Athena Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Elizabeth Diehl

Elizabeth studied to be a special education teacher at Regis University, and received her masters in 2014.

Let's learn about one of the most important goddesses in Ancient Greek mythology. Today's lesson will be all about Athena and why she was important to Athens, Greece.

Who Was Athena?

If you had a really tricky homework problem, what would you do? Hopefully, you would ask for help from your teacher or another grown-up, but if you were an ancient Greek kid, you might ask a special goddess for some insight, too. You would have asked Athena for help.

Athena was the daughter of Zeus, the most powerful of all Greek gods--he was god of the sky and thunder, and he oversaw both heaven and earth. Athena is unique because she did not have a mother. One day, Zeus had a terrible headache, and none of the other gods could figure out why. Suddenly Athena popped out of her father's forehead all grown up and fully dressed! Because she was born this way, the other gods respected her, even though she was a goddess. Usually, goddesses were not very powerful.

Athena popped out of the head of Zeus!
Athena popping out of her fathers head

Athena: A Helpful Goddess

No one was smarter than Athena! People would pray to her for help with difficult things. She was considered the goddess of strategy, or having a plan to solve a problem. Ancient Greeks believed that she was very good at figuring out strategies in war. In some myths, she would appear at just the right moment with a trick to win a battle.

Athena also invented lots of things to help make people's lives better. She invented tools to help with farming and spinning wool to make cloth. The people believed that Athena was able to tame the wild horses and invented plows and chariots for horses to pull. They also thought her to be the creator of art and science.

What Was Athena Like?

Athena was considered to be beautiful. In art, Athena wore a helmet because she was so good at winning battles. The ancient Greeks imagined Athena had a pet owl who was also really smart.

Athena with her owl and her helmet.
Athena with her owl

She never married or had any kids. Athena devoted her life to helping people with strategies and inventions, as well as to helping other gods or goddesses. The ancient Greeks thought of her as someone they could turn to, because her intelligence had helped them before. There are many stories about Athena and her efforts to help people.

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