ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How and why to teach your child Greek and Roman Mythology Early

Updated on April 26, 2013

The Birth of Venus by Botticelli


Why Teach Greek and Roman Myths

I remember mythology as a convoluted and seeming irrelevant chapter of school that I was glad to put behind me. But mythology is much more than a single chapter in history class, as I discovered when it began hunting me in literature classes. Much of the classic literature references mythology and many classic artists depicted these myths in their art work. To truly understand these classics you must have an understanding of ancient Greek and Roman myths. Also, to truly understand the cultures of Ancient Greece and Rome an understanding of their religious beliefs is needed. As the United States was founded on many ancient Greek and Roman principals, an understanding of their times can lead to a greater understanding of our own country.

Now consider how convoluted the ancient myths can be. The various and sundry relationships between the many gods and goddess can tax a person's ability to follow without any additional information. A single unit in history class is not enough to provide your child with an understanding or appreciation for the ancient Greek and Roman myths.

How to Teach Greek and Roman Myths

Many myths deal with adult subject matter, so starting with the myths themselves can be problematic. However, there is still a lot of material you can cover before you ever get to the stories.

Depending on your child's age choose several of the major gods or goddesses to introduce. For my daughters I started with six - three gods and three goddesses.

  • Start by introducing the names in both Greek and Roman - Zeus in Greek and Jupiter in Roman myths
  • Give a brief description of their attributes - Zeus was the supreme ruler of Mount Olympus, his domain was the heavens and his main attribute was the lightening bolt
  • Explain the family relationships - Zeus' parents were Cronus and Rhea and his siblings were Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades and Poseidon.

Each of these steps can fill an entire lesson.

Solar Bodies Named for Gods or Goddesses

The following solar bodies named for Roman gods or goddesses with the corresponding Greek name in parenthesis except those marked with an asterisk. The asterisk indicates that the Greek name is the name of the solar body.

  • no Roman equivalent (Dione*)
  • no Roman equivalent (Enceladus*)
  • no Roman equivalent (Epimetheus*)
  • no Roman equivalent (Ganymede*)
  • no Roman equivalent (Hyperion*)
  • no Roman equivalent (Iapetus*)
  • no Roman equivalent (Io*)
  • no Roman equivalent (Mimas*)
  • no Roman equivalent (Phoebe*)
  • no Roman equivalent (Proteus*)
  • no Roman equivalent (Tethys*)
  • no Roman equivalent (Titan)
  • no Roman equivalent (Triton*)
  • Caelus (Uranus*)
  • Callisto (Callisto*)
  • Ceres (Demeter)
  • Europa (Europa*)
  • Janus (no Greek equivalent)
  • Jupiter (Zeus)
  • Mars (Ares)
  • Mercury (Hermes)
  • Neptune (Poseidon)
  • Ops (Rhea*)
  • Prometheus (Prometheus*)
  • Saturn (Cronus)
  • Venus (Aphrodite)
  • Vesta (Hestia)

Greek and Roman Gods

A fun way to introduce some of the Greek and Roman gods is using the solar system. Many of the Roman gods gave name to our planets and their moons - using that can be a fun tool for remembering the names of the gods of myth.

Print the images of the planets corresponding to those gods or goddesses you are introducing. (Wikipedia has a number of free images of the planets and moons of our solar system.) Then print the images of the Greek gods or goddess to whom they correspond. (DLTK has a large number of Greek mythology coloring pages.) Make sure each of the images has a name label. Then play a simple matching game with your child.

You can have your child create a simple collage of the two images to display in your classroom. Or you can laminate the images and play the matching game multiple times.

Another fun alternative is to purchase a three dimensional solar system. (Amazon has a set that I purchased for my girls that are like beach balls.) Then play a simple "hot potato" type game. Start with one planet and begin throwing it around the circle. The person throwing the ball says the name of the planet and the person catching the planet says the name of the corresponding Greek god. After a few minutes add another planet. It's a fun way to match the names up in your kids' minds.

The "hot potato" game would actually work with generic balls as well. Just tape a label on your balls. Then you can introduce the gods and goddesses that aren't named in the solar system. Or you could reverse direction and go from Greek to Roman.

Greek Gods and Symbols Worksheet


Teach the Gods' Attributes

The Greek and Roman gods and goddesses often had a symbol, an animal and/or a domain with which they were associated. For example the Greek god Apollo had three sacred animals: the swan, the wolf and the dolphin. His symbols include the bow and arrows, a laurel crown on his head, and the cithara or lyre.

To teach your child the symbols or attributes of the different gods and goddess start small. Apollo was the god of music with the lyre or cithara as a symbol and the swan as his animal. You can always add more information as your child masters the previous information.

A simple way to present the information is to provide your child with a color sheet. ( provides online and off line myth coloring sheets.) As he or she colors the image discuss the attributes of that god. Your child can then add these symbols to his or her picture.

If you are unsure which attributes are associated with which gods the Encyclopedia Mythica has a number of articles on the various Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. The information provided is very thorough and will be useful throughout your child's school career.

Gods and their symbols also lend themselves nicely to a matching game. Or you can create matching worksheets.

Greek Gods Partial Family Tree


Teaching the Relationships between the Gods of Myth

If you thought your family relationships were complicated they are nothing compared to the relationships between the gods of myth. The major deities often married siblings and then proceeded to have relations with whoever struck their fancy. Most of those affairs resulted in children. This can make untangling the relationships between the various gods and goddess very difficult.

Start with just a one of the Greek or Roman gods and determine who his parents and siblings were and just a couple of his children. Help your child create a family tree for that god. Save the chart and it can continue to help you sort out the relationships between the various gods and goddesses.

Clearly even before introducing the stories themselves there is enough information about the Greek and Roman gods to keep you and your child busy for quite some time. Remember to start slow as the information can also seem overwhelming if you let it.

How well do you know the Greek and Roman Gods?

view quiz statistics


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Joy M profile imageAUTHOR

      Joy M 

      5 years ago from Sumner, Washington

      I'm glad it was helpful to you. I remember mythology being a confusing subject when I was in school, so I'm hoping this will help it be less confusing for my girls. :)

    • celeste inscribed profile image

      Celeste Wilson 

      5 years ago

      This is a very good break down on a very complicated subject. I partial home school and Greek Mythology has been popping up in our literature curriculum. Thank you for giving me a little direction on the subject :0). I am going to pin this because I know it will come up in school later on.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)