Poseidon's Posse to the Rescue

3, 4, 5

The purpose of the lesson is to teach the difference between myth and reality. The learners will also use the information used in the watershed unit to write a letter supporting stewardship of water because it is a nonrenewable resource.

Lesson Rating 
PrintTwo forty-five minute class periods

The learner will:

  • tell the story of Poseidon.
  • write a letter to Poseidon concerning good stewardship of their local watershed.
  • tell in their own words the difference between the literary term, myth, and reality.
  • Drawing paper and markers
  • Poster board
  • Paper and pencil
  • Overhead projector, chalkboard, or dry erase board
  • The Little Mermaid video or DVD and player (optional)
  • Evslin, Bernard. Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths. Bantam Books, 1966. ISBN 0-553-20798-9.
  • DVD The Little Mermaid , 1989. Walt Disney Music Company. ASIN: B00001QEE7


  1. Anticipatory Set: Ask learners if they have seen the video; “The Little Mermaid.” Next ask if anyone can describe what Ariel’s father, Triton does. Discuss what Triton looked like. Tell students that they can either draw a picture of Triton or his scepter, or they may choose to write five words that describe him. Allow five to ten minutes for this activity. Show a segment of the video that includes Ariel’s father, Triton.

  2. Explain that Triton is like the Greek god, Poseidon. Make sure that students understand the meaning of the literary term, myth. Tell students that ancient people often used myths to describe their natural surroundings.

  3. Retell the story of Poseidon. The Greek god, Poseidon chose to rule the sea because it is the best place for adventures and secrets. The sea can also make claim to the land and sky. Waves wash away the land and clouds are a part of the water cycle.

  4. Ask learners to think of a possible adventure that Poseidon might have because he rules the seas. Next, they should pair up and tell their adventure to another learner. If time permits ask volunteers to share their adventures with the class.

  5. Ask learners to use their imaginations to picture how they think Poseidon would feel about the pollution of a watershed.

  6. Ask learners to be a member of “Poseidon’s Posse.” (Explain the meaning of the word posse as it relates to this activity: They are the “good guys and gals” in the posse and their goal is to protect their watershed.)


Explain to learners that their first task as members of “Poseidon’s Posse” is to work in groups of three to write a letter to Poseidon. In the letter they will explain why they’ve chosen to join his posse to protect the local watershed.They are to tell, in their own words, why this is an example of good stewardship of a nonrenewable resource. (If necessary, review the terms stewardship, and nonrenewable resource.) They will also include three actions that they will take to protect their watershed. Be sure that they know the proper letter form. Tell them to use a persuasive tone in their letter. They should include their position, give support for their position and have a closing to their letter. The letter should explain why they want to be in the posse. Be sure students understand what is to be included in their letters. The rubric for this assignment should include: letter form persuasive tone how they are being good stewards of their watershed their actions that protect the watershed.

Cross Curriculum 

The learners will take information from the letters about Poseidon and write a class letter to a local government official, newspaper, or company sharing why protecting their local watershed is important and soliciting support for protection of their watershed.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.5 Recognize the wise use of resources as <i>stewardship</i>.