The Twelve Labors of Hercules

Lesson Plans by Anna Warfield

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Herakles / Heracles Lesson Plans

Herakles, known more commonly by the Latinized name Hercules, is one of the greatest heroes... ever! We get the word "Herculean" in English, meaning "requiring enormous effort", from the story of Hercules, who had superhuman strength and accomplished twelve seemingly impossible tasks.

Student Activities for Greek Mythology: The 12 Labors of Hercules Include:

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"Hercules" is the hero's name that most people are familiar with. The name "Herakles" actually means "Hera's Glory". This name is ironic as Hera hates Hercules, and certainly would not consider him a gift of hers. Hera's husband, Zeus, had an affair with Alcmene, and Hercules is a constant reminder of her husband's infidelity. Sadly for Hera, Hercules would not be the last by far.

Hercules was very popular in Greek mythology, and continues to be popular in the modern age. Many surviving artwork from ancient Greece have Hercules as the subject, and there have been several films and television shows modeled after him. He is one of the mightiest heroes in mythology, and his character reflects many of the attributes that the Greeks admired, such as great strength, skills in combat, and guile.

Essential Questions for Hercules Myths

  1. What is atonement?
  2. What is the significance of completing the Twelve Labors?
  3. What made Hercules a hero?

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•   (English) Greek Mythology: The 12 Labors of Hercules   •   (Español) Mitología Griega: Los 12 Trabajos de Hércules   •   (Français) Mythologie Grecque: les 12 Travaux D'Hercule   •   (Deutsch) Griechische Mythologie: Die 12 Arbeiten von Hercules   •   (Italiana) Mitologia Greca: Le 12 Fatiche di Ercole   •   (Nederlands) Griekse Mythologie: De 12 Werken van Hercules   •   (Português) Mitologia Grega: os 12 Trabalhos de Hércules   •   (עברית) מיתולוגיה יוונית: 12 המטלות של הרקולס   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) الأساطير اليونانية: 12 عمال هرقل   •   (हिन्दी) ग्रीक पौराणिक कथाओं: हरक्यूलिस के 12 श्रमिकों   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Греческая Мифология: 12 Родов Геракла   •   (Dansk) Græsk Mytologi: De 12 Herakles 'tolv Arbejder   •   (Svenska) Grekisk Mytologi: De 12 Arbetena av Hercules   •   (Suomi) Kreikkalainen Mytologia: 12 Työllä Hercules   •   (Norsk) Gresk Mytologi: De 12 Herakles 'tolv Storverk   •   (Türkçe) Yunan Mitolojisi: Herkül'ün 12 Çalışanı   •   (Polski) Mitologia Grecka: 12 Robotów Herkulesa   •   (Româna) Mitologia Greacă: Cele 12 Muncile lui Hercule   •   (Ceština) Řecká Mytologie: Těchto 12 Pracuje Hercules   •   (Slovenský) Grécka Mytológia: 12 Laborantov Herkules   •   (Magyar) Görög Mitológia: A 12 Labours Hercules   •   (Hrvatski) Grčka Mitologija: 12 Rada Herkula   •   (български) Гръцка Митология: 12-те Работници на Херкулес   •   (Lietuvos) Graikų Mitologija: 12 Heraklio Žygdarbiai   •   (Slovenščina) Grška Mitologija: 12 Herkulove   •   (Latvijas) Grieķu Mitoloģija: 12 Varoņdarbi Herkulesa   •   (eesti) Kreeka Mütoloogia: 12 Heraklese Vägitööd