This guide to Mythology Island will help kids discover Greek mythology as they explore Mount Olympus with Apollo, Athena, Hercules, Zeus, and the other gods who will be referenced throughout a lifetime of reading.
Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity.
To start Mythology Island, you first have to do something before entering the underworld in which Hades rules. You need to find a pomegranate to leave as an offering in Hades’ Temple. To find the pomegranate, you need to go to the Garden of the Sphinx. Once you get to the island, it is to the left over a bridge. Mythology Island is Poptropica’s 12th island. It was released on April 1, 2010 for members and April 29, 2010 for non-members. It was re-released as a SUI (sound-updated island) with music and a bigger screen on April 25, 2014 for members and May 3, 2014 for everyone. Common room: Midas’ Gym.
by Holly Poulos
This guide to Mythology Island will help kids discover Greek mythology as they explore Mount Olympus with Apollo, Athena, Hercules, Zeus, and the other gods who will be referenced throughout a lifetime of reading. Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kidsâand now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity.
Lessons & Activities
Worksheets: Print or Project
Common Core Alignment
Mythology Island is full of educational opportunities to share with your students. Enjoy the following lessons, classroom discussions, and activities in your classroom, and find out why Poptropica is so popular with kids!
- A Hero's Quest
On Poptropica's Mythology Island, Zeus gives our hero a quest to gather five items as a way to gain immortality (such as taking a whisker from the head of Cerberus, and getting the ring from Minotaur's nose). In the classic Greek myth, Hercules is also given an 'impossible' taskâcalled the Twelve Labors of Herculesâin order for Hercules to gain back his honor (which he lost when, under Hera's spell, he killed his wife and children). Learn more about the Twelve Labors in this activity:
Heroes in Greek Mythology
Then, discuss tasks and rewards. In school and at home, we often have to achieve certain goals in order to be rewarded. For example: at home, do students have to clean their rooms as a way to earn TV time? At school, completing homework is necessary for recess, perhaps. Have students make a list of the different tasks/rewards they have in their daily lives. Do students think it's important to achieve goals in order to be rewarded? Why or why not? *See alignment to the Common Core State Standards
- The Drachma and the Euro
On Mythology Island, Hercules offers autographed photos for 10 drachmas. Outside the Pit of Hades, our hero is given the task of cleaning graffiti for 1 drachma. Drachmas (or drachmae) are the form of currency (money) used in Greece in ancient times, and in modern history. Do an image search on Google or another search engine for 'Greek drachma' and 'ancient Greek drachma' to see examples of this money, in coin and paper form, throughout history. Project it on your Whiteboard, if possible. Then, complete this activity:
Buying and Selling in Ancient Greece
Discuss currency in Greece today. Greek citizens use the euro, a form of currency utilized in several countries across Europe. Ask students to research the history of the euro, using this article on Infoplease, other websites, or the reference library. Use this political map of Europe to show where each country listed is found.
- When was the euro adopted? [January 2002]
- Which countries adopted the Euro? [Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain]
- Have other countries exchanged their country's currency for the Euro since this initial adoption? [Yes; Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia, Estonia]
- What's the current exchange rate for the U.S. dollar (or your local currency) and the Euro? [Varies; use http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ for live updates]
- Make a grocery shopping list. Using websites for different stores in your area, determine the cost of each item on your list, in USD. Then, convert each amount to Euros, using the current exchange rate. Lastly, convert each amount to drachmas, using the exchange rate for the time the euro was adopted in Greece.
*See alignment to the Common Core State Standards
- Mythological Monster Mash
On Poptropica's Mythology Island, our hero encounters many monsters along with the gods and goddesses. For example: Cerberus, the three-headed dog; Minotaur, who is half bull, half man; and Medusa, the monstrous woman with snakes for hair.
Imagine a new monster that rivals this fearsome collection. What are his/her features and powers? Is he part animal? Does she breathe fire? Be as descriptive as possible. Give your monster a name (forgo Sarah and Peter and try something as imaginative as Cyclops or Chimera), and draw its picture. Then, write a story where your monster encounters one of the ancient gods or goddesses, or even a mortal, like our hero in Poptropica. Why do they meet? What happens to them? You can write from the point of view of the hero or the monster. Your choice! *See alignment to the Common Core State Standards
- Family is Complicated
In Greek mythology, many of the characters are related. For example, Poseidon and Hades are brothers to Zeus; Zeus is married to Hera and they have a son named Hephaestus; Apollo, Athena, Hermes, and Artemis are also Zeus's children. It can be confusing to keep them all straight! Fill out a family tree for Zeus's extended family. Use what you've learned in Poptropica, but you may have to do research elsewhere as well. Bonus points for gods and goddesses not mentioned in the game! Use this printable as a guide, or create your own chart. Â Â
- It's To Die For!
