Scavenger Hunt: Ancient Greece in the Modern World

Hey Kids!

Today I was riding my bike on Casey Key, and I saw this statue in front of someone’s home:phone photos 005

A little further in, I noticed this artwork,

phone photos 007

Right away I thought of the documentary we saw in class, Who Were the Greeks?, which asks its title question because the legacy of the Greeks, in democracy, philosophy, art, architecture, literature, science, and sport, continues in our modern day culture all over the world.  This morning was a perfect example.  Two thousand years and six thousand miles from Ancient Greece, the influence of their artwork and architecture stands amid palm trees on a little key in the Gulf of Mexico.

I pulled out my cell phone, snapped a photo, and rode on, until the gate of the house next door caught my eye.

phone photos 010

Do you remember the story of Heracles?  How is this gate a tribute to this Greek hero?

I am on to something, I thought.  I took another photo, rode home, uploaded my pictures to the computer and voila!  A scavenger hunt is born.

I am proposing a challenge.  Look around you.  What evidence of the legacies of Ancient Greece can you find in your daily life and travels?   Where do you see the philosophy, art, architecture, literature, science, and sport of the Greeks in your life in modern day America (or Canada, or England, or Australia…wherever you live).  Make it your quest this week to find as many examples of Ancient Greek life in our lives today.  Leave a comment, and let us know what you unearth.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

18 thoughts on “Scavenger Hunt: Ancient Greece in the Modern World

  1. I have also seen that house on Casey Key, the gate in the story of heracles is said to have the relief of heracles on it.


  2. Hey Mrs. Donofrio it’s Matt and I found twenty items. My favorite one was about the olympics, and did you now they play every four years and back then they saied that Zues won every one until one year Heracles defeted him and Zues was so angry he killed two thousand bulls and thats how thay came up with sacrificing two thousand bulls before each game, and no I didn’t see that house but by the pictues it looks really cool.

    • Hey Matthew,

      I did NOT know that information about the Olympics. Thanks for sharing! It’s very interesting. Congratulations on finding your 20 items! Would you like to visit Greece someday?

      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  3. Hi, Mrs. Donofrio!

    I learned that the Greeks invented the alarm clock! It was comprised of a dial and pointer and as an alarm, at an designated time, it would drop pebbles into a gong. Did you ever think that the Greeks would invent something so advanced?



    • Hola John!

      First, I should learn how to say hello in Greek!
      I had no idea that the Ancient Greeks invented the alarm clock. This is what I love about these types of assignments. I get to learn from you!
      One of the seventh graders said that the Greeks invented vending machines, too. Imagine that. I had no idea about these advanced inventions.
      I am anxious to hear everyone’s reports tomorrow.

      Would you like to go to Greece someday?

      Mrs. Donofrio

      • Γεια σας! Κα Donofrio, αυτό το μήνυμα είναι γραμμένο στα ελληνικά. Δεν είμαι σίγουρος αν αυτό είναι με τον ίδιο τρόπο ου eAncient Έλληνες θα έχω γράψει, αλλά ξέρω ότι αυτή είναι η τρέχουσα ΓΛΩΣΣΑ την Ελλάδα πέρα από τα αγγλικά. Το site που πήρα από αυτό είναι Μπορείτε επίσης να πάτε στο google και να αναζητήσετε τα Αγγλικά στα Ελληνικά μεταφραστής.
        This is how it is written in Greek. This is how they would have spoken it -Geia sas ! Ka Donofrio , af̱tó to mí̱nyma eínai gramméno sta elli̱niká . Den eímai sígouros an af̱tó eínai me ton ídio trópo ou eAncient Élli̱nes tha écho̱ grápsei , allá xéro̱ óti af̱tí̱ eínai i̱ tréchousa GLO̱SSA ti̱n Elláda péra apó ta angliká . To site pou pí̱ra apó af̱tó eínai . Boreíte epísi̱s na páte sto google kai na anazi̱tí̱sete ta Angliká sta Elli̱niká metafrastí̱s .
        This is the English translation-
        Hello! Mrs. Donofrio, this message is written in greek. I am not sure if this is the same way the Ancient Greeks would’ve written, but I know that this is the current language of Greece besides English. The site I got this from is You can also go to google and look up English to Greek translator.

