Inventory of Classical Greek Teaching in the Schools


Read or share Classical Greek teaching materials, such as lesson plans, teaching tips, pedagogical strategies, exercises, work sheets, sample quizzes and exams, projects, reviews of books, videos, and computer programs of use to Greek teachers, at Greek Teachers' Corner.

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Appendix - Questionnaire

Sherwin Little
Indian Hill High School
6845 Drake Road
Cincinnati, OH 45243

  1. NO
  2. YES Independent study during my planning.
  3. NO I like Athenaze.
  4. YES

Dr. Franz J. Gruber
The Columbus Academy
4300 Cherry Bottom Road
Gahanna, OH 43230

The Columbus Academy offers Ancient Greek this fall (2001) for the first time. Seniors taking Latin V (they took Vergil AP last year but will not take another AP course) will be reading Latin authors for three days in a six-day week, and they will study Ancient Greek the other three days.

Christy Bening (the senior Latin teacher here) will teach the Latin part, and I will teach the Greek part of this course. These are seniors who have proven to be outstanding in both academic and extracurricular activities (one student is the student council leader, another is the speaker of the senior class). I intend to teach the course like a college course with speedy progress, as these students are already familiar with morphology and syntax due to their advanced Latin skills.

I believe that there is a need for a new Introduction to Greek book. I taught ancient Greek with the Athenaze textbook at the University level (at the University of Malawi in the southeastern part of Africa). The students were mostly in their middle twenties and were studying divinity. However, I believe that they would have enjoyed the course even more with a textbook that contained more information about culture and color pictures that would have allowed them to appreciate Greek art more fully. The Ecce Romani series could serve as a good model as regards the mixture of grammar, culture, and etymology. Its emphasis on learning a language by reading should also be adopted (the Athenaze textbook also follows this approach). I think that there could be a continuous story, albeit aiming at students that are somewhat more mature than Flavia, Cornelia, and the all naughty Sextus. I would like to help author such a book.

The National Latin Exam is a great motivating factor. I think that a National Greek Exam could achieve the same purpose.

Dr. Henry A. Strater
University School
2785 Som Center Road
Hunting Valley, OH 44022

  1. YES
  2. YES
  3. YES NO
  4. NO

See Appendix for “Foreword to the Teacher” and “Table of Contents” of Dr. Strater’s book.

Kathleen Nile
University School
Shaker Campus
20701 Brantley Road
Shaker Heights, OH 44122

At University School the fifth graders are required to take Greek for one term, three days per week, as part of their theme-based curriculum. I’ve taught Greek at the college level, so I felt anxious and uncertain about teaching it to elementary school students. I decided not to teach it as an extension of their Social Studies or Art curriculum but rather to teach the language itself--real Classical Greek.

The results were better than I anticipated. The boys were great.

About materials: in all honesty--because I had no experience teaching Greek to elementary school children--I had no idea what I was doing. I had some idea of what should be learned, of course, but no idea of what would work with the kids or how they would respond to the lessons. When the fall term commenced I had simply made up my mind to teach as much as possible with gusto and to be flexible along the way. I used the following texts: Greek To Me by Henry A. Strater and Learn Ancient Greek by Peter Jones. The latter text has some inappropriate pictures for children, so the boys didn’t actually see it. I found Greek To Me especially helpful for teaching the alphabet and transliteration. Basically the term went like this: alphabet and transliteration; first and second declension nouns; the to be verb; sentences using the nouns and to be verb; a handful of adjectives and a handful of transitive verbs; sentences using nouns, adjectives, transitive verbs and direct objects. I drilled parts of speech, subject / verb agreement, function of words (subject and direct object) noun / adjective agreement and Greek word order--it’s flexibility and elasticity--throughout the term. It was intensive, but the boys hung in there and many of them actually improved their comprehension of grammar and syntax by the end of the term. I had 52 boys (13 in four sections) and 39 of them received A’s on the last test. I was so impressed by the tenacity of the boys and all that they accomplished.

Jane Ulrich
Shaker Heights High School
15911 Aldersyde
Shaker Heights, OH 44120

  1. YES
  2. YES
  3. YES
  4. YES !!!!!!!

Greek I-II-III (which really equals 2 semesters of beginning Greek at college level)

The 3 sections meet at the same time! I have become tri-polar in personality. The enrollment is Grk I - 3 students, Grk II - 4 + 1 doing the work Ind. Study; Grk III- 3 students. Splitting the class would have meant dropping Greek from the curriculum, so I do my best with the 3 sections together.

