Voyages of the Human Condition (15MS608)

Voyages of the Human Condition (15MS608)

This lesson is for : Grade 8:


As students participate in a unit on Greek myths, they complete activities and engage in discussions about common themes within these myths that relate to the “human experience.” These themes include the importance of wisdom and strategy, the consequences of arrogance and stubbornness, the power of human achievement and determination, the effects of unrequited love, and the sadness of human suffering. As a culminating assignment for the unit, students learn about the existence of NASA’s “Golden Record”, how it contains sounds and images that “portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth,” and exists to introduce human life to an alien culture. Students choose one “human experience” theme and create their own version of the Golden Record for their chosen theme. Students use Google Draw to display pictures or create drawings that represent their theme. Within the Google Draw image, students link the lyrics to a current song and a “sound” that they create/record that also relates to their selected theme. Students write a short essay in which they reflect on the metaphors, imagery, and other literary and visual devices that are incorporated into their final product. Student work is displayed on a Google Site, which allows the students to view, analyze, and critique each other’s work.

TIPC Ratings

Research & Information Fluency

Rating: Not Observed – Explanation: Research and Information Fluency are not a focus of this particular lesson.

Communication & Collaboration

Rating: Developing – Explanation: Students upload their work to a Google Site, which allows the students to communicate and share their ideas with their classmates.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Rating: Approaching – Explanation: Critical thinking and problem solving are a focus of this lesson. In this lesson, students use a variety of digital tools to think critically and respond to higher order questions. Students take pictures, record audio, and use Google Draw to create media that creatively represent various “human conditions” from their perspective. Students justify their artistic choices in the written reflections that accompany their media.

Creativity & Innovation

Rating: Ideal – Explanation: Creativity and innovation are the main focus of this lesson. Within the unit, students read a variety of Greek mythology, which is literature that may seem antiquated and irrelevant given the culture of today’s world. To make this literature more relevant, the students analyze and discuss trends, themes, and motifs within within Greek mythology and relate these topics to the world around them . To display their understanding of this connection, students synthesize their knowledge of Greek mythology themes and visual and literary devices to create audio and visual images related to a “human condition” of their choice. In their final products, the students make intentional choices and decisions to symbolically connect Greek mythology to today’s world and their own personal lives. A variety of digital tools allow students to create their products and make these connections, including cameras, audio recording software, and Google Draw. In their written explanation, students reflect on their creative choices and explain how their media relates to their chosen theme. This assignment allows the students to take intellectual risks, as it is extremely open-ended, can be interpreted in a variety of ways, and does not have one “correct” answer.

Student Artifact


Image Links to Sample Student Work

Lesson Materials

H21 Lesson Artifacts

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