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Trojan Horse: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tammie Mihet

Tammie has taught elementary school for 14 yrs. and holds an MA in Instructional Technology

The Ancient city of Troy was the setting for one of the greatest military plans of all time. This ancient city was located along the western coast of what we now call the country of Turkey. Learn how the Greeks used the Trojan Horse to invade the city of Troy and finally bring the ten year Trojan War to a brutal end.

Fact or Fiction?

Imagine a tall tale that goes like this: a mighty army wants to overtake a walled city; however, it is so well fortified that they can't get in. So, they come up with a brilliant plan! They build a huge wooden horse and hide an army of soldiers in its hollow belly. Then, they offer the horse as a trophy to their enemy and wait patiently as it is wheeled into the walls of the city. The soldiers creep out in the dark of night and attack the sleeping city, opening the gates so the rest of their army can sneak in!

Makes a great story right! But, could this have really taken place? No one truly knows. While many consider this to just be a Greek myth, there are some historians that argue whether these events truly happened.

The story of the Trojan Horse is found in a famous Greek epic poem called the Iliad written by the famous Greek poet, Homer. You'll learn more about Homer a little later, but for now we will focus on one of his most famous stories!

The Trojan War

During the 13th century BC, the Greeks were at war with the city of Troy. This war was called the Trojan War. The Greeks had the city surrounded and under siege, a military operation that keeps the city trapped within its walls, with no way out. The war had lasted for about ten years and there was no end in sight. The Greeks were fed up and needed a new plan!

That was when a king, by the name of Odysseus, came up with a brilliant idea. Odysseus decided to have a gigantic wood horse built that could hold 30 of the most talented Greek soldiers. This gigantic horse became known as the Trojan Horse.

Arrival of Trojan Horse painting by Domenico Tiepolo (1773)

The Military Plan

The building of the Trojan horse took three days. The 30 soldiers were then loaded into the belly of the horse, and it was wheeled close to the walls of the city. The rest of the Greek army took down their tents, loaded their supplies on ships, and pretended to leave the city of Troy, abandoning the war.

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