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Ancillary Materials for The Odyssey

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

In my previous post, I wrote about a unit that I used with my 9 Intensified students. That was just one way to teach The Odyssey, and I have a lot of other materials that may be helpful to you if you want to teach the unit in a different way. Below are other Odyssey-related activities that I have used but did not use in the particular unit that I posted.

First are the materials that I used to help my struggling readers. I used to try and teach The Odyssey to my Intensified kids AND my struggling readers, but abandoned that idea after I realized that my struggling readers were NOT reading and were simply waiting for me to summarize the story. Nowadays we have this beautiful graphic novels that the 9th grade teachers can use to teach The Odyssey to our struggling readers, but we did not have those when I was teaching ninth graders.

SO ANYWAY, here are the materials that I used to try and support my struggling readers in reading The Odyssey.

Materials for Struggling Readers & The Odyssey

Fun Materials for Regular or Intensified

  • Puzzle game This activity is great for review at the end of the book before kids have to take a unit exam. I got this activity from Jim Burke's The English Teacher's Companion. (Burke is one of my favorite teacher-authors and I find that my teaching improves tremendously every time I go back through one of his texts.)

  • Crafty Scene Review: Have students choose three scenes that are confusing to them, and using junk that they've brought from home, old magazines and craft materials, have them create a visual of one of their chosen scenes and then display it to the class.

  • Allusions & Comic Strip Assignment (paid product)

  • Hands-On, 3-D Map Project (paid product): One year I was teaching The Odyssey at the end of the year and the kids were restless. I thought it would be fun to have them build 3-D maps of Odysseus's travels so that they could do something with their hands. I had the kids build the maps and find supporting quotations for their creations. It was one of my favorite projects but I never got a chance to do it again.

Journal Prompts

  • Why is Odysseus so paranoid about Penelope’s faith to him?

  • Why does Penelope wait so long for Odysseus to get home? Twenty years is quite a bit of time.

  • What does it mean to “make a name for yourself”? How can you connect this idea to The Odyssey?

  • What other “coming of age” stories have you read over the years? In what ways does the story compare or contrast The Odyssey?

  • Why are names important? Why does it matter that the suitors keep referring to Telemachus as “Odysseus’s son” instead of by his own name?

If I find any other materials for The Odyssey as I am clearing out my old files, I will post them here. I hope some of these activities are helpful to you! Let me know if any of the links do not work. Sometimes I move the files around and the share settings get messed up.

If you have any materials that you would like to share with others for The Odyssey, please post them in the comments section below.