Students will be given the opportunity to become active participants throughout the entire unit. A number of activities, such as role-plays and simulations will be incorporated in an attempt to further student comprehension of the historical content presented. These activities also serve specifically to recreate the societal conditions of ancient Athens and Sparta. This permits students to relate their personal value system to the factual events which shaped the history of both civilizations, thus allowing for a subjective understanding of past conditions. The majority of students will be challenged by the prospect of constructing value judgments, especially at the high school level where many students have reached the cognitive maturity to undertake this task, but have not gained practical experience from application. This approach not only stimulates interest in the unit's concepts, but also creates avenues for students to acquire a sense of personal awareness.
Many aspects of Greek culture lend themselves to this type of teaching approach. For instance, the Homeric epic, the Iliad, provides students with a pattern of thought prevalent in Greek society during the Classical Period. A great portion of the Iliad is devoted to the conflict among both gods and men, an eternal struggle experienced by both entities. Particularly interesting is Homer's glorification of war where he reveals his belief that men can only discover their true worth when engaged in battle. Both concepts are found in Homer's account of the Trojan War. Yet Homer alluded to the futility of man's fate. The right choice made by any warrior would lead to an eventual brief but glorious existence. The triumphs of mankind have their price.4
Teachers may ask students, "Do you agree with Homer's concept of man's eternal struggle?" or, "Does Homer's concept of man discovering his true worth hold true in our society, and did it hold true for Athens?"