After entering Herc's Hero Hut, our hero encounters two ladies discussing, among other things, the pomegranate punch that is for sale. One says, 'It's to die for!' This type of expression, where the speaker doesn't literally mean what she is saying but is saying something for effect, is called an idiom. Other examples of idioms include:
- trick up his sleeve
- opened a can of worms
- drives me crazy
- head in the clouds
Work together as a class to list more idioms. When we use the idioms above, what are we really saying? (e.g. Drives me crazy = Greatly irritates me). For more practice with idioms, enjoy the following worksheets:
In the beginning pdf free download free. Everyday Idioms Printable Book, Vol. 1
Everyday Idioms Printable Book, Vol. 2
Bonus: In the case of the pomegranate punch, 'It's to die for!' is also a pun (because pomegranates are sacred to Hades, god of the underworld). Discuss the meaning of puns and make a list with your class.
*See alignment to the Common Core State Standards
- It's A-MAZE-ing
On Poptropica's Mythology Island, the Minotaur guards a labyrinth, which our hero has to navigate in order to get his nose ring. A labyrinth is just an elaborate maze. Encourage students to create their own maze, either drawn, or time-allowing, three-dimensional. A shoebox, modeling clay, and a marble are all great tools to start with. For ideas on creating a maze, use the following worksheet, in which the Minotaur is also featured:
For more fun with mazes:
Okay. So the first thing you need to do in Mythology, is to go to the Grove of Something, or maybe it's technically a big tree that you climb. But what are the CHANCES that you even know that you need to climb the tree? Okay, well I found it and I didn't use Poptropica Secrets. (Cheat website.) You know, for someone very impatient would have climbed halfway up the tree, got annoyed, went back down, and would have given up on the island because there is nothing for them to do. Basically what you do in the tree is 1) Climb to the top and talk to the satyr guy and ask for the golden apple. 2) Satyr* guy gives you assignment - collect 10 honey bottles before time runs out. What are the chances you finish collecting the honey things? I mean, I only could find them because I sort of had a vague idea of where all of them were. Then satyr guy shows you how to get the golden apple of immortality and he disappears in a puff. Zeus comes down from the sky and gives you a list of stuff you have to find (Scroll of Sacred Items) so he can grant you immortality. If you haven't given up the tree by here, you've done well. When you get down from the tree, you meet Athena, goddess of wisdom (who was pretending to be old lady), and she offers to help you. 'Look into the live trees if you need my help.' (Not that her help does much good - it only points out the most obvious. They pay her to be the goddess of WISDOM??)
The other choice you could have made other than the tree, is to go to Poseidon's place. You go this museum of some sort, filled with statues of gods. Eventually, you SHOULD (there's a chance that you may not, if you don't sear thoroughly, you won't find it) come across a statue of Zeus (the biggest one, how unfair, huh?) in-between the statues of Hades and Poseidon. Poseidon has a starfish on his face. Collect it. (How disrespectful - Starfish on a god's statue??) After you get out of the museum sort of thing, you turn right and go to Poseidon's palace. Most likely, you wouldn't know what to do with the starfish. I was confused at first. If you haven't at least read something about Greek gods and stuff, the starfish is really useless and you will never know how to get into Poseidon's kingdom. Only after days of not knowing what the heck the starfish was for, I realized that starfish should be placed as an offering to Poseidon. Yes, that got me into the place. Shocking, huh? There isn't anything there, really. You just meet Aphrodite (as an online character, she looks like a blonde with overly heavy make-up. Disgusting.) She gives you this test, to see if you are 'worthy or not.' Because Athena is helping you. But if you aren't helped by Athena yet.. Then there is no point going into Poseidon's place.
Coming and going to Poseidon's place means you need to cross Hades's palace first. (You know, the lord of dead?) Yeah, there's this guy scrubbing graffiti off the walls. You talk to him, he asks you to clean graffiti off the walls. You have to choice not to. If you aren't in a helpful mood then.. You don't clean. You don't get 1 puny little drachma. Which will affect you a lot afterwards..
