For the fourth consecutive year, the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation provides educational programmes to schools in Attica.
The programmes are free of charge and approved by the Hellenic Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs (Syllabus Φ. 14.2532/199575/Δ1, 8.12.15); they are implemented by staff of the Museum Department, or by external collaborators, at the Foundation’s headquarters (Angelou Geronta 6, Plaka). In the particular case of Nursery Schools, it is possible to carry out the programmes in the school itself. Initially, a verbal arrangement is made (information: 210 3256927, Ms A. Tranta), which is then followed by a written request addressed to PIOP (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Educational programmes for Primary Education pupils
Theatrical game «The little fir tree that didn’t like its leaves»
Aim/ objective: an improved knowledge of one’s self and of others through motion, expression and, essentially, play.
Targeted age-group: children of pre-school and primary education ages (Nursery School-3rd-grade Primary School).
Duration: 1 hour
Tie-in with the Study Programmes (Syllabus): Play, which also includes theatrical games, is considered to be the main activity for the development and learning process of Nursery School children.
Abilities/ skills promoted: cultivation of self-confidence, forming a positive image of self, recognizing and managing feelings.
Values cultivated: Children love fairy tales and stories, which constitute an important medium of learning, release and support. Children identify with the protagonists, puzzle over situations and feel whatever the heroes themselves feel. As the story unfolds, they get ideas about resolving their own conflicts, understanding the reality of others, the possible outcome of situations and on how to confront difficulties.
Description of the programme’s sequences: Using as a starting point the narration of story about «The little fir tree that didn’t like its leaves», the children, divided into groups, dramatise scenes of the story, act them in pantomime and carry out classic theatrical game exercises.
Animals and plants… differently
Aim/ objective: Acquaintance with Nature, and more specifically with the animals and plants of Lake Stymphalia, through experiential and playful learning and the formation of inter-cooperating teams.
Syllabus tie-in: Study of the Environment and Creation and Expression (Nursery School), Art class (1st, 2nd, 3rd grade of Primary School) and Study of the Environment (3rd grade Primary School).
Abilities/ skills promoted: children’s acquaintance with, and cultivation of their interest in, the natural habitat, approach of the arts through the body, feeling of «belonging» to a group.
Values cultivated: cooperative disposition, adaptability, extroversion, socialisation, love for the environment and the arts.
Description of the programme’s sequences: After the presentation/projection of slides, listening to related sounds and a discussion about the animals and plants that live in a lakeside environment, the children split up into groups, each of which creates a «poster» of the animals and plants in their natural habitat, painting without brushes and using only colours (finger paints) and their hands.
Playing... then and now
Aim/ objective: Acquaintance with the games played by children in the Classical Era, in combination with the familiarisation of the historical context and cultural environment of Athens in the 5th century BC.
Targeted age-group: 4th-6th grade Primary School pupils and, in a modified form, 1st grade High School pupils.
Duration: 1½ hours
Syllabus tie-in: History (4th grade Primary School), Ancient Greek and History (1st grade High School)
Accompanying material provided: Upon request, a complimentary copy is sent of the book by Chr. Boulotis, A girl hovers over Kerameikos. An anti-war story in the Athens of Classical times, published by PIOP, for the schoolchildren and teachers to prepare their participation in the programme.
Abilities/ skills promoted: Observation and memory skills, collaboration, artistic expression
Values cultivated: Love of reading, interest in Ancient History and art
Description of the programme’s sequences: The programme starts with excerpts read aloud from the story by Chr. Boulotis: A girl hovers over Kerameikos. An anti-war story in the Athens of Classical times, published by PIOP and awarded the Children’s Books State Literary Prize 2012/ Children’s Knowledge Award. A projection of visual material and a discussion with the children follow this, during which they learn about ancient toys and games and compare them to both traditional and contemporary ones. The programme is completed with the children’s participation in a workshop of clay construction inspired by the ancient forms of playing.
Aim/ objective: The children’s acquaintance with the form of Japanese haiku, which has inspired poets through the ages, including Nobel laureate George Seferis.
Targeted age-group: essentially addressed to 3rd-6th grade pupils of Primary School, but it can also be adapted for older children.
Duration: 1 hour
Syllabus tie-in: Language, Art classes
Abilities/ skills promoted: Observation skills, artistic expression
Values cultivated: Love of reading
Description of the programme’s sequences: Acquaintance with and discovery of certain masterpieces of Japanese poetry (haiku), but also of other, contemporary, poems inspired by this form, which the children are called to illustrate, so as to create a haiku anthology for their grade.
Hercules and the Stymphalian birds
Aim/ objective: To approach terms and concepts, such as myth, hero, feat; to learn of myths relating to the life and achievements of Hercules; to understand myths’ symbolism; to examine, but also propose, different dimensions in the myths around Hercules; and, to enjoy and appreciate the exploitation of feats in art.
