Fun Classroom Activities
The 20 enjoyable, interactive classroom activities that are included will help your students understand the text in amusing ways. Fun Classroom Activities include group projects, games, critical thinking activities, brainstorming sessions, writing poems, drawing or sketching, and more that will allow your students to interact with each other, be creative, and ultimately grasp key concepts from the text by "doing" rather than simply studying.
1. Newspaper Articles
* Bring in newspaper or Internet articles with contemporary tellings of some action in Zorba the Greek. These could be mining stories, honor killing stories, stories of returning to one's ancestral land, etc.
* Present to the class.
Paint your own version of the painting of Madame Hortense that Zorba presents her with.
3. Dress Up
With old clothes, dress up in a costume you think Zorba might wear.
* In groups of 3 or 4, reenact a short portion of Zorba the Greek.
* Use dialogue from the book and create more where necessary.
Watch the film adaptation of Zorba the Greek and give a short presentation of it to the class.
6. Lignite Research
* Do some research on the mining of lignite.
* Determine how it is symbolically different from the mining of peat or coal.
* Give a brief presentation to the class.
* Diagram a series of pictures detailing the formation of lignite.
* Don't use words in the diagrams.
* With several classmates, dress up in costumes to appear like characters from Zorba the Greek.
* Create still photos of the group acting out scenes from the book.
9. Clay Idol
* Bring something small from home.
* Using clay, make a small statue of something with the item embedded inside.
* Decide whether you would be able to leave the thing inside forever or if you would want to destroy it for the item.
10. Married Life
Write one scene form a play about the widow's life when she was previously married.
11. Shoebox Scene
Create a shoebox scene using miniatures and other found objects to recreate the scene in the cafe when the narrator first meets the widow.
Write a love/breakup poem from the narrator to the Buddha.
Make a sculpture of the Buddha.
With a small group of classmates, create and record a reenactment of your interpretation of the moment when the Buddha is exorcised from the narrator. Show to class.
15. Short Story
Write a one-page short story in which Zorba decides to become a Buddhist.
Using charcoal, create a picture of the moment when the narrator successfully exorcises the Buddha.
Using a musical instrument, make up a song without words that expresses the looting scene at Hortense's home after she dies.
18. Short Story
Write a one-page short story in which you describe what happens to the beautiful green stone in Germany after the end of the novel.
Create a rough blueprint of what you think the lignite mine might have looked like.
Make up your own festival. Detail all of the rituals involved. Describe why it is an important festival.
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