After that, you go about collecting the 5 items on the Scroll of Sacred Items. Which is really silly sometimes. How is a whisker from Cerberus going to be sacred? (Cerberus is the guardian of the Underworld. He's a dog.) Anyway, scratch that. What you need to do next is get the rose from the garden of the Sphinx. The riddle the Sphinx give you is really, um, different from the Greek ancient days. It's supposed to be an impossible riddle, one that takes lot of logic. In Poptropica - What once was wet is now dried up (really? Huh. Interesting.) When once again the water flows, I will grant you one red rose. Except really, in real mythology, she wouldn't grant you anything. She isn't supposed to let you leave her sight, after the riddle. You get it wrong, she eats you. You get it right, she dies and you get to pass. Simple. However, in Poptropica, you can leave all you want, the riddle is entirely of a different species, you have to do something so strange that if I hadn't know the meaning of 'acroduct,' I would have never been able to figure it out. You see, you need to make a waterfall. You climb up the hill/mountain side whichever, and you turn the things of wood in a certain order to make the water flow. (That's an acroduct.) You make the waterfall and she gives you the rose. Wow.. Hello, she's supposed to die after I get the riddle right??? Ah well, this is a game with many flaws..
After that, you pass the Sphinx. You get to the door. That's the door to the Minotaur. You know the thing of one-third man, one-third bull and one-third rabid beast? Yeah. You need music to open up the door. And well.. Without a reed pipe, you are lost. Except in ancient Greece Mythology, people don't play no reed pipes. Satyrs do. Like I said, a game with many flaws.. Here, in Mythology Poptropica, if you explore a lot, you come across a place with free reed pipes. You ask a statue, 'Can you teach me a song to play on my pipe?' All of them say, 'No, sorry,' except one. Unless you know what you are looking for (which many don't), you could get very frustrated and give up on the spot. Without music, you are lost. And still.. Even without the music sheet, you can still enter Minotaur's labyrinth. Hey. But let's say you did find the hidden creepy giggly statue of a women that keeps telling you, 'until you are worthy.' It's like playback. Playback what she plays. Then she gives you the sheet music to put Cerberus to sleep even though you won't need it for a long time.
Ah, but now let's get back to the Minotaur. He must be waiting. Go back to the place of the Sphinx. I mean, the Sphinx's eyes follow you where ever you go. When I first saw that, I was like 8 or 9. I freaked. It's enough to send a sensitive 5 year old crying to mommy. But now, as a quite mature (not so much) eleven year old, I only get the chills down my spine as I see the creepy Sphinx. Anyways.. Say, you are climbing up the steps to the Minotaur's labyrinth. You can't open up the door. The door itself is multi-coloured to the colours of your reed pipe, obviously hinting that you should use the reed pipe. Only when you play the sheet music that the giggly creepy statue gave you, it doesn't work. You click on the olive tree, with the odd glowy golden olive. Athena's 'help.' 'Music can open up new doors.' Heck, I already knew that!! Ah, so I am left standing in front of the Minotaur's labyrinth. I'm not surprised if someone decided to give up right now. Ah, well then if you follow the multi-colours around the circle on the doorway to the Minotaur's labyrinth, and play those colours on your reed pipe, then the door opens. It took me long enough to realize that.. But then again I was just 8 at the time, I think.
As you walk in the door to the labyrinth, the Minotaur is just standing there, not doing anything. In ancient Greek mythology, Minotaur eats 12 kids (I think, give or take) per year, if he catches sight a kid, he eats on spot. Least you fight and live. On Poptropica Mythology, he just stand there, not doing anything, just chilling as you walk by. And YOU ask him a question. 'Uh, can I have the ring on your nose?' 1) In real mythology, the golden ring on his nose IS dirtier, of course, and 2) smaller. Duh. That ring is HUGE! And guess what lovely Minotaur says? He says - 'I only grant favours to those who complete my labyrinth.' Real mythology, the Minotaur himself is supposed to be trapped in the labyrinth. And no, I doubt that there are scorpions in there. Scorpions are poisonous. You get stung - you are poisoned! In Pop, you just get knocked over and you say 'Ouch.' On the other hand, this is the only time Athena gives you worthwhile things. She gives you magic thread so you don't get lost in the labyrinth. This, I'm not complaining. Although you don't always need it.. Then you get a glimpse of Pan, the satyr god dude. HE should be the god of wisdom, at least on the game. See, you need to complete this puzzle to approach the end of the labyrinth. There's like a plate of 15 bones or something. It's 'Take away 6 but still leave ten.' When you talk to Pan (funny name?), he tells you, 'There is more than one way to read then bones.' Which is really helpful. Not a design flaw. Well, Pan is supposed to be in the labyrinth, somewhere in it at least. But really, he should be giving you, maybe a message from Athena. Or something. After you finish the puzzle, you move on to the end. (Right before the end, you are attacked by scorpion. You need to jump over it. Not a design flaw.)
