LESSON: A STORY OF FIRE
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TIME: 3 class periods
Science -- History -- Critical Thinking -- Group Work
CONCEPT: Fire is both a benefit and a detriment to man.
Handouts A, B, C and D.
SPARKS FOR LEARNING:
Introduce types of stories to the class.
The word "mythology" is derived from the Greek words mythos (story) and logos (talk) and refers to a type of storytelling. These stories usually deal with the gods of ancient times. Myths are used to tell how things in the world began, and were written before recorded history, as we now know it. Myths are different from legends because legends are usually based on historical events.
Distribute handout A and have the class read "The Story of Prometheus." Discuss the story with the class.
Have students complete handout B.
Discuss students response in class.
Possible answers for handout B.
1. Fire gives warmth, it is the start of technology, farming, industry, transportation, and war. Discuss connections between making tools, heating homes, fueling cars, trains, and airplanes.
2. Prometheus might have been trying to prove superior power and intelligence. He might have been challenging authority, and a victory over Zeus might have given him the respect of man.
3. Discuss brains, strength, athletic ability, wealth, good looks, intellect, etc. Discuss sports heroes, movie and TV heroes, political heroes, etc.
4. Discuss positives -- ease of living, less work. Discuss negatives -- destruction, pollution, people treated as numbers, higher fuel bills, etc.
5. Answers will vary.
Introduce a three-part outline: main idea, sub-topic and supporting details.
Give students a topic to outline. Allow 20 minutes to complete. Soliciting input from class place answers on chalkboard. Correct any misconceptions. Then have the students outline this topic: Fire in Today's World.
Have students use outline format on handout C.
Introduce and demonstrate basic debating techniques using a simple platform. For example, students should buy school lunches vs. students should bring lunches from home.
Divide class into two groups in order to prepare for the debate using the statement fire is beneficial vs. fire is a detriment. When students have completed handout C have them debate the given issue. Upon completion of student's debate ask class members to summarize information presented.
Drawing from information learned in previous activities have students complete handout D. A Greek Story
A GREEK STORY
Prometheus (pro me thee us), Gave the gift of fire to man. Belonged to the race of Titan (Giant cousins of the gods), a friend of human kind, a rebel. His name means "forethought."
Zeus (zoos) -- Ruler of gods and man. According to Greek myth, Prometheus was given the task of creating. Prometheus did this by mixing water and clay in his huge hands and shaping in forms of the gods. Prometheus was proud of his creations and was determined to make them superior to animals. He petitioned Zeus to give his creations the comforts and benefits of fire. With fire, one could keep warm, cook food, make tools for farming, create weapons, build houses, build ships, and wage war. Zeus refused to give fire to human kind because he was afraid that with these things humans would become too strong. Prometheus was angry, so he traveled swiftly to the sun, lit a torch, and carried the gift of fire down to humans.
Zeus was very angry for what Prometheus did and had him chained to a rock and sent a vulture to tear at his liver. After many centuries, a hero named Hercules freed Prometheus and killed the vulture.
STUDENT HANDOUT B
1. Why is fire so important and what would life be like without it?
2. Why would a hero like Prometheus endanger himself just to make life better for man?
3. What is your definition of a hero?
4. List 2 good things and 2 bad things about technology.
5. Prometheus thought that to deny human kind the gift of fire was to deprive humans and keep man at the level of animals. Zeus believed that without fire the human was happy and would never go to war. Who was right? Why?
STUDENT HANDOUT C
The Great Debate
You will participate in the great debate in an ancient Greek theater. Depending on which side you’ve selected to represent, write a paragraph stating why fire is beneficial to humans or why fire is a detriment to humans.
POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE
STUDENT HANDOUT D POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE
Zeus argued that with the gift of fire, humans would discover how powerful he could be and would finally cause his own destruction. Make a list of the positive things that can be done with fire and the negative things that can be done with fire.
The student will:
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