Y5F – Ancient Greeks at Durham University

On Friday 17th November, 5F and 5B went to Palace Green Library at Durham University to learn about the Ancient Greeks.

When we arrived, we were split into our two classes; 5F went into the gallery to complete a series of activities about Ancient Greece using the museum’s exhibits.

Task 1 – translating the names of Greek gods from the Ancient Greek alphabet. We used a table the find the correct letter so we could work out the names of the Olympian gods.

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Task 2 – labelling parts of a temple them building a temple out of bricks. This required teamwork and to make it more difficult, Mr Forster was looking for the pediment, the triangular prism roof shale, in particular.

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Task 3 – using the exhibits to match Ancient Greek pots to their names and purposes.

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Task 4 – playing Jacks, an Ancient Greek games using animal bones (ours were made of plastic). We had to throw the red bone into the air, grab as many white bones as we could before catching the red bone in the same hand. It was very difficult to grab and catch with the same hand. But still fun.

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The two classes swapped activities, so we were ask to draw artifacts, describe them and try to work out what they were used for. Most of the artifacts were replicas of Ancient Greek objects, however some were not. We had to be incredibly careful when handling the over 4000 year old objects! Then we had lunch.

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After lunch we had two more activities. The first was to create an offerings to the gods, as the Ancient Greeks made offerings to give to the gods to help them in problems they were having, such as: if you had a bad leg, you would make a clay leg and offer it to Apollo, the god of healing. We created a range of offerings to help us with problems we had, like Callum creating a foot to help with football and Elizabeth making a head to offer to Athena, goddess of wisdom, for help with her times tables.

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Our final activity of the day was to act out a Greek tragedy, using Greek masks to show the different characters in the play. The play was about Medea, wife of Jason, who was a witch and became so jealous of her husband marrying someone else, that she killed his bride, her husband and her own children to Jason, just so he would suffer. Despite being a tragedy, we had lots of fun and laughs, particularly at Lexi’s very convincing cackle.

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