Research a Greek God | EL Education Curriculum

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Focus Standards: These are the standards the instruction addresses.

  • RI.6.1, RI.6.7, W.6.7, W.6.8, W.6.9b

Supporting Standards: These are the standards that are incidental—no direct instruction in this lesson, but practice of these standards occurs as a result of addressing the focus standards.

  • RI.6.4, RI.6.9, RI.6.10, W.6.5, L.6.4

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can research my Greek god or goddess, gathering needed information for my project from informational texts. (W.6.7)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Work Time A: Greek God Research note-catcher (RI.6.1, RI.6.7, RI.6.9, RI.6.10, W.6.7, W.6.8, W.6.9b)


AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engage the Learner (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Research a Greek God - RL.6.7 (30 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Pair Share - W.6.5 (10 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Independent Research Reading: Students read for at least 20 minutes in their independent research reading text. Then they select a prompt and write a response in their independent reading journal.

Alignment to Assessment Standards and Purpose of Lesson

  • RI.6.1 – Work Time A: Students conduct online research to gather information about the Greek god or goddess of their choosing. Students read informational texts about this figure, using textual evidence to support their ideas about what they read.
  • RI.6.7 – Work Time A: While researching their Greek god or goddess, students engage with information presented in different media or formats and integrate them, compiling their learning on a note-catcher.
  • W.6.7 – Work Time A: Students conduct a short research project, drawing on several sources to gather information about a Greek god or goddess.
  • W.6.8 – Work Time A: As students conduct research, they gather relevant information from multiple sources and paraphrase their conclusions on a note-catcher.
  • W.6.9b – Work Time A: Students apply Grade 6 Reading standards to literary nonfiction as they conduct independent research.

Opportunities to Extend Learning

  • Challenge students to use multiple sources to gather information. Use this research opportunity to address W.6.8 by teaching students how to assess the credibility of an online source, and provide bibliographic information in MLA format.

How It Builds on Previous Work

  • In Lesson 1, students revisited the expectations for the Module 1 Performance Task, part of which includes the narrative they will write for the End of Unit 3 Assessment. This narrative, in which they reimagine a scene from The Lightning Thief, incorporates a new character: a child of a Greek god or goddess. In this lesson, students research the parent god or goddess in preparation for creating their new character.

Support All Students

  • Note that the opportunity to conduct research engages students with a variety of modalities and access points supporting multiple intelligences, aligning with the multiple means of representation, action and expression, and engagement that are part of Universal Design for Learning.
  • Some students, and ELLs in particular, may need additional support as they conduct independent research. Provide specific suggestions for Greek gods to research as a way to support students’ research. Recommended websites to visit for information are provided on the note-catcher. One site in particular,, is best suited for students who struggle, because the text is less dense and the headings are very similar to the ones on the note-catcher. ▲
  • Keep in mind that some students and their families may find the premise of this assignment in conflict with their religious or cultural views. ▲ Create a safe space for students to approach with their concerns, and be prepared with alternative ways for students to complete the assessment. Students may choose a different historic or traditional figure to research and on which to base their character (e.g., Superman, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Oprah Winfrey). Guide students in their choice for an alternative figure by asking 1) Can you conduct substantial research on this person; and 2) What powers or special abilities would the character inherit from this person?

Assessment Guidance

  • Review student summaries after the lesson to check whether they are on the right track. Use common issues as teaching points for the whole group in the next lesson.

Down the Road

  • In the next lesson, students complete the mid-unit assessment, in which they practice determining a central idea of a text and writing a summary, as they have done in previous lessons.
  • Be prepared to return students’ End of Unit 2 Assessments with feedback at the start of the next lesson.

In Advance

  • Students will need devices such as computers or tablets on which to conduct their research. Schedule time in a computer lab in advance. Check the computers to assure that they are in working order.
  • Review the student tasks and example answers to understand what students will be required to do in the lesson (see Materials list).
  • Prepare copies of handouts for students, including entrance ticket (see Materials list).
  • Post the learning targets and applicable anchor charts (see Materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time B: Collaborate with the school library media specialist to review best practices for online research and demonstrate how to use available research resources.
  • Work Time B: If students are using Google's search engine, direct them to turn on SafeSearch under Settings. SafeSearch is a feature of Google Search that acts as an automated filter of pornography and potentially offensive content.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 6.I.A.1, 6.I.B.6, 6.I.C.10, and 6.II.A.1.

