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Lesson Plan by Lauren Martin M.Ed.

The Odyssey by Homer

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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map
  • Character Map
  • Graphic Novel
  • Poster

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

Pixton Lesson Plan on The Odyssey by Homer
Pixton Lesson Plan on The Odyssey by Homer
Pixton Lesson Plan on The Odyssey by Homer

Main Characters

The Odyssey by Homer

When you import any of the activities below, you can choose to share these ready-made characters with your students.

  • Odysseus from The Odyssey by Homer
    Odysseus

    Protagonist and epic hero

  • Telemachus from The Odyssey by Homer
    Telemachus

    Odysseus' son

  • Penelope from The Odyssey by Homer
    Penelope

    Odysseus' wife

  • Athena from The Odyssey by Homer
    Athena

    Daughter of Zeus and goddess of wisdom, purposeful battle and feminine arts

  • Poseidon from The Odyssey by Homer
    Poseidon

    God of the sea and Odysseus' immortal antagonist

  • Zeus from The Odyssey by Homer
    Zeus

    King of gods and men

  • Antinous from The Odyssey by Homer
    Antinous

    Penelope's least sympathetic suitor

  • Eurymachus from The Odyssey by Homer
    Eurymachus

    Penelope's deceitful, manipulative suitor

  • Amphinomus from The Odyssey by Homer
    Amphinomus

    Penelope's only virtuous suitor

  • Eurycleia from The Odyssey by Homer
    Eurycleia

    Telemachus and Odysseus' old, loyal servant

  • Melanthius from The Odyssey by Homer
    Melanthius

    Melantho's brother and goatherd who supports the suitors

  • Melantho from The Odyssey by Homer
    Melantho

    Melanthius' sister and maidservant in Odysseus’ palace

  • Calypso from The Odyssey by Homer
    Calypso

    Beautiful nymph who falls in love with Odysseus

  • Polyphemus from The Odyssey by Homer
    Polyphemus

    Cyclopes who imprisons Odysseus

  • Circe from The Odyssey by Homer
    Circe

    Beautiful witch-goddess who turns Odysseus’ crew into swine

  • Laertes from The Odyssey by Homer
    Laertes

    Odysseus’s father

  • Tiresias from The Odyssey by Homer
    Tiresias

    Theban prophet in underworld

  • Nestor from The Odyssey by Homer
    Nestor

    King of Pylos and former warrior in Trojan War

  • Menelaus from The Odyssey by Homer
    Menelaus

    King of Sparta, Agamemnon's brother, Helen's Husband

  • Helen from The Odyssey by Homer
    Helen

    Menelaus's beautiful wife whose abduction from Sparta by the Trojans started the Trojan War

  • Agamemnon from The Odyssey by Homer
    Agamemnon

    Menelaus' brother, former king of Mycenae, murdered by his wife and her lover

  • Clytemnestra from The Odyssey by Homer
    Clytemnestra

    Agamemnon's wife who kills him

  • Aegisthus from The Odyssey by Homer
    Aegisthus

    Clytemnestra's lover

  • Orestes from The Odyssey by Homer
    Orestes

    Agamemnon's son who avenges father's death

  • Nausicaa from The Odyssey by Homer
    Nausicaa

    Beautiful daughter of King Alcinous and Queen Arete of the Phaeacians

  • Alcinous from The Odyssey by Homer
    Alcinous

    Hospitable King of the Phaeacians

  • Arete from The Odyssey by Homer
    Arete

    Kind and influential Queen of the Phaeacians

Featured Props

The Odyssey by Homer

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Arrow
    Arrow
  • Bottle
    Bottle
  • Lightning
    Lightning
  • Mountain
    Mountain
  • Olives
    Olives
  • Raft
    Raft
  • Seashore
    Seashore
  • Ship
    Ship
  • Splash
    Splash
  • Tree
    Tree
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

The Odyssey by Homer

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

In the 7th or 8th century BCE, Homer wrote the epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey. However, even by the 3rd century BCE, Greeks questioned whether Homer existed and if he wrote both epic poems. Modern scholars acknowledge that even if one poet wrote both epics, they were most likely heavily influenced by preexisting myth and oral traditions of storytelling. The poem is written in iambic pentameter, meaning there are ten syllables with five accents in every line.