Targeted age-group: 3rd-grade Primary School pupils, mainly.
Syllabus tie-in: History of Primary School 3rd grade (Mythology)
Accompanying material provided: Upon request, a complimentary copy is sent of the book by S. Kalantzakou: Alexandra, Pavlos and the mystery of Lake Stymphalia, published by PIOP, for the children and teachers to prepare their participation in the programme.
Abilities/ skills promoted: Creative imagination; collaboration among the children; respect for the environment; development or oral speech, as well as of critical thought.
Values cultivated: Eco-friendly conscience, harmonious coexistence with the environment.
Description of the programme’s sequences: Acquaintance with mythology’s beloved hero and his feats, in a creative fashion. At the beginning a discussion is held with the children, accompanied by the projection of slides of well-known artworks depicting the labours of Hercules, linking them to the regions where they took place. The children are then asked to think of corresponding «threats» people encounter in contemporary life and envisage possible solutions to confront them. Finally, a figure-symbol is chosen among Hercules’ labours, which each child renders by whatever means it wishes (drawing, collage, clay, dramatisation) before presenting its work to the group.
Childhood in the past and now
Targeted age-group: 4th-6th grade Primary School pupils
Brief description: Thanks to a wide range of material, the pupils form a different idea of the city of Athens, but also of the children’s life growing up in it during the last century. Discussing and searching for different snapshots of their life, the schoolchildren compare their own childhood to that of the past and are called to record an emblematic image of it by writing a text and making a drawing.
Duration: 1½ hours
Educational programmes for Secondary Education pupils
Fashion and its symbols
Aim/ objective: Acquaintance with the process of spinning, weaving, fashion, as well as an «initiation» to the meaning of the symbolism carried by clothes.
Targeted age-group: Secondary Education pupils.
Accompanying material provided: Upon request, complimentary copies are sent of the books by: A. Tranta, Guide of the Silk Museum and N. Macha-Bizoumi, Local costume in Soufli, published by PIOP, for the children and teachers to prepare themselves.
Abilities/ skills promoted: Familiarization with a new, synthesizing way of thinking which creates bridges between separate cognitive objects and shatters the stereotypes of the formal «curriculum», connection between the school and the broader social environment.
Values cultivated: Development of creativity, raising awareness about different social groups.
Description of the programme’s sequences: Through the presentation of visual material, the discussion and observation of selected objects from PIOP’s collections, aeon-old secrets are revealed to the pupils about the creation and use of clothes. During the programme, the schoolchildren discover, among others, how «ancient» the bikini and tattooing are, the differences between town and local dress, and who wore a white wedding gown for the first time, thus replacing local costumes. Following this, and after observing and touching clothes of other eras, they have the opportunity to create a… diminutive garment inspired by all they have seen and learnt.
Syllabus tie-in: Home Economics (1st grade High School), History (all grades of High School), Expression-Essay (1st grade High School), Freehand Drawing (2nd grade High School).
The house… a story from times past
Aim/ objective: the pupils’ familiarization with types of housing through the ages, by learning of different periods, materials, and the social and economic classes of their inhabitants.
Accompanying material provided: Upon request, complimentary copies are sent of the books: Guide of the Rooftile and Brickworks Museum N. & S. Tsalapatas, and The N. & S. Tsalapatas brick and tile factory (1917-1978), published by PIOP, so as to allow the children and teachers to prepare their participation in the programme.
Abilities/ skills promoted: Observation skills, collaboration, artistic expression
Description of the programme’s sequences: Prompted by the different types of housing according to the period and construction materials, a discussion is held about the different types of houses through the ages accompanied by a projection of the corresponding visual material: from lodgings of the hunters and gatherers of the Palaeolithic Age, Neolithic huts, Minoan houses and Mycenaean palaces, through to houses of Classical Athens, Roman villas, Byzantine fortified towns, but also buildings constructed along the principles of Bauhaus and contemporary architecture. The programme is completed by a modelling workshop, during which the pupils collaborate so as to construct a model of a house of the period of their choice, on the basis of all they have learnt.
Syllabus tie-in: History (1st-3rd grade High School), Home Economics(1st & 2nd grade High School), Research work-Project (1st grade High School).
Aim/ objective: the pupils approach experientially language and the written word, combining play with learning. From being exclusively passive, the intake of literature becomes active and, through their gradual familiarisation with authors’ practices, the children develop their creativity in such a way that, as creators, they don’t simply “describe” their surroundings, but intervene on it dynamically and recreate it.
Abilities/ skills promoted: Cultivation of the imagination, cooperation within the group.
Values cultivated: Creativity, love of reading, familiarization with material culture.