Important Points in the Lesson Itself

  • To support ELLs, this lesson launches the research project that students will complete over the course of Unit 3. The research activity of Work Time A will help students integrate a variety of skills they have been cultivating (e.g., determining central ideas, writing summaries) and repurpose them toward an independent assignment.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to conduct independent research, as this combines literacy and digital skills in a way that may be cognitively demanding. Be available to students who may need extra help navigating websites or interpreting text.


  • N/A

Materials from Previous Lessons



  • Work to Become Ethical People anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 1, Work Time C)
  • Work to Become Ethical People anchor chart (example for teacher reference) (from Unit 1, Lesson 1, Work Time C)
  • Model Performance Task Slideshow printout (one per student; from Unit 3, Lesson 1, Work Time B)

New Materials



  • Entrance Ticket: Unit 3, Lesson 3 (for teacher reference)
  • Greek God Research note-catcher (example for teacher reference)
  • Entrance Ticket: Unit 3, Lesson 3 (one per student)
  • Greek God Research note-catcher (one per student and one for display)
  • Device connected to the internet (one per student)


Each unit in the 6-8 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize students' understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.



A. Engage the Learner (5 minutes)

  • Repeated routine: Follow the same routine as previous lessons to distribute and review Entrance Ticket: Unit 3, Lesson 3.
  • Invite students to help compile a complete list of all the Greek gods and goddess mentioned in the novel. Explain that students are to choose one of these for the focus of their research or choose another not yet mentioned.
  • Repeated routine: Follow the same routine as the previous lessons to review learning targets and the purpose of the lesson, reminding students of any learning targets that are similar or the same as previous lessons.
  • Explain that students will need to apply their close reading skills as they conduct their independent research on their Greek god or goddess. This research will be necessary to complete the End of Unit 3 Assessment and the performance task.
  • Turn and Talk:

"What do you think you will be doing in this lesson based on these learning targets?" (We will be researching our Greek god to gather the information we need to help us build our character.)

"Why are we doing this? How is it meaningful to you? How will it help you to be successful?" (Our research will also help us build knowledge about our topic in order to answer the guiding questions of the module and enable us to build our skills as readers and thinkers with new texts.)

Work Time

Work TimeLevels of Support

A. Research a Greek God – RI.6.7 (30 minutes)

  • Ask students to retrieve the Model Performance Task Slideshow printout with the notes they took during Lesson 1.
  • Distribute and display Greek God Research note-catcher.
  • Read the directions aloud, and field questions as needed.
  • Direct students to begin researching and completing their Greek God Research note-catcher. Circulate as students work to support and troubleshoot. If students need additional support, feel free to share the Greek God Research note-catcher (example for teacher reference) as appropriate. ▲ Remind students to review the Model Performance Task Slideshow printout and their notes to help focus their research. Be mindful of students who may be researching someone other than a Greek god due to family concerns.
  • To streamline the research process in classrooms where computers are available, link to suggested websites using bookmarks on the homepage of students’ computers. That way, slow typers and struggling readers do not waste time reaching the needed websites. ▲
  • Repeated routine: Invite students to reflect on their progress toward the relevant learning targets.

For Lighter Support

  • N/A

For Heavier Support

  • During Work Time A, students will be conducting independent research about a Greek god of their choice. Though the sites linked on the Greek God Research note-catcher offer short texts and helpful visuals, there may still be vocabulary that is challenging for students. Preselect a few of the Greek gods from one of the sites, such as, and develop a short glossary of keywords for students to use as they read. Add to the glossary simple definitions or visuals for the words warrior, vulnerability, sorrow, and undefeated.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingLevels of Support

A. Pair Share – W.6.5 (10 minutes)

  • Instruct students to find a nearby partner with whom to share their Greek God Research note-catcher. Remind them to check the Work to Become Ethical People anchor chart before they share, focusing on respect and compassion.
  • As students share their findings, encourage them to give their partner one star and one step to improve their research. If students struggle to understand their partners’ research or to generate ideas to improve them, allow them to write questions or simply highlight/circle strong words or ideas. ▲

For Lighter Support

  • Provide students with a list of guiding questions that they can use to generate stars and steps for their partners. These questions can be written to challenge students' language abilities and critical thinking (e.g., Is your partner's summary objective? How do you know? Does your partner's summary capture the central idea of the text? What suggestions would you offer?).

For Heavier Support

  • To reduce the amount of writing students need to complete, provide students with a short set of sentence frames that they can complete to generate stars and steps for their partners to improve their summaries (e.g., One great thing about my partner's summary is . . .; one thing my partner can improve is . . .).



A. Independent Research Reading

  • Students read for at least 20 minutes in their independent research reading text. Then they select a prompt and write a response in their independent reading journal.

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