Athens and Sparta: Are They the Same or Different?

Subject: Social Studies

Lesson Length: 1 hour

Topic: Greek City-States

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will identify the similarities and differences between the Greek city-states, Sparta and Athens.

Know Before You Start: Students should have some understanding of the different city-states that developed throughout Ancient Greece; specifically Athens and Sparta.


  • Display the words: men, women, and children.
  • Brainstorm what daily life looks like for these three groups of people in America today.
    • Which responses would not exist in Sparta or Athens?
    • Which responses would only exist in either Sparta or Athens?
    • Imagine and discuss what life must have been like during Ancient Greek times.


  • Have students work in pairs to create a two-panel comic comparing one aspect of life in Athens or Sparta with their own life and experiences. Topics may include: government, gender roles, role of children, etc.
    • Panel 1: Using the sample comic as a guide, depict one aspect of life in Athens or Sparta.
    • Panel 2: Illustrate how the depiction in Panel 1 compares to your current life. For example, you might depict your appreciation for the right to vote in our country.


  • Have student pairs briefly present their comics to the class.
  • Have the Athens comics go first, then the Sparta comics.
  • As an exit ticket, have students decide which city-state they would prefer to be a part of and why.


  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
  • Allow students to use the voiceover feature to read their comics aloud.
  • Allow students to use a Venn Diagram to compare life in Ancient Greece to the present day. 

  • Provide visuals as needed.

  • Provide sentence frames as needed.

  • Allow students to work in small groups. 


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