Greek has been a class for the past five years. It started out at lunch time with 7 boys. I frequently have independent study students.

Concerning books:
I currently use for I & II an unpublished text written by Dr. Henry Strater of University School, Hunting Valley, Ohio [see above]. I sometimes couple Grk I with Athenaze I. The Grk II reads Colson’s Reader. Grk III reads JACT readers by Cambridge.

The difficulty with Athenaze is that all the verbs are present tense, which leaves the students short at Natl. Grk. Exam time. Otherwise I like it! The N. G. Exam last year was much better. There was a small syllabus, students were more successful. But I really like the NLE format with added culture/history questions. Greek is more than grammar & syntax. It’s also history, culture, authors, etc.

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Melanie Carey
Muskogee High School
3200 East Shawnee
Muskogee, OK 74403

  1. NO
  2. YES I teach the alphabet, vocabulary, derivatives and application of Greek, but do not do a lot of reading.
  3. YES An Intro to Greek Text that was very elementary or culture-based would be the only thing that could help!!!
  4. blank ? I don’t know about a Greek Exam, but Greek contests or activities would help me!! I have had only one student who wanted to take the Greek exam, but I don’t think it was offered that year.

Thomas Stewart
2108 Fremont Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73120


  1. YES
  2. NO
  3. YES
  4. YES

The school offers a very full Greek I course to those students who have completed Latin III or who have the permission of the chair. The Athenaze text is used, and students usually get to somewhere in the middle of Book II before the end of the year. The course is offered as long as there is at least one serious (as opposed to one who just wants to learn another alphabet) student interested. Since the students have a good background in Latin, the course proceeds through the grammar rather quickly. When the course “flies,” there usually are one to four students in it.

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David Rich
The Shipley School
814 Yarrow Street
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Telephone 610-649-5355

  1. NO
  2. YES
  3. NO
  4. NO

I teach Greek outside of the curriculum with great success (7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.).

I currently offer 4 levels:

I currently have Classics majors reading advanced Greek at Harvard, Brown, Oberlin, Swarthmore, Penn, Kenyon, Wash. U., and Purdue, among others.

Reading Greek works nicely when properly supplemented with rigorous form memorization and verb synopses. Readings are challenging and not insipid like most others.

Jonathan Rockey
644 Edge Hill Road
Glenside, PA 19038


  1. YES
  2. YES
  3. NO I like Athenaze just fine!
  4. YES But doesn’t it already exist?

Right now I have 3 students (1 8th-grader, 2 sophomores) in what we’re calling Introductory Greek. We only met occasionally last year after school. This year we have three 45-minute periods in the school day. We are currently on Athenaze, Chapter 5b. The homework is minimal, and I only test kids when I feel they are ready. I expect to start the next batch of kids on Athenaze next year some time.

Lee Pearcy
The Episcopal Academy
376 N. Latches Lane
Merion, PA 19066

  1. YES
  2. NO But see below.
  3. YES Although we might not use it.
  4. NO

Greek at Episcopal Academy:

“Non-traditional contexts” - we offer independent study in Greek when there is demand, and we have “Greek week” as part of Latin 2, an introduction to the alphabet and etymology.

Many thanks for undertaking this survey.

Faye Peel
Instructor of Greek
Villanova Children’s Reading Latin/Greek Program
Villanova, PA
Instructor, Latin
Phoenixville Area High School
Phoenixville, PA

  1. YES
  1. YES
  1. YES
    • Should contain more interesting stories than those in Athenaze with the farmer and his slave, etc., as well as good culture and illustrations, some etymology, and lots of mythology.
  2. YES
    • There already is one.

Meredith Morgan Malloy
St. Joseph’s Preparatory School
1733 Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19130

  1. YES
  2. NO
  3. NO
  4. YES

Latin II/Greek I course: An intensive course that completes the Latin II syllabus in one year and Chapters 1-10 of Athenaze - Introduction to Greek. 44 students enrolled this year (a rather high number)

Greek II course: Continuation of Athenaze Book I. Start of Athenaze Book II (12 students enrolled)

James Finn
The Hill School
717 E. High Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-326-1000, ext. 7256

  1. YES
  2. NO
  3. NO
  4. YES

Greek I, (Introduction with a few short readings) Text: Groton & Finn, A Basic Course for Reading Attic Greek

