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Ammon sixth-graders bring Greek mythology to life

Education

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Photos by Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com

AMMON — The gymnasium of the White Pine Charter School was abuzz with tales from ancient Greece on Thursday morning as the school’s sixth-graders gathered to perform a “living wax museum” based on Greek mythology and history.

The event gave the school’s children a chance to apply what they’ve learned about Greek mythology by dressing up in costume and telling stories found in the ancient myths.

“This was the culmination of the Greek mythology unit that our sixth grade was doing,” White Pine spokesman Matt Wiltbank told EastIdahoNews.com. “We 58 sixth-graders. Each of them, to really familiarize themselves with the material, I believe was assigned one character from Greek mythology or history and studied up on them so they could present everything there is to know about that person.”

The range of characters role-played by the kids ranged from historical figures like Alexander the Great and King Leonidas to mythical icons like Poseidon and the Minotaur. Most of the participating children made costumes representing their characters.

The kids lined up in rows, standing like wax exhibits in a museum, each wearing a “button” on their costume. Someone pushing the button was presented with a short performance filled with information and the character, his or her lineage and a wealth of other fun facts.

“A lot of the kids had an atrocious amount of content memorized, showing complicated relationships between different beings and different stories,” Wiltbank said. “I was really genuinely impressed with what a lot of the kids could come up with without a sheet of notes.”

Wiltbank said the event went well enough that the school will consider putting on similar ones in the future.

“I think it went pretty well,” he said. “I hoping (for more of these events) based on how well it went this year. We have two new sixth-grade teachers, and they’re both very excited to see what ideas work.”

Although the show was a lot of fun for those who came out to see it, it also benefitted the students by deepening their cultural understanding.

“’Cultural literacy’ is a phrase we use a lot,” said Wiltbank. “It helps you understand when someone talks about ‘the Achilles heel’ or ‘don’t be like Icarus.’ You can come up with that rather than what you see in Disney movies. You know what source it’s coming from. I think that helps the student to form and challenge their own ideas better if they’re able to understand what other people are saying. It’s a good learning experience for them. And a lot of fun too.”

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