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Activity Overview

Starting a unit or lesson with the key vocabulary that students will see in their readings or presentations aids in overall comprehension and retention. In this activity, students will create a storyboard that defines and illustrates key vocabulary related to the study of Ancient Greece.

Students will preview the terms and definitions and use whole class or small group discussion to demonstrate their understanding of each meaning. Then, they will create a spider map of 3-5 terms at the teachers discretion. When students define and illustrate each term, they master the application of it and retain it as part of their lexicon.

Suggested Vocabulary for Ancient Greece

acropolis: the hill above a Greek city on which temples were built

agora: a marketplace in ancient Greece

assembly: a group of citizens in an ancient Greek democracy with the power to pass laws

Athens: current capital of Greece and the ancient Greek city-state that is considered the birthplace of democracy

chiton: a type of clothing worn by the Greeks made from a single piece of cloth with a belt at the waist

city-state: also called polis, an early city that was like a small, independent country with its own laws and government

democracy: a form of government where citizens have a say in how they are ruled including choosing their leaders and deciding on laws

drachma: a silver coin that was a form of currency in ancient Greece. One of the earliest known currencies

ephors: five leaders in Sparta who were chosen annually to oversee the Spartan kings.

helots: the majority of the people in Sparta, they were slaves without any rights, who served the aristocracy of Sparta

hoplite: citizen-soldiers of ancient Greek city-states

Macedonia: a region in northern Ancient Greece and home to Greek kings Philip II and Alexander the Great

oligarchy: a type of government where the power is held by a few people

Olympics: an athletic event held by the Ancient Greeks every four years

Peloponnese: a large peninsula located in southern Greece where the Greek city-states of Sparta, Argos, and Corinth were located

stadion: the original Olympic event, the stadion was a running race that is the equivalent to the modern 200m dash. The word stadium, or stadion in Ancient Greek, referred to the measurement of distance as well as the place where the race was held.

titans: in Greek mythology, the Titans were the first Greek gods and were giants. They were overthrown by their children, the Olympians who ruled afterwards led by Zeus

trireme: a type of boat used by Ancient Greeks (as well as Phoenicians and Romans) with three rows of oars on each side

tyrant: the ruler of a Greek city-state, a tyrant was like a king with absolute power. In today’s meaning, it describes a ruler who abuses their power and is unjust

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a spider map that defines and illustrates key terms from Ancient Greece.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title boxes, identify the key terms you have chosen.
  3. In the description boxes, write the definition of the term.
  4. Create an illustration for each term using appropriate scenes, characters, and items. To find images that relate to Ancient Greece, type “Greece” into the search bar.
  5. Save and exit when you're done.

Requirements: Must have 3 terms, correct definitions and appropriate illustrations for each that demonstrate your understanding of the words.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Visual Vocabulary Boards

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/7/4] Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 7 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/7/6] Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/9-10/3] Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Define and illustrate each of the key terms.
7 Points
4 Points
1 Points
The vocabulary words are correctly defined.
The meaning of the vocabulary words can be understood but it is somewhat unclear.
The vocabulary word is not clearly defined
The storyboard illustrations clearly depict the meaning of the vocabulary words.
The illustrations relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words but it they are difficult to understand.
The illustrations do not clearly relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.

More Storyboard That Activities

Ancient Greece

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