Lesson plans for The Odyssey by Homer

|Background| |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.


Teacher Guide to Homer's Odyssey
How might students use storyboards to demonstrate and to extend their learning? Check the resources here. Includes elements of an epic, essential questions, diagram of the hero's journey/monomyth archetype, a setting map, key symbols, themes, and motifs, more. Note: Storyboard That helps sponsor this site.

The Adventures of Ulysses by Charles Lamb
A searchable online text.

AP Central: The Odyssey
Critical comments and 3 questions for discussion or writing.

Elements of the Traditional Epic and the Epic Hero
This slide presentation explains elements of epic poetry and the epic hero. It helps students connect the concepts with contemporary movies like the Star Wars cycle, Titanic, and Avatar.

Epithets and Epic Similes
This brief slide presentation offers definitions and examples. Students are challenged to write an epithet describing themselves and to analyze an epic simile.

Greek Mythology: Odysseus
Two summaries of the epic, "short version" and "detailed version," both very readable.

Homer's The Odyssey
Rationale, summary, characters, vocabulary, journal prompts, study questions, learning activities, discussion questions, essay topics, extending the epic, bibliography. 15 pages; Adobe Reader required.

Homeric Simile Examples
Definition, examples, and a link to a video that raps The Odyssey.

"Ithaka" by C. P. Cavafy
Text of the poem, a good prompt for discussion and/or writing postreading.

The Odyssey
Vocabulary, writing ideas, and discussion questions.

The Odyssey
This music video offers an overview of the epic. It would make a great introduction to study of the epic.

The Odyssey
An extensive list of post-reading activities.

The Odyssey
Resources here include a Prezi with background information on the epic hero and one on The Odyssey itself, suggestions for projects like a travel brochure, a storyboard of a scene, and a comparison with the Percy Jackson books. Don't miss the cartoon!

The Odyssey: Crash Course Literature
In this video (12:06), author John Green provides an overview of the epic, including character analysis and exploration of themes.

The Odyssey: A Deeper Appreciation
These materials ask students read the epic and appreciate "the spirit of the age" that produced it. The unit includes vocabulary, geography, crosscurricular researched reports, and a bibliography for teachers.

The Odyssey, a project
Students prepare an intinerary for their own odyssey.

The Odyssey Game
An interactive approach to the great epic. Students chose a character and work their way through Odysseus' adventures.

Odyssey Online
Great source of background information! Includes audio files.

Suggestions for Pairing Contemporary Music and Canonical Literature
A list of songs that were inspired by reading literature. Organized by the last name of the author (e.g. Chinua Achebe, William Butler Yeats), the list includes song title, performer, year of release, and more. The list includes 10 songs inspired by The Odyssey.

Study Questions on Homer
This page includes some "overview" questions on the epic as a whole followed by a series of questions related to each book.

A View of The Odyssey
This unit plan focuses on the characterization of Telemachus, Odysseus, Penelope, and Nausicaa. Students consider Telemachus and Nausicaa as initiates and consider their own identities and choices as they enter adulthood.

Weaving the Old into the New: Pairing The Odyssey with Contemporary Works
This lesson plan pairs the epic with Running out of Summer by Peter E. Morgan and develops skills of comparing and contrasting. Other titles are possible, and suggestions are included.