home with them, to help them remember this awesome learning experience for years to come.

As an educator, I believe that great ideas should be shared. I will utilize the Tool Factory Home Page software in my classroom to build a class website, making the student books available for others to view online. I feel that other students across the globe will learn from viewing the digital books and that teachers will become motivated to incorporate the activity into their curriculum.

To ensure that the project is easy to duplicate I will host a special "Teacher's Corner," and will post lesson plans and tips for my colleagues eager to implement the lesson in their schools. I will also make a "virtual library," which contains all student books, and will distribute a copy to our school administrative staff and other educators and will keep a copy for the classroom, to share with future classes, to help inspire them to create their own digital book.

This lesson is part of an overarching Ancient Greece unit
Links: Class Web Page
Materials: Social Studies, Flash/USB Drives, Digital SLR