        • Claudia,
          You do the most clever things! At first I thought someone from Greece was commenting on our blog! Doesn’t the computer do amazing things? Tomorrow we are going to travel the globe on Google Earth. I guess Google is just incredible. That is how you translated your message as well. Would you ever like to work for Google?
          ~Mrs. Donofrio

          • I think it would be fun! I know they are inventing and perfecting these things called “Google Glasses”. Basically they are glasses with an all-operational Siri. The glasses can take pictures, videos, send texts, search google, and plenty other amazing things. Would you like a pair of “Google Glasses”? If you bought them, what would you use them for?

  4. Mrs.Donofrio,
    I am surprised by how many things we use today were made in Greece.
    ~Vending Machines
    ~Alarm Clocks

    • Hi Abbey,

      I am stunned to hear that vending machines were used in Ancient Greece! Alarm clocks, too? Wow. I am very intrigued by your list and can’t wait to hear your report tomorrow.

      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  5. Mrs Donofrio
    The houses that are in Florida look very exotic and exciting. I showed them to my class of students in New Zealand and we think that the neighbourhood that you live in looks extremely exciting and interesting! We have some students who are into and like reading about Greek mythology and espcially the Percy Jackson series so I am going to get a couple of them to stop by and leave comments.

    Mr Webb and Room Five, Melville Intermediate School, Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand

    • G’day Mr. Webb and Room Five!

      Thank you so much for visiting our blog! I will tell you that the neighborhood I was riding my bike in is, unfortunately, not my own neighborhood. The town I live in is a beach town. The beach is on a key, or island, that is separated from the mainland by short bridges over the intracoastal waterway. My home is three miles from the beach, so I am fortunate to be able to ride my bike to the key and then down a beautiful road along the Gulf of Mexico which has some exquisite homes. Many of them are true mansions. I also often see dolphins, pelicans, and egrets when I ride. Once I even saw a loggerhead sea turtle coming out of the surf onto the beach. One day I saw the author Stephen King walking along the road reading a book. He is a famous author here in America who lives on the key where I ride. However, I am not fond of his genre. He writes very scary books. My neighborhood is much more modest than the one where I rode my bike. We also love the Percy Jackson series and look forward to hearing from your class.
      Has anyone in your class seen the new Percy Jackson movie?
      We will visit your blog tomorrow. Thanks for coming by today!

      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  6. I was discussing your comment with our class, including a student who is a huge Percy Jackson fan. I had it on good authority (ie the student, Elizabeth told me) that the new Percy Jackson movie has yet to be released in New Zealand and will be out shortly. She has read all the series and is very keen to see it.

    • Hi Mr. Webb,
      Please tell Elizabeth that we think she will really like the new Percy Jackson movie. It has a lot of action, and all the major characters from the first movie are in the sequel.
      Today we visited your blog and read your About page. We located Auckland, New Zealand on the map, and we noticed there are some Auckland Islands as well. We also watched your movie about making the maps of Tawa Intermediate. That was a great assignment. We talked about the importance of writing clear directions and also of reading and following directions. We thought your students did a great job of speaking clearly and explaining their maps, and of course, we loved their group names! So fun!
      We are looking forward to more exchanges. Some of my students should be visiting your blog this week.
      We have a fun quiz on our blog that identifies which character from Greek mythology you are most similar to. It is in a post called Which Hero Are You? dated August 23, 2012 (in the Myths and Legends category). Your students might like to try that.
      Aside from Percy Jackson, what are your students’ favorite books? (Also, did you know that Rick Riordan, the author of Percy Jackson, is a former middle school language arts teacher?)
      Let’s keep in touch!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

Leave a Reply to diahk Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *