Festival of Dionysus
In 7th grade, students are studying the Cornerstones of Culture, a unit of study that covers a variety of subject areas: Geography and Natural Resources, Economy, Social Structure, Technology, Government, Arts & Entertainment, Religion, Language, and Story. The class explores how those components factor into the building of a culture. Ancient Greece is the civilization of their focus.
As they considered Greek mythology (the cornerstone of “story”), students learned about the origins of theatre in Ancient Greece which were originally celebrations in honor of the god, Dionysus. Students worked in small groups to prepare scenes from Greek myths and incorporated conventions of Greek theater (the use of a chorus, or the wearing of masks, for example), and then competed in their own Festival of Dionysus!
This activity and the other learning they have been doing will culminate in the World Mythology Wax Museum. For the wax museum, each student becomes an expert in a mythological figure of their choice through extensive research. In addition to learning the myths associated with their figure, PJA students are encouraged to make connections to the contemporary world, and ultimately to consider what we learn about the hopes, fears, values, and shared beliefs of a culture/civilization from that culture’s mythology.
We look forward to seeing the 7th graders deliver their monologues at the World Mythology Wax Museum in a few weeks. Based on how well they performed their scenes at the Festival of Dionysus, we are in for some spectacular performances!