Getting to Know Greek Gods: Introduction to Mythology

Contributor: Melissa Kowalski. Lesson ID: 11012

A Greek myth is not thingle girl from Athenth; it is a story made up by the ancients to explain the world. Where do these stories come from? Stop in and meet the players in ancient Greek mythology!


Mythology, World

Social Studies
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Zeus. Hercules. Athena. Hades. Cyclops. Some of these names you may recognize.

  • What do all these names have in common?
  • What is mythology?

Mythology is more than just a set of stories; it played an important part in the life of everyday ancient Greek citizens. Even today, monuments to the gods still stand in Greece, such as the Parthenon that was dedicated to the goddess Athena, in the picture below.


Mythology is part of the genre of folklore, stories that explain a society's origin or natural phenomena. These stories, however, are often treated as true by ancient societies. Watch this short Help Teaching video, Reading Lesson: What is a Myth?.

After watching the video, print the handout on the Introduction to Greek Mythology from Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. Read about the background of Greek myths and the role they played in ancient Greece.

  • What were the ancient Greeks like?

Since mythology grows out of the culture and society in which it is created, it is important to understand the lifestyle and attitudes of the ancient Greeks. Visit to learn more about Greek Culture.

map of Greece

  • What did ancient Greece look like?

The unique geography of ancient Greece had a significant influence on the development of its culture, which in turn influenced the development of mythological stories.

Since Greece was surrounded by water, many myths include water in one form or another, and numerous gods and monsters lived in and around the water.

Greece also has many mountains and forests, that the ancient Greeks populated with gods and monsters from mythology. The most influential gods, including Zeus, were said to live on the highest point in all of Greece, Mount Olympus.

Watch Interesting facts about the geography of ancient Greece story for kids from AncientLibrary:

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If you want to look up any term in Greek mythology, you can use the Encyclopedia Mythica, at, that has a comprehensive list of descriptions for every name and location used in Greek mythology.

Now that you've read about the foundations of Greek mythology, move on to the Got It? section to check your knowledge!

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