PROJECT: N 2021-1-BE02-KA220-ADU-000035111

4 Elements in Arts

Lesson Plans

Grateful Hellas
"Υπέρ πατρίδος το παν"​

Warming Up

  • What does independence mean to you?


  • What do you feel looking at this artwork?


  • What do you think it represents?


Cultural Heritage

The work shows the fighters of the Greek Revolution of 1821 among a crowd of warriors surrounding the figure of Hellas. In the centre, the woman represents Greece (“Hellas”); she is depicted as a woman of classical antiquity with broken chains at her feet, thanking the heroes of the Greek War of Independence for liberating her from Ottoman rule.

The artwork tells the story of the Greek War of Independence, a war won by Greek revolutionaries against the Ottoman Empire between 1821 and 1829.

Hellas occupies the entire central part of the painting. She has her arms outstretched, and is the brightest part of the canvas. She is surrounded by men, some kneeling, some standing, all facing her.

The work, apart from its rich symbolism and references to Greek antiquity, is also praised for its depiction of recognizable fighters from the Greek Revolution of 1821 amongst the throng of warriors surrounding the figure of Hellas.

Among these many warriors are Laskarina Bouboulina, a famed woman warrior of the revolution, Theodoros Kolokotronis, Papaflessas, Andreas Miaoulis, and even Lord Byron, the Romantic poet and Philhellene, who fought for Greek freedom.


Listen to the audio fragment and answer the following questions

Guidelines: You can adapt this exercise based on your audience’s needs. For example:

If you teach deaf learners, you can show the video with subtitles.

If you are teaching learners with visual impairments, they can listen to the video’s audio. 

Adjust the use of audiovisual content based on what you want to achieve with your audience.

Listening Comprehension

Read the story

Theodoros Vryzakis (1819–1878) was a Greek painter, best known for his historical scenes. He was one of the founders of the “Munich School”, composed of Greek artists who had studied in that city.

He grew up during the years of the Greek War of Independence. His father was hanged by the Ottoman Army near the beginning of the war, in 1821, and he had to flee with his mother into the mountains.

By 1832, the war was over and Vryzakis was in an orphanage. His artistic talent was discovered by Friedrich Thiersch, a scholar who had helped to make the Bavarian Prince Otto the new King of Greece. Thiersch took Vryzakis to Munich, where he attended the “Panhellenion”, a school for orphans of the Greek revolution, founded by King Otto’s father. After completing his studies, he returned to Greece and enrolled in the Athens School of Fine Arts.

In 1844, he returned to Munich on a scholarship and was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts. His teachers there included Carl Wilhelm von Heideck and Peter von Hess, both known for their support of Greek independence. After graduation, Vryzakis spent ten years travelling throughout Europe, including a two-year stay in Greece from 1848 to 1850. At the end of his travels, he exhibited some of his works relating to the Siege of Messolonghi at the Exposition Universelle. Most of these canvases were destroyed by a fire in 1929.

From 1861 to 1863, Vryzakis worked in Manchester, England, painting murals at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Manchester. Four years later, he took part in a major exhibition at the Galerie Del Vecchio in Leipzig. He painted little during the last decade of his life, due to an eye ailment. He died of heart disease.

In his will, he left all of the works in his studio to the University of Athens and 760 marks to repair the roof of the Salvatorkirche in Munich. Many of his paintings were widely distributed in the form of lithographs.

Source: Wikipedia

Reading Comprehension


We can turn a statement into a question by adding question tags like “isn’t it?,” “can you?,” or “didn’t they?”. People use question tags more often when they talk than when they write.

    • We often use question tags when we want the person listening to agree with what we say.

    • We use a negative question tag when the verb in the statement is positive.

She works as a doctor, doesn’t she?

Yesterday was a lot of fun, wasn’t it?

    • If the sentence is negative, a positive question tag is used.

He isn’t here, is he?

Nobody has called me, have they?

    • If we are sure or almost sure that the listener will agree that what we said is true, we use a falling intonation when we say the question tag.

    • When we aren’t sure about something, we say the question tag with a rising tone.


    • If the sentence has an auxiliary verb, we use it to make the question tag.

I think James is working on it, isn’t he?

She has already said that, hasn’t she?

    • Sometimes the sentence does not have an auxiliary verb:

    • When the verb is in the present simple or past simple, positive form, we use don’t, doesn’t or didn’t:

Jenni eats cheese, doesn’t she?

That day, it rained, didn’t it?

    • When the verb is “to be”, the question tag is also made with “to be”:

The stop is right there, isn’t it?

The customers were not happy at all, were they?

Watch out for “am”, which is irregular in the negative form of the tag:

I am never late, am I?

I am always last, aren’t I?

    • When there is a modal verb in the sentence, the question tag is made with the modal verb:

They could hear what I was saying, couldn’t they?

You will keep the secret, won’t you?

Additional activities

  • Learn more about the War of Greek Independence, here
  • Look at more works by Theodoros Vryzakis, here

Extra resources for learners

  • You can discover legends about earth, here
  • Read about the heroines of the Greek War of Independence, here
  • You can read more about Theodoros Vryzakis’s life, here


How true are these statements for you?
I think the story is engaging and interesting. *
I have learnt some new vocabulary and structures. *
I have learnt about its background and culture. *
The extra resources and additional activities have made me reflect on the meaning and the implications of the story. *
I have learnt about its cultural background and history. *
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