Greek II, Plato: Apology

Greek III, Homer: Iliad

Greek IV, Herodotus & one selected Greek tragedy


Dr. Robert Iorillo
The Hill School
717 E. High Street
Pottstown, PA 19464

  1. YES
  2. NO
  3. Not sure
  4. blank There is one already.

I: Finn/Groton, A Basic Course for Reading Attic Greek; 2–6 students
II: Plato’s Apology in various editions as available; 6 students
III: Homer’s Iliad - Benner; 3 students
IV: Selections from Herodotus - Barbour and Euripides Hecuba (various ed’s); 2/3 students

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Henry Stevens
Portsmouth Abbey School
285 Cory’s Lane
Portsmouth, RI 02871

  1. YES Greek 1, 2, 3; only 1 or 2 students enrolled in subject most years.
  2. YES Independent study, occasionally as an extra course if student is otherwise carrying a full course load.
  3. NO
  4. NO

Ruth Breindel
Moses Brown School
250 Lloyd Avenue
Providence, RI 02906

  1. NO
  2. YES
  3. NO
  4. NO

I use A Reading Course in Homeric Greek from Loyola University Press, but I believe it is now out of print.

Nicholas Sterling
Wheeler School
216 Hope Street
Providence, RI 02906

  1. NO
  2. YES
  3. YES
  4. YES

I am teaching Greek to a single student and am meeting with him during his free periods. He specifically asked to learn Greek; it is not part of the regular curriculum.

For a textbook I would like to see a better explanation of the thematic vowel in Greek, which is not covered properly in either Athenaze or JACT. I might be willing to author such a book, but since I am leaving the field of Classics completely, I seriously doubt I will have either the time or the incentive to do so.

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Marla Neal
Girls Preparatory School
205 Island Ave.
Chattanooga, TN 37405

  1. blank
  2. YES I have a 4th year regular class (if there are enough students) for girls who aren’t up to the challenge of AP. According to their choice, we either devote 4th qtr to Greek or have it on Fridays. We just learn the alphabet and do some simple reading in Athenaze or something.
  3. YES I think it would need the basics of grammar—as Athenaze does cover—but with interesting stories or quotes, anything besides the repetition of the farmer, ox, slave, and rock. I like having etymology, but in tidbits. I’d like a marriage between important, basic vocabulary and practical grammar without being driven by a nonsensical story.
  4. blank

Abigail Roberts
McCallie School
500 Dodds Avenue Miss Ridge
Chattanooga, TN 37404

  1. This year I am teaching Greek I; the prerequisite is the completion of Latin 3 or Honors Latin 2. I have 14 students in the class. There are three sophomores, three seniors, and eight juniors - thirteen were good to exceptional Latin students, one senior bypassed the prerequisite with a petition (his compelling reason was that he will be attending the seminary next year and showed great interest and motivation for overcoming the disadvantage of being the only student who had not studied an inflected language). We are using Athenaze I and II. We are currently in Chapter 8; I imagine that we will be more than halfway through the second book by June. We will read selections from the New Testament throughout the year and perhaps some Plato in the spring, depending on how well the students are faring. Next year, we will offer Greek II for the students who wish to continue. In the second year Greek course, we will finish or review Athenaze II, and read selections from Plato and Homer.

  2. Latin students who come to the Upper School from our Middle School have had the 6th grade course The Phenomenon of Language and two years of study (7th-8th grade) in the Cambridge Latin texts. The strength of the Latin program at McCallie and the growth of our incipient Greek program may be attributed to our Latin teachers’ experience and interest in the cultures, literature, and language of the ancient world. All teachers of Latin have studied Latin and Greek and have studied in Rome or Athens, and it seems only natural that we tend to speak of the influence of Greek civilization on Roman matters, and cannot help but discuss similarities and differences between elements of language and culture in Latin courses.

    Dr. John Roth has taught Greek in a “non-traditional” context in previous years - three years ago as an “extra” course for four or five seniors, and as an independent study course for a few interested students. The level of interest has grown each year, and this fall we had a large enough enrollment for the class to be established in the language curriculum. Younger students in second and third year Latin courses have expressed interest in taking Greek as an alternative to Latin AP or Latin 4, and in many cases students will take Greek in concurrence with the AP in their junior or senior years. It seems that the interest level will support the Greek program in the years ahead.

