Lesson plans for The Iliad and The Odyssey

|Background| |Iliad| |Odyssey|


Ancient sarcophagus unearthed in Cyprus
This news article reports the discovery of illustrations from Homer's epics in a 2,500-year-old sarcophagus.

Multi-Media Hero Analysis
Students will recognize the positive character traits of heroes as depicted in music, art and literature. The class will break into groups and write a working definition of a hero which they will present to the class. Students will discuss multi-media representations of heroes as well as cultural differences among who is considered a hero. The teacher will provide various works of art depicting heroes, and the students will choose one hero to research for an essay.

Psychiatrist Who Counsels Vets Wins Genius Grant
Follow the link to hear Jonathan Shay talk about a scene in the Odyssey and how it relates to soldiers returning from Iraq today.

A Story of Epic Proportions: What makes a Poem an Epic?
Students learn about the epic poem form and to its roots in oral tradition. They study the epic hero cycle and will learn how to recognize this pattern of events and elements in both ancient and modern texts, including Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.


Homer, Iliad
Illustrations and study questions with emphasis on the role of women.

The Iliad
The students will utilize independent research skills, computer skills, and cooperative group skills to complete the unit's assignments. As a result of being immersed in The Iliad and Greek civilization, the students should develop a greater appreciation of the ancient Greeks and the lasting influence of their literature. This unit plan is designed for 6th grade. It has 7 lessons and requires Adobe Reader or compatible application for access.

The Iliad
Resources here include a Prezi with background notes on the epic hero and one with notes on The Iliad itself, learning tasks like writing a newspaper release and illustrating an epic simile. Don't miss the cartoon!

The Iliad Game
This interactive review of the epic provides hints for incorrect answers.

The Iliad--A Practical Approach
Background information, basic summaries of the books, study questions, classroom activities, lesson plans and bibliography.

Phthia in Homer’s Iliad
Achilles longs for his home, Phthia. What does it look like? Photos and information from Google maps.

Trojan Find-It
Designed in the style of Where's Waldo?, this printable asks students to locate elements from the Iliad. It includes lots of subtle humor, like Odysseus holding a paper labeled "Horse Plans." Access requires Adobe Reader.

The Trojan War
This music video can serve as a great prereading activity. It offers a summary of the war done to the music of "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell.

Trojan War Game
This class activity engages the entire class in a nonviolent simulation of the Trojan War.


Click here: lesson plans for Homer's Odyssey are on a separate page.