Description of the programme’s sequences: Starting off with a well-known saying of Gianni Rodari’s about words and the association of ideas, the «structural components» of stories, as defined by Vladimir Propp, are then pointed out. After this, the participants are divided into groups, each of which creates its own story, which it narrates to the others.
Syllabus tie-in: Expression-Composition and Research work-Project (4th grade High School), Linear and Freehand Drawing (5th grade High School).
With eyes riveted on our city
Aim/ objective: Acquaintance with the city as an urban environment with a local history through the use of historical, literary and other sources; understanding the concept of «monument»; and, raising children’s awareness of issues relating to the protection of cultural heritage.
Targeted age-group: Secondary Education pupils
Duration: 1½ hours (introduction and fieldwork)
Accompanying material provided: Upon request, a complimentary copy is sent of the book by D. Zivas: An architectural guide of Athens, published by PIOP, for the children and teachers to prepare their participation in the programme.
Abilities/ skills promoted: Development of historical thought skills, ability to use historical sources, observation skills, team spirit.
Values cultivated: Cultivation of a critical approach, interest in culture and the arts, raised awareness about cultural heritage issues.
Description of the programme’s sequences: The programme proposes to get to know Athens as an urban landscape through the ages, with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th century. Also calling upon experiential elements, it presents selected important architectural and sculptural works, better or lesser known, in the historical centre and other parts of Athens. Following this, the pupils split into groups, each of which follows a specific route, so that they have the opportunity to observe the buildings mentioned during the presentation.
Syllabus tie-in: History and Modern Greek Literature (1st, 2nd & 3rd grade High School), Research work-Project (1st grade High School), Art classes
Prompted by birds
Aim/ objective: An initial acquaintance of the pupils with ancient comedy based on Aristophanes’ Birds, but also on emblematic 20th century theatrical performances, in an experiential manner.
Targeted age-group: Secondary Education pupils (essentially 3rd-grade High School).
Duration: 1 ½ hours
Abilities/ skills promoted: Cultivation of linguistic expression, creativity, imagination, collaboration.
Values cultivated: Cultivation of theatrical, historical, artistic and musical culture.
Description of the programme’s sequences: The symbol of an ideal society? A historical play of contemporary theatre? The Birds become the opportunity to acquaint oneself with ancient theatre in a very creative manner. During the programme, audiovisual material from different performances of the Birds is projected, with an emphasis on the historic performance of the Theatro Technis, which serves to initiate a discussion with the children concerning ancient comedy, the elements constituting it, but also on 20th century directors and their different approaches. The programme is completed with drawing and/or constructing stage-design elements (i.e. of the ancient opsis) of different parts of the comedy selected by the children.
Syllabus tie-in: Ancient Greek Literature (3rd grade High School), Art classes, Experiential Actions (3rd grade High School).
Cities… and Literature
Aim/ objective: The more general objective of Literature, as mentioned characteristically in the new Study Programme of 1st-grade High School, is that of «critical education in contemporary culture». Beyond the one of cultivating a culture of reading among the participants, the goal of the specific programme is an acquaintance with aspects of specific towns/cities of different periods, viewed from the angle of heroes of different ages, social and economic classes.
Abilities/ skills promoted: Through the lesson on Literature, the pupils cultivate their ethos and values, acquaint themselves with their culture and identity and develop critical thought. According to the Study Programme of 1st-grade High School, the pupil constitutes the centre of the educational process and this is better achieved using team-collaboration teaching, but also by applying the project method, both of which impel pupils to act and to participate. Through creative activities based on narrative and literary texts (prose and poetry), the children familiarise themselves with the written word and its potential and produce their own literary texts.
The programme’s objective is to transform the intake of literature from passive to active and for the children, through the gradual familiarisation with Modern Greek authors, to develop their critical thought and creativity. Also, it offers incentives for children to embrace the process of writing, while broadening their imagination, liberating their thought process and offering them moments of creative pleasure.
Values cultivated: Love of reading, raised awareness about people of different age-groups and social strata, interest in culture and the arts
Description of the programme’s sequences: The programme comprises selected excerpts from Modern Greek literary texts (poems and prose), which are projected during a presentation accompanied by relevant audiovisual material. The programme ends with an (optional) exercise of creative writing.
Syllabus tie-in: Modern Greek Literature, Experiential Activities
Photographing the city’s historical centre
Brief description: The programme comprises a photographic expedition in the neighbourhood of Plaka, the discussion of photography techniques (such as composition, framing, photo shot position, depth of field), and the criticism of the children’s photographs including the correction of technical or aesthetic mistakes.
Brief description: Introduction to the art and technique of mosaics. Presentation of the subject to be created. Learning to cut tessera (mosaic tiles), their tessellation and manual practice making simple mosaics.