I did find a flaw with the tiles in the labyrinth, though. It's supposed to have designs on the wall tiles. And traps in the labyrinth. I didn't come across any traps in the labyrinth, no human bones, disgusting as it is, that's how it's supposed to be, and no wall designs, I believe..
I've covered 2 items, I believe, the Minotaur's ring and the Sphinx's flower? Okay. Well then, there's the giant pearl from the kingdom of Poseidon. There really isn't any flaws in that part, except without scuba gear, I'm not sure how I had enough oxygen to last down in the water for so long, and I'm not sure how I avoided getting a cold. Like, when I dive into the water I get confused in this maze thing then I collect BUBBLES to get enough air.. It IS a video game, after all. But I still believe, since it IS called Mythology Island, that it should at least follow the facts of real mythology.
After getting the pearl, next to it should be the entrance to the Hydra's lair. Flaw? There are only 5 heads in the Poptropica version. The standard is nine heads, the one Heracles slayed has 7, sure it varies from 5 to 100 (100 being after you cut off a head, 2 more grow back), but still, shouldn't it be he standard of 9 heads. And in Poptropica, the head stick out to try and hit you. Really? The middle Hydra head is supposed to spew fire, and Hydra's BITE!! Okay, they swat you once in a while, but naturally bite. Usually.. Then you grab the scale after you KO all the head by jumping on them. If you wait too long, the head revive. So annoying.
Then there's the whisker from Cerberus, the guardian of the Underworld. Just getting inside the Underworld is a maze. Hey, remember when I said you have to put the starfish on the altar to get into Poseidon's palace? Well, you need a POMEGRANATE to get into Hades's. Kinda creepy, for the lord of dead to accept pomegranates as offerings.. Does he have a thing for pomegranates?? I didn't even know what went on the altar in the first place. (And you get the pomegranate by jumping onto a tree by the Minotaur's doorway. I found it on an accident, when I was frustrated with the door not opening. If you knew right away how to open the Minotaur door, then chances are you didn't find the puny pomegranates.) The only reason I found out that the pomegranates go onto Hades's altar is because when I found the pomegranates, I was so confused by whatever they were there for (I couldn't make my character eat it), so I searched it online. Answers.com can be quite helpful sometimes. Well, then as you get in, you jump down into the hellhole, and you fall.. (Amazingly, not every bone in your fictional body is crushed.) Okay, let me point out some flaws in this Hades thing. 1) To get to Hades's/ the Underworld, you need to enter through a doorway and then find the boatman. You DON'T fall through a hole in the process. Okay. Back to the Poptropica. After falling down this huge hole, you meet the boat guy. You don't even have to pay him (in ancient Greek mythology, for a living mortal to cross the river Styx, you would need to pay at least one drachma). Then you cross the 'dangerous journey into river Styx.' Well, every time you fall into the Styx, you are granted another free life to re-try that, so don't fret. Okay, 1) I doubt the river Styx is actually yellow and 2) there can't be no crocodiles in the river Styx to try and knock you out of the boat. The crocodiles would burn up, for god's sake! 3) There is no such thing as floaty yellow skull things. That's just too odd, even for Hades. Kk, after you finish the river, you put Cerberus to sleep (although really, as soon as Cerberus sees a mortal, he's supposed to attack or alert Hades..). You get a whisker.
Lastly - You need to collect the 'crown' from Hades, and the trident from Poseidon. Actually, the 'crown' is supposed to be the Helm of Darkness, but really? I highly doubt the actual Helm of Darkness is decorated in skulls. Then you go fight Zeus. Very complicated because I always fail.. I just beat Zeus a few minutes ago. And right before the battle with Zeus I found yet another useless hint from Athena.. 'Heed the lesson my uncles never learned: The power of 2 is stronger than the power of 1.' She says something like that. I didn't exactly memorize it..