Greek Culture: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

The ancient Greeks had special cultures and practices, many of which are practiced today. In this lesson, learn about the art and architecture, religious beliefs, theaters, and festivals of ancient Greece.

Mediterranean Civilization

Theater plays, athletic competitions, and festivals sound like modern-day events, right? Actually, these were a big part of ancient Greek culture. The ancient Greeks lived in areas along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and they developed a special culture. Many aspects of their civilization are used or studied today. Let's find out about how ancient Greeks lived thousands of years ago.

Greece is located near the Mediterranean Sea.
ancient Greeks

Gods and Goddesses

So many aspects of Greek culture were built on their belief of many gods and goddesses, so let's explore them first. The most important god was Zeus, and he had power over all other gods and goddesses. The Greeks created stories about these figures, called myths. These stories would explain things that happened in nature. For example, Zeus was known to throw lightning bolts, so this explained lightning in a storm. Almost everything the ancient Greeks did in daily life was to honor gods and goddesses.

Nights at the Theater

Want to see a play? You could totally do that in ancient Greece! Greeks performed plays called comedies and tragedies. A comedy was a funny play that would make you laugh, and a tragedy was full of sadness and sorrow. In Athens, Greece, there were theater competitions. Audience members would gather by the thousands in large arenas, and actors would perform different plays. Judges would decide which play was best and award prizes.

Ruins of a Greek arena where plays were performed
ancient Greece

Works of Art

Ancient Greeks were amazing artists. They were especially known for their beautiful pottery. Designs were often carved into bowls and jars while the clay was still wet. Once the clay was dry, the designs became a permanent part of the pottery.

Many Greek artists created beautiful sculptures. These were often images of gods or goddesses or famous warriors, and they were designed to be very lifelike. These sculptures were made from marble, which was a strong and durable stone.

Greek sculptures were often made of marble.
ancient Greeks

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