Do your standards cover mythological allusions?  If so, this is the right place for you!  I will show you an effective step-by-step approach that will help your student(s) understand or have a better understanding of mythological allusions!

If you follow the Common Core Standards, you know that CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4 states:

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in Mythology (e.g., Herculean).  Use these steps and ideas to help your students understand mythological allusions!


1.  TELEPHONE GAME:  Introduce the unit by playing the telephone game.  How to play the telephone game- The first person in the circle whispers a word or phrase into the ear of the person sitting or standing to their right.  The game continues as players whisper the word or phrase to the next person until it reaches the last person.  The last person announces what he/she heard.  More than likely, the word or phrase changed along the way.  Discuss how it changed.  Explain that this game is related to the meaning of myths. Myths began as traditional stories from our ancient history.  Since there wasn’t technology back then to record the stories, they often got jumbled and exaggerated. That’s how myths are formed.


Greek Mythology Top Trumps Card Game:

Zeus on the Loose:

The Great Dalmuti:


Myth Passages with Questions by Rockin Resources:

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Delacarte Books:   http:/

Treasury of Greek Mythology:  Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters by Donna Jo Napoli:

Child’s Introduction to Greek Mythology:  The Stories of the Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, Monsters, and Other Mythical Creatures by Heather Alexander:


Have students research allusions in every day life.  Ask them to identify the product or store, the allusion, and how the advertisement connects to mythology.  For example:

Trident Gum cleans and protects.  The trident is the weapon of Poseidon or Neptune.  It was used to protect.

Ajax Cleaner is stronger than dirt.  Ajax was portrayed as a courageous warrior and towering figure.

Midas Brakes and Tires is a trusted auto service.  They say, “Our word is as good as gold.”  In mythology, Midas has a touch that turned things to gold.


Create anchor charts CONTEXT CLUES, ALLUSIONS, WHAT IS A MYTH, and ALLUSIONS IN MYTHOLOGY.  Use them to teach students in the same order below. This will show them step-by-step how to determine the meaning of allusions in mythology.

Context Clues anchor chart Allusion anchor chart Allusion Examples Anchor Chart What is a myth? Anchor Chart Allusions in mythology anchor chart


Students should take notes to have a resource on hand as well as something as a reference for future lessons.  Whether you are doing interactive notebooks, having students take notes, or copying the anchor chart to place in a notebook, it is important! Here are examples of interactive notebooking:

Allusions in mythology interactive notebook

Allusions in mythology interactive notebook



Provide students with an abundance of practice.  Place simple task cards with context clues and allusions in centers.  Provide passages with mythological allusions in them and practice finding the meaning to the allusions as a whole group, small group, and also independent work!  Practice, Practice!

Allusions in mythology practice



First, make sure students had enough practice to assess their knowlege.  Then provide them with a passage full of mythological allusions.  Have students use context clues to determine the meaning of each allusion.


Record students’ assessment scores.  Later gather a small group of students who may need more practice and record their scores from a second assessment.

I hope these ideas helped you find ways to help your students with mythological allusions!


Since this skill involved inference and text evidence, these posts might be helpful as well!



If you would like a MYTHOLOGY UNIT already prepped and ready to use in your classroom tomorrow, click HERE or on the resource below!

Are you looking for a bundle of reading units? This bundle includes Inference, Text Evidence, Theme, Mythology, and Cause and Effect! Click below to learn more.