  3. The Athenaze textbook seems to be a good match for the ability and interest level of our students. The Latin prerequisite sets up the course to move rather quickly, and we do not do every exercise and translation in the textbook. Vocabulary quizzes are cumulative and frequent. I often borrow from Chase and Phillips to supplement the grammar. If we were to teach Greek to 8th or 9th graders without the years of Latin, I would prefer the Thrasymachus series. For a Greek I for seniors course, I would prefer the text that was used at Phillips Exeter - I’m not sure if it’s still in print, but it moved quickly enough to prepare students for major-level Greek courses in college.

    I have been working on my own supplementary materials for Athenaze:
    • re-typed versions of the exercises

There are some great javascripts for drills at Jean Alvarez’ page at Montclair University. My students are religious users of this site:

I would happily assist in the compilation and creation of more supplementary materials for Athenaze.

All Latin and Greek students will take respective National Exams this year. Regarding a possible change in the Greek exam, I’d have to say I’d change it a bit. Not sure how.

Thanks for all your work.

Abbie Roberts

Vicki Weaver
6531 Deane Hil Drive, #51
Knoxville, TN 37919

I’m a middle school Latin teacher, who also teaches “Foreign Language Survey,” which this year is a 12-week course on the Trojan War. The survey course is part of the related arts rotation (art, music, health, technology, P.E., etc.), and for the most part, my principal just lets me teach what I want to.

I myself have a very limited Greek language background—just enough to drag myself through an M.A. in graduate school, but I enjoy that background very much. I’m probably much more of a Hellenist in the civilization department, and a Latinist in the language department. I’ve had numerous classical civilization and literature courses, and I know that culture is the key to grabbing the interst of many younger students. They love to make the word connections.

I try to teach the Greek alphabet and some basic word etymology. I’m not sure what level of text you’re proposing, but I would find a VERY basic text quite useful. At least for myself, since none of my schools has a true Greek course, a text that could be used as a supplement to first year Latin would be great. I don’t have time to teach any Greek grammar, but short lessons on word etymology would be super. I’m working on an introduction to mythology and the Trojan War text for myself right now, but I really like the idea of more Greek.

Jenny Lynn Fields
Saint Mary’s Episcopal School
69 Perkins Extended
Memphis, TN 38117

  1. NO
  2. YES See below
  3. YES
  4. YES

Before school: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:00 - 7:45. This is the second year I have done this. I have 10 students. We use Athenaze and are currently in Chapter 14 (as of 11/28/00).

I model the classes on my Latin classes, in which I use the Cambridge Latin Course. I stress culture and reading comprehension. Most of my students are in the 9th grade (although some are in 10-12), so they are reading Iliad and Odyssey in English and doing ancient history in History class. I spend a lot of time telling them stories from Herodotus.

My students are very comfortable readers of Greek but often become intimidated by the grammar. I would love to see a textbook w/ ancillary materials. I enjoy the Athenaze series and would love to see something like that catering to younger readers.

Let me know if I can help in any further way. Oh, about the NGE, I only had 6 students last year, all of whom took the exam. Of the six, four received ribbons.

Grace de Majewski
Mount Juliet High School
3565 North Mount Juliet Road
Mount Juliet, TN 37122

  1. NO
  2. YES I typically spend one day in my second year Latin class on the Greek alphabet and have my students translate the first story in the JACT text. Last year I tutored a twelfth grader who was interested in religious studies in New Testament Greek. We spent a significant amount of time on vocabulary and grammar.
  3. YES
  4. YES

Terry Wade
Faith Heritage Christian Academy
Millington, TN 38053

I teach Latin to home educators, mostly their children and to students in a private day school. In the day school we begin Latin in grade one and continue through high school. In K-6 we emphasize vocab, forms, and sayings. In 7-up we begin formal Latin study with a textbook which emphasizes readings and grammar (not a current text but an old one that has been copied with permission). I have had some success with my students winning silver and gold medals in the National Latin Exam. I also teach Koine Greek, in which I emphasize the goal of reading the New Testament. This course has been taught to both day school as well as home educated students. I have not taught classical Greek because I have not found any texts that are very user friendly. The home school community will not use texts unless they are very user friendly. There is a great need for some classical Greek text that will enable students to read texts within a reasonable time, along with learning vocab and forms. I have found in Koine that at least 1000 words are needed to begin much proficiency. Of course Koine has so many helps today that there is no comparison in Classical Greek or Latin. Enough for now.

