A warm-up is a short activity at the start of a lesson to jump-start students' thinking. Warm-ups have many purposes including:
- to introduce a new topic
- to reinforce skills
- to motivate students
- to prepare students to learn
- to assess how much students know
The following warm-up is a magic square for students who have mastered math addition facts and need a challenge. A magic square is a matrix in which the numbers in every row, column, and
diagonal add up to the same number.
In this magic square, all the columns, rows and diagonals sum to 15. Once students find the value of each image, there is an extra challenge they can work on later - to name the Greek god or goddess that corresponds with each symbol.
Mythology is a great way to motivate students. Not only is mythology engaging, it also broadens knowledge in literature, history and art. The magic square above includes the symbols
associated with six of the Greek gods and goddesses and encourages students to learn more about the Olympian gods.
There are numerous books and websites about Greek mythology to use as resources. Some of my students even visited museums to continue to learn about symbols depicted on Greek art statues, coins, and vases. (My third graders enjoyed drawing the symbols too.) Learning about Greek mythology also ties into the ancient Olympic Games and the importance of athletics in ancient Greece.
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