Opening Discussion

Explain that The Odyssey is an epic poem. As students read, they should analyze the work with a focus on the six elements of every epic:

  1. Legendary Hero
    • The protagonist is very famous during his lifetime. In ancient epics, the hero is usually partially-divine or protected by the gods.
  2. Superhuman Strength, Bravery and Adventure
    • The hero is capable of unbelievable physical and mental feats that no real human could accomplish.
  3. Expansive Settings
    • The hero's adventure spans across time and space, even to other worlds and dimensions.
  4. Supernatural Elements
    • The plot and characters are shaped by supernatural and other-worldly elements, such as time travel, space travel, immortality, gods, demons, angels, mythical creatures and superpowers.
  5. Omniscient Narrator
    • The narrator is all-seeing and all-knowing, and shares every character's perspective with the audience.
  6. Exaggerated Writing Style
    • Usually, the writing style is overly formal or exaggerated, using many decorative literary devices.

As a class, read Homer's The Odyssey.

Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    Elements of an Epic "The Odyssey"

    Track throughout text and complete after reading.

    View Activity
  • Make a Character Map
    Character Map

    Begin at the start of the story, and make additions throughout the unit.

    View Activity
  • Make a Mind Map
    Major Themes

    Track themes throughout text and complete after reading.

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Graphic Novel (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Graphic Novel version of the epic poem, The Odyssey.

  • Extension / Modification
    Poster (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Poster that illustrates the use of iambic pentameter in The Odyssey.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Discuss the following:

  • What was your favorite scene or element in The Odyssey? Why?
  • What was the most challenging aspect of reading The Odyssey? Why?
  • Why do you think The Odyssey was relevant and popular during the time period it was written?
  • Considering that Homer was a blind storyteller, how might his blindness have influenced the details and content in the poem?
  • Why do you think this story was told as an epic poem using iambic pentameter?
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: The Odyssey 1 Elements of an Epic "The Odyssey"

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

Explain that The Odyssey is an epic poem. As students read, they should analyze the work with a focus on the six elements of every epic:

  1. Legendary Hero
    • The protagonist is very famous during his lifetime. In ancient epics, the hero is usually partially-divine or protected by the gods.
  2. Superhuman Strength, Bravery and Adventure
    • The hero is capable of unbelievable physical and mental feats that no real human could accomplish.
  3. Expansive Settings
    • The hero's adventure spans across time and space, even to other worlds and dimensions.
  4. Supernatural Elements
    • The plot and characters are shaped by supernatural and other-worldly elements, such as time travel, space travel, immortality, gods, demons, angels, mythical creatures and superpowers.
  5. Omniscient Narrator
    • The narrator is all-seeing and all-knowing, and shares every character's perspective with the audience.
  6. Exaggerated Writing Style
    • Usually, the writing style is overly formal or exaggerated, using many decorative literary devices.

As a class, read Homer's The Odyssey.

Instructions

Create a 6 panel Mind Map or Storyboard that summarizes the six elements of an epic in The Odyssey:

  • Identify the element in the panel title.
  • Write a detailed description of the element from a story.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: The Odyssey 2 Character Map

Featured Layouts

  • Character Map

Intro

Determining character traits is an important skill necessary to understanding the conflicts and themes of the plot. The characteristics that make up the main character and supporting characters help shape the outcome of the narrative.

Instructions

Choose three of your favorite characters from The Odyssey and create a Character Map for each one.

  • It's important to add as many details as you can to all the parts of the map.
  • Include an appropriate illustration based on the character traits outlined in the novel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Character Map

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The character map is thoughtful; descriptions are detailed and informative. The character map is fully developed; accurate details and insightful descriptions. The character map is complete; descriptions are simple and settings are accurate. The character map includes basic details, but is not fully developed. The character map does not accurately reflect the characters.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• summary is clear and highly detailed
• descriptions are thoughtful and highly developed
• significant details that make characters unique and dynamic
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• summary is clear and accurate
• logical descriptions that clarify and develop the idea
• characters are similar; includes relevant details
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• summary is short, but accurate
• descriptions are simple and consistent
• characters similar to description
• some relevant ideas
• summary has several errors
• descriptions are brief and lack detail
• characters vaguely looks like description
• often very brief
• summary is has significant errors
• descriptions are difficult to follow
• characters do not look like description
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: The Odyssey 3 Major Themes

Featured Layouts

  • Mind Map

Intro

The major themes in The Odyssey are:

  • Intelligence is more powerful than strength
  • The dangers of temptation and lack of discipline
  • The strength of love
  • The art of disguise

Instructions

For each major theme, identify at least two examples in the novel and depict them in a Mind Map:

  • Identify the theme in the Mind Map title
  • Briefly describe the scene in the panel title
  • Create an image that summarizes the scene
  • Briefly describe how the example fits the theme

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Major Themes

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The theme is highly developed; examples have significant purpose and are highly detailed. The theme is well developed; examples are specific and provide ample support. The theme is briefly discussed; examples are accurate but not fully explained. The theme is poorly discussed; vague or irrelevant examples. The theme is not identified; lacks any supporting examples.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• examples are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• examples are not/improperly referenced
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• examples are not referenced
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

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