Krazy Krackens, Khaos, and Kings

It’s Greek to Me

The objective of the Krazy Kraken board game, explained Ariana, “is you have to get past the Kraken to get to safety. There are a lot of obstacles.”

Ariana described a Kraken as “a humongous octopus-squid. I don’t think they really existed. It’s a mythical creature.”

Ariana and her classmates in It’s Greek to Me learned about many such mythical creatures as they explored Greek mythology through board games, plays, family trees, and other activities.

Patrick’s board game was based on Ares. “He’s the God of War,” Patrick said. His game used both dice and a spinner and the object was to finish alive. “It’s a game of war,” he said.

Bobby, a self-proclaimed “Greek Nerd”, created a game called Hero Escape. “You’re stuck in a building filled with monsters and trap doors,” he said. “The last one out gets devoured by monsters.”

Today in class, students were challenged to create and market their own Olympic Games. “We’re making a brochure of our own version of the Olympics,” explained Isley.

Isley chose to focus on summer Olympics. “The activities are archery, volleyball, and tennis because those are the ones I like a lot,” she said. Her games will be held in Minnesota.

Olivia described her chosen Olympic sports as “some weird ones, like pole vaulting, gymnastics, and swimming,” and the games will take place in spring. She originally thought they would be held in Minnesota as well, but she considered a more exotic location. “Maybe Costa Rica,” she decided.

Bobby’s winter games will be held in St. Anthony, Minnesota, and will include skiing, bobsledding, and curling. When I asked about mountains for the bobsledding he paused a minute. “Hmmm, I didn’t think of that,” he said thoughtfully. “I might need to revise that. Well, there’s plenty of ice here, so maybe speed skating!”

Jonathan considered the landscape before he chose a location for his games. He searched a Google map of Canada. “I’m looking for a place with a mountain, for mountain climbing,” he said. He decided on Calgary and decorated his brochure with snow-topped peaks.

Parker said he has learned a lot about Greek Gods, architecture, and theater in the class. “In their plays, usually the actors switch between two or three masks,” he said. Students were assigned plays in small groups and made masks for their productions. Parker wore a crown and a mask when he played the parts of King Minos and the King of Athens in the play, Theseus and the Minotaur.

Olivia played Athena in a drama about Arachne turning into a spider. She also enjoyed learning about and making Greek pillars, a staple of the culture’s architecture. “I learned there are Ionic pillars, Corinthian pillars, and Doric,” she said. The Ionic column she created in cardboard featured the characteristic groves running vertically along the pillar.

Since I personally had to cancel TWO trips to Greece because of the pandemic, it was very nice to spend time engaged in the history and culture of this civilization, especially through the eyes of children.