The myth of Arachne – Rhinegold Publishing

The myth of Arachne


This scheme of work was originally conceived for Year 8, although it could be adapted for any year – Lesson 2 in particular would need to be handled differently for older year groups and the teacher-in-role scripts could be made more sophisticated.


  • Content: To understand what it is to exercise power over others and how human nature can push even the most righteous among us to extremes. As subjects of Athene, the class will face difficult decisions regarding their own morality and self-esteem. They will explore issues of self-harm, jealousy, destruction of others’ property and the consequences of these areas of human action.
  • Form: This scheme of work is designed to stretch the class’ ability to work in and sustain a role within a whole group setting. The scheme encourages students to feel a sense of ownership within a given structured framework. In most of the sessions the class will be playing the same role, hopefully at all times showing a development and awareness of the necessary progressions.
  • Citizenship: The scheme has been designed to illustrate to students that the decisions we must make in life are not always black and white and that our actions are not always rational – even the most respected and ‘pure’ individuals are torn by human nature. The scheme also addresses how the powerful destroy the work of the young, and the belief that the only way to peace is through confronting what we most fear. The scheme can also engage with the issues of teenage suicide and the oppressive regimes that exist today.

Conventions used in this scheme of work

  • Teacher-in-role 
  • Whole group improvisation
  • Designing/making/presenting 
  • Writing in role
  • Teacher narration 
  • Still image
  • Slow-motion mime
  • Thought-tracking
  • Spontaneous and rehearsed improvisation

Number of lessons: 5

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