Nancy Howell
Franklin Road Academy
4700 Franklin Road
Nashville, TN 37220

  1. NO
  2. YES See below
  3. NO
  4. Not applicable

I teach the alphabet and simple recognition of words, without accent marks to my Greek and Latin Derivatives class and my Latin III class. The Derivatives class, which is largely Latinless, must match the Greek words to the bases they are learning. The Latin III class usually matches them to Latin vocabulary words. I also teach a four day, two hours a day, course called “Greek in a Week” to freshmen during our interim program. We start with the alphabet on Monday and work our way up to the Bible (John I) and Homer’s Iliad by Thursday. I steal from a number of sources for this such as Athenaze, Pharr’s intro book for Homer, and some book whose name escapes me that teaches by using the book of John [Stephen W. Paine, Beginning Greek: A Functional Approach]. This is almost an accent free course. A little grammar is involved to tell nominative from accusative, but without a big todo. This class is a mix of scholars and the Latinless.

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G. Edward Gaffney, Ph.D.
Academic Dean
Montgomery Bell Academy
4001 Harding Road
Nashville, TN 37205

Tel. 615-298-5514, ext. 255
Fax 615-297-0271

Patrick Abel
Montwood School
12000 Montwood Drive
El Paso, TX 79936

  1. NO
  2. YES Very little
  3. YES
  4. blank

A Greek text with introductory material that a Latin student could use to jump into some similar vocabulary/grammar/readings would really help. I would very much like to offer Greek at Montwood High School.


Dr. James Houlihan
Kinkaid School
201 Kinkaid Drive
Houston, TX 77024

  1. NO
  2. YES
  3. blank
  4. blank

I am glad to hear from you, and, in fact, I am teaching what you’re calling a non-traditional Greek program. I’ve taught AP Latin for six years at Kinkaid and more recently Greek: in 1996, a student asked me if I would teach Creek as an independent study, and by 1997 there were twenty students who wanted to study Greek! Out of those twenty students who started in 1997, five have finshed the course and three are now in Greek 3.

Our Greek program is scheduled as an independent study because the high-achievers who take the course have full schedules—also I have mixed classes. I have scheduled meetings at lunch, twice a week with Greek 1 (three students) and Greek 3 (three students). (The one Greek 2 student floats in and out.) To expedite, I’ve posted on my web site the answers to the exercises in Ann Groton’s text—which works well for self-teaching. I explain the hard new material and go over any problems, but they often have to use the web site and their own resources.

Depending on the students, we can finish the book in a year and a half or two years. My one Greek 2 student who is doing only moderately well will need the whole second year, but my Greek 1 class is extraordinary and will probably go faster next year. My Greek 3 students have just finished the end of the Symposium, and now we’ll turn to lyric poetry. In fact, I’d like to use the CANE text and I’m hoping the students can buy it directly from the 71 Sand Hill address.

Just a word about me: I got my Ph.D. from U C Santa Barbara in the late ‘80s, working on Pindar with David Young. But my books have been translations and poems, not scholarship.

With sincere regards,
James Houlihan

Richard Evans
St. Thomas Episcopal School
4900 Jackwood
Houston, TX 77096

  1. YES
  2. YES
  3. YES
  4. YES

Greek I: 18 students, Athenaze I.
Greek II–III (combined): 2 students, Crosby, Schaeffer.
Greek IV: 2 students, Chase & Phillips for grammar review; Allen for readings.

The Greek alphabet is introduced in 7th grade Latin together with 1st, 2nd declensions in order to stimulate interest in Greek I for Grade 8.

I think introductory Greek programs could be combined with beginning Latin texts, drawing on the students’ knowledge of Latin forms & syntax.

Linda Fleming
St. Thomas Episcopal School
4900 Jackwood
Houston, TX 77096

  1. YES 8th grade (10 or 15 students)
  2. YES 4 in Greek independent study. I’m giving my Latin students in 11th and 12th grades a Greek Week—actually two weeks—alphabet, a little transliteration, some derivatives—just a bare introduction.*
  3. NO I'm not devoting enough time to the study to warrant a text book.
  4. YES The present exam says High School Only, and our beginners are 8th grade, Middle School

*I gave two classes a “Greek Week” in January. They learned the alphabet and transliterated names and words from Greek. I devoted 15 minutes per class for eight class periods. These were students of the Vergil AP class and a class of Ovid (non-AP) made up of seniors.

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