Artistic Interpretation of "Daedalus and Icarus"

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SWBAT labels parts of a plot line in the myth, “Daedalus and Icarus,” interpret the climax as portrayed in two paintings, and identify two major themes occurring throughout this myth.

Big Idea

Tell a story through art.


15 minutes

Prompt:  It probably seems that adults are always telling you what to do.  What kind of advice do the adults in your life give you?   How often do you take their advice?  What is the outcome of these situations?

To begin this lesson, I asked students write a response to this prompt.

After students finish writing their thoughts, as a whole class discussion, students shared their responses and reasons leading to their choices

Artistic Representation of "Daedalus and Icarus"

15 minutes

 I explained that we are going to read the myth, “Daedalus and Icarus.”  In the past, many artists have painted numerous versions of this myth. Showing the class the paintings (Screens 2 and 3, Power Point - Resources), I asked them, “What do you predict is happening in the story?”.  

Student jotted down their responses and then shared these responses in their small groups.  This was repeated again after showing the second painting on screen 3.

After students shared information about both paintings in their small groups, I asked them to share provoking information with the whole class.  It could be something they personally said or what others shared in their small group discussions.


Review Plot LIne

5 minutes

      Throughout the year, students have identified the parts of the plot line as they read literature.  I again reviewed the Plot Line (screen 5 in the power point), reminding them that events that occur before the climax is the rising action, anything after that is the falling action.  

We discussed how rising action leads to the climax and that many events in the rising action are exciting, however, the climax is when all the rising action events reach a peak.  The climax is when all these events come together to cause a major change for the protagonist.  The discussion also included the fact that there will not be as many falling action events compared to the rising action events.

Independently Read "Daedalus and Icarus"

30 minutes

Using the version of "Daedalus and Icarus" by Geraldine McCaughrean, I had students number their paragraphs before reading.    I have them do this, so in the future as we discuss the myth, they are able to refer to specific sections and others can easily locate the spot.  Students marked the text by labeling parts of the plot line in the margin; in this way they are interacting with the text through close reading.  They also underlined the text that leads theme to identifying a to a theme. 


Design Plot Line

15 minutes

      After reading the text, students completed a detailed plot line diagram.  In the exposition, they included the characters and setting; listed five major events in the rising action and two events in the falling action.  I also required them to identify the major conflict of this myth.  Students drew their plot line on their own paper which is pre-writing for the artistic plot line they will design tomorrow.


10 minutes

After reading reading this myth and creating a plot line, students worked in their small groups to brainstorm some themes were apparent throughout the myth.  They needed to include textual evidence to support their opinion. 

Each student kept this information because as a class